Four Simple Ways to Give Back in 2021
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that it has never felt more vital to give thanks for what we have. So many of us have suffered sickness, job loss and other hardships over the course of the past year.
The pandemic has challenged us to keep each other safe through physical distancing while focusing on social connections to keep our communities strong. However, the impacts of Covid-19 are continuing to unfold around us. If you’re wondering what simple things you can do to support somebody in need within your local community and beyond, we have some tips for you.
1. Make volunteering a priority
Make 2021 the year that you prioritise volunteering. If you already have a charitable organisation in mind, that’s wonderful, but don’t let a lack of inspiration keep you from helping out. With Covid affecting charities’ ability to fundraise, the need for devoted volunteers has never been greater. Fresh ideas and a wellspring of enthusiasm go a long way toward bolstering the spirits of disheartened charity workers.
Consider also that volunteering will help you, too. Not only will you bolster your spirits, but you’ll build new relationships. It can help to overcome isolation and make your CV stand out to employers. Plus, it can help you maintain a healthy and thankful perspective while also enjoying the heart-warming effects of doing good for the world.
Do-it.org is a database of UK volunteering opportunities. You can search more than a million volunteering opportunities by interest, activity or location and then apply online.
We also encourage you to take a look at some of the volunteering opportunities available on our own job board.
2. Sponsor a scholarship
If you’re up for something a bit different that can be lasting and profound, consider sponsoring a scholarship. How far you want to go and how much you want to spend is entirely up to you, but even a small award is a godsend to a struggling student.
You can structure your scholarship as you want. Perhaps you’d like to give a one-time award to the student who writes the best essay on a subject of your choice. Maybe you want to recognise a young talented musician from your home town? You can always consider working with your employer to fund a scholarship, too.
The point is to make education a bit more accessible to a worthy student who will get an opportunity they might not otherwise.
3. Consider becoming a mentor
Young people need guidance and support to help them build up their skills. Mentoring can bring great rewards to both of the people involved. It enables the mentor to exercise their knowledge Consider becoming a mentor and skills, and it helps the mentee to learn from an expert.
Is there something that you feel that you’re particularly good at? Perhaps you have a skill that you would be willing to share? The Access Project is a charity which supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds by matching them with volunteer mentors to help raise their grades. It is a great starting point if you’re looking into mentoring.
If you’re currently employed, why not ask your organisation whether it might consider the government Kickstart scheme? It’s a great way for young people to enter the job market and to gain some essential skills to support them in finding permanent employment at this difficult time. The scheme provides government funding for employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year-olds.
The government will pay:
- 100% of National Minimum Wage for 25 hours for a total of 6 months.
- Associated employer National Insurance contributions.
- Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
- A grant of £1,500 for setup and training costs.
4. Donate food and essential items
Remember that donations do not always have to be money. Food banks are always in need of donations. You can pick up canned goods, produce and water to donate to your local bank. Homeless shelters also welcome donations in the form of clothing, toiletries and more. If you don’t know when to start when it comes to the donation of food and other essential items, why not take a look at the Trussell Trust guidance?
Above are just a few examples of the great ways in which you can give back in 2021. Remember that through your donations and volunteering, you’re likely to be making a lasting impact on someone’s life without even realising it.
Lisa Bigelow writes for Bold and is an award-winning content creator, personal finance expert and mom of three fantastic almost-adults. In addition to CharityJob, Lisa has contributed to Credit.com, The Tokenist, OnEntrepreneur, College Money Tips, Finovate, Finance Buzz, Life and Money by Citi, MagnifyMoney, Well + Good, Smarter With Gartner and Popular Science. She lives with her family in Connecticut, USA.