Have you made your New Year's Resolutions yet? You may have the usual items on your list: get fitter, eat better, and make more money. But how about incorporating philanthropic goals into this year’s resolutions? It's never too late to give it a go, and when it comes to being charitable, now is always a good time to start
Delving into your wallet is a practical beginning, but organisations often appreciate what you have to offer as well. Here are five alternative—and rather corporeal—ways to be altruistic in 2020:
1. Donate your brainwaves
Your knowledge of business best practices and technical skills would be invaluable to a charity. Non-profit organisations undergo many of the same challenges as for-profit organisations, including recruiting, accounting, technology and growth issues.
You can provide meaningful assistance to enable NGOs to become more effective, efficient, and sustainable with Asian Charity Services. If you have technical expertise to offer (e.g. graphic design, branding know-how, photography), look no further than Local Motion, which pairs volunteers with non-profits to execute specific tasks. For Chinese speakers, Social Careers may be a better-suited platform.
See also: 50 Hong Kong Charities To Support
2. Donate your hands
Hands on Hong Kong offers diverse opportunities for your friends and you to get involved. Clean a beach, sell flags on the weekends, or chaperone underprivileged children on a fun field trip. You can even volunteer as a group from the office and create a corporate event while at the same time giving back to the community.
Hong Kong’s famously plentiful and diverse food scene also comes with its downside, and as a foodie, concerns of food wastage may have crossed your mind in the past. Did you know Hong Kongers daily produce 3,600 tonnes of food waste? This is equivalent to 200 double-decker buses worth! Consider donating your hands to help out at some of the city's food salvage and redistribution NGOs including Food Angel where you can help with food preparation or distribution; Feeding HK which has both individual and team opportunities; or Foodlink Foundation which lists opportunities from coins counting to pro-bono legal advice.
3. Donate your feet
Join ImpactHK on a Kindness Walk. These organised walks take place in strategic neighbourhoods across Hong Kong and Kowloon, in areas where many residents live below the poverty line (defined as <HK$4000/month/pp). During the Kindness Walks, volunteers distribute necessities such as water, bananas and hard-boiled eggs, but most importantly, distribute kindness to those they meet.
4. Donate your blood
According to the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, your blood donation can help up to three patients or more, and the criteria is simple. As long as you are between 16-66 years old, are in good general health and weigh more than 41kg, you are eligible to give. The Red Cross has a daily target of 1100 donations per day—help them achieve this goal to benefit our local community!
5. Donate your heart
Don't panic, we are not suggesting a heart transplant. We are suggesting altruism starts with an open heart and constantly being on the lookout for opportunities to serve. What are some causes that get your heart racing? There are probably already some organisations serving in this area; offer to be on their board, become an ambassador, or an advisor.
Or if you have earmarked a physical challenge for the year 2020, create a fundraising challenge as well. Charitable Choice is a local HK charity that has a user-friendly platform to create fundraising pages for your mission. Instead of birthday gifts, you can consider purchasing charity gift cards to give your friends, also available at Charitable Choice. Two Presents is another avenue that encourages sustainability, and at the same time educating children about the gift of charity through cash birthday presents.
And to stretch the analogy to its fullest extent: as they say, get your skin in the game! By no means is the list of charities above exhaustive, as there are numerous NGOs in our city working to make Hong Kong a better place.
See also: The State Of Philanthropy In Asia