You see them on the street wearing bright jackets, holding a clipboard and with a huge smile on their face. As you try not make eye contact, they’ve already jumped in front of you and started their pitch. For some people, they are only too happy to sign up for various on charities on the street but for most, they just want to walk by without being bothered or feeling guilty for not taking an interest. There are lots of great charities like Because I am a Girl that enlist the help of teams of young, eager workers to approach the public and entice them to sign up to their various causes. Rather than just handing out flyers for people to sign up or contribute online later, the charity worker collects bank details right then and there, which is a very effective method for charities to build up donations. However, not everyone is comfortable handing over their banking details on the street to a stranger, and some people feel that donating their time or skills is much more effective than donating their money. Luckily there are many ways to be charitable and build up some karma points (while making new friends at the same time – bonus!).

Donate

There are so many opportunities where you can do charitable good deeds without having to veer too far from your daily routine. TOMS One for One campaign means that every time you treat yourself to a pair of their shoes, a pair is donated to children in 50 of the poorest countries around the world. Knowing that your gift is improving their lives protecting their feet from cuts and infections, allowing them to walk to school and boosting their confidence is reason enough to treat yourself to a new pair regularly. TOMS have now brought out a line of sunglasses. When you purchase a pair, TOMS improves the sight of one person by donating a pair of prescription glasses or paying for sighting-saving surgery for people in impoverished countries. There’s no need to feel guilty for treating yourself to a new pair of TOMS shoes or sunglasses when you know there is a greater cause behind your purchase.

Volunteer

Photo source

Photo source

The holiday season can be the happiest time of the year for some people but it can also be the hardest for others who struggle to get by and can’t afford the luxury of buying gifts we take for granted. Volunteering for charities that help the local community is a really caring way to make other peoples’ lives a little bit easier, and you get to see the results first hand, which is so satisfying. Organizations such as the The Daily Bread Food Bank and  United Way depend on people dedicating their free time volunteering, fundraising and collecting food and clothing. Without volunteers, these great causes simply wouldn’t exist. Why not make a difference to your local community and sign up to help out this holiday season? We bet you won’t regret it and you’ll meet some other wonderful, giving people too.

Embrace

For some guys it is all year round, for others it is a rather patchy and itchy novelty of male solidarity. Love it or loathe it, Movember is a worthy cause combating prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges. Men subjecting themselves (and their loved ones) serves a purpose as walking and talking billboards, bringing awareness to men’s health issues and prompting conversations wherever they go. It breaks the taboo of talking about testicular cancer and encourages men and to be aware of the symptoms. For all you clean-shaven men out there, venture into the stubbly-side and ladies: support your guys and get creative with photo diaries.

Take Part

Throughout the year there are many fun ways to raise money for charities of your choice. As we mentioned before, The Color Run is also known as the ‘Happiest 5k on the Planet’ with all proceeds collected going towards your favourite charitable foundation. Each month, there are some fun event on in the city you can collect sponsorship for, helping your chosen charity and keeping fit also. While it is not a direct fundraiser, the Toronto Zombie Walk will be raising awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s CPR Makes You Undead, a cool instructional video aimed at educating people of what to do when someone collapses. On Saturday, October 26, don your best zombie costume and stagger, limp, lurch down Yonge St. in the Halloween parade helping a great cause, while having a blast.