The 18th of July is right around the corner. Although it’s tradition to spend 67 minutes on the day to better the lives of others, we thought, this year, we should do something every day in July to make a stranger smile. It can be a small act such as asking the till lady in the store about her day, or something big such as donating money to a school. As long as it’s within your means, no act is too small.
We put our heads together and came up with ideas on what you can do this July to celebrate Mandela Month.
- Donate blood – sanbs.org.za
- Join the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa – https://www.odf.org.za/
- Volunteer your time at the local animal shelter or SPCA.
- Contact your local animal shelter and find out what supplies they need (ask about the employees as well) and donate what you can.
- Buy school supplies for a school in need.
- Create a gift pack for a kid in need – think sanitary products, clothes, toys, etc.
- Spend time (and supplies) to help restore a school, community centre or park.
- Bake a cake (or cakes) for an old age home or orphanage.
- Visit someone in an old age home that doesn’t get a lot of visitors.
- Buy a coffee or a hot meal for a car guard or trolley collector.
- Put together a care package for a beggar.
- Take your kids and the dogs for a walk in your neighbourhood and pick up the rubbish on the road.
- Search for a green project near you to join.
- Ask your library if you can help teach adults how to read.
- Read for someone who can’t.
- Ask the neighbours to help you clean up the park and streets – clean graffiti, plant trees, etc.
- Start a neighbourhood vegetable garden.
- Volunteer at a feeding scheme.
- Sign up as a volunteer at Ashoka. They look at your skills and place you where you can make a difference. ashoka.org/volunteer
- Search through your bookshelf and donate the books you’ve read to a library, school, hospice, or charity shop.
- Start a local recycling scheme.
- Unplug appliances when you’re not using them.
- Donate seeds and seedlings to an underprivileged school.
- Donate blankets to homeless shelters.
- When buying your monthly groceries, buy extra female hygiene products to donate.
- Help train police dogs.
- Be friendly. Smile and be nice to the people around you – the people in the taxi, the aisle, the guy at the robot, etc.
- Find out if you can visit kids in hospital and read to them or entertain them.
- Sign up for a Saturday school to aid underprivileged matriculants.
- Bake (or buy) something for your local police or fire station or clinic and find out how you can support them.
- Offer to babysit for a single parent or new parents.
Just because there is so much out there we can do:
32. Join https://www.bettersa.org/ and help make South Africa a happy place.
You don’t have to limit yourself to a month or a day on which you do something for others, try every day to make the world a little better. Start today, and be the reason someone else smiles.