Charities do so much for you, whether it be scientific research into new treatments or understanding illnesses better, running helplines, raising awareness of illness and advocating for patients and supporting change, sending out care parcels, donating food and toiletries to those in need and so so so much more!
Thought my time being ill different charities have supported me in lots of different ways and I try to give back in any way I can. Like for example writing articles for their magazines or partner organisations (like when I wrote an article for the nursing times on behalf of Action for M.E). Charities have also been there for me when I've needed someone to talk to or to ask for advice through their helplines. I've also received care packages like the one that I received from Smile for M.E.
As much as I would love to hold a big fundraiser the reality is I can't and many people can't but there are many other ways that you can help support charities.
Become a Member
One of the big pieces of advice that I give to people newly diagnosed is to become a member of a charity that covers your illness.
That you pay will help support support that charity in the work that they do. In turn your membership will give you access to help and support. For example giving you access to a community of others with the same illness as you and other benefits such as magazines newsletters, and/or emails keeping you up-to-date with things such as new research projects, participation opportunities, stories from others members etc. You might also receive information on living with the condition, ways of coping with the different symptoms, treatment options etc.
Cards & Other Things
Instead of purchasing your Christmas cards from the supermarket or a stationary store why not buy them from a charity? Most charities do produce Christmas cards for people to purchase and it's a good way to help give a little bit back.
Alternatively, and this is what I do, is what I'd pay in postage and to make Christmas cards I donate those costs to charity instead.
Stationary & other items to buy that support charitiesHere are just a few shops I found for you to have a browse at but there's much more out there is you just search online for it, like I searched for 'charity shop stationary' (even I found some new websites!)
- Forget M.E Not stationary - Supporting Action for M.E & Spoonie Village
- Blurt Foundation shop - Stationary, self-care boxes, apparel and so much more!
- Dog's Trust online store - stationary
- Cards for Good Causes
- Woodland's Trust - stationary store
Purchasing an donating to charity shops is a great way to support charities and you can often find some great finds.
You can even go charity shopping online. My go-to charity shop is THRIFT+.This is an online thrift (charity) shop where you get to decide what charity you want to support with your unwanted clothes. Then in buying clothes (all great quality I've shopped there myself a few times) you get to support other charities in return - the charity supported by each clothing item is chosen by the donor of that clothes item. Donating to THRIFT+ is so easy, just order a donation bag, fill it and then drop it off at a collection point to be sent to their warehouse.