It’s been an exciting July and to close the end of my birth month, I would like to share with you something I enjoy doing: making people happy. 🙂
The post was inspired by my two favourite childhood stories: The Happy Prince (by Oscar Wilde) and The Rainbow Fish (by Marcus Pfister). The main characters in these stories inspired me to become a better person and to serve others.
Here are 10 ideas on what we (mainly the Vancouverites) can do:
1. Donate $ to charity
This is an obvious one but also a difficult thing for many to do. It’s hard enough parting with hard-earned money and how do we know it will be spent wisely? Is donating spare change to a homeless person enough? Or is it better to donate monthly to a charity that will look after the needs of the homeless? The decision is up to you. Give what you can.
- Tithing at church: 10% of your income.
I usually split this and make sure that some will be used for the programmes in helping others (e.g. soup kitchen / shelter), as well as dedicated charities (benevolent – e.g. orphanage in another country).
- Doctors without Borders
- World Vision
- Plan Canada
- Save the Children
- Free the Children
- BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
- Union Gospel Mission
- BC SPCA
- Food Bank – or just donate food!
2. Prepare a present through Operation Christmas Child
Christmas is the season of giving. If you find more joy in shopping for others (rather than just donating money), why not prepare a shoebox of school supplies, toiletries, and toys for a child in a Third World Country?
3. Donate Clothing & Glasses
There are many large clothing bins around neighbourhoods, as well as shelters, for you to donate gently-used clothing. Most of these are for children but adult clothing are also appreciated. As for all those glasses you’ve accumulated? Drop them off at Third World Eye Care Society so that someone else may be able to see. 8)
4. Donate Blood (through Canadian Blood Services)
Consider donating blood. Yes, even if the sight of blood is enough to make you faint. If you’re not sure if you’re able to, drop by a blood donor clinic to see if you’re eligible. Your blood could save someone’s life (due to an accident, surgery, etc.). Think of all the blood types there are.
5. Donate Hair
Some are too happy to part with the dead strings on their head. Others cannot bear to part with their long locks. I was one of the latter and yet I don’t quite understand how I came to go through this process twice (I HATE short hair). Yet if picturing someone who is happier because he/she can wear a wig made of real hair, then it’s worth it. You can have your locks go to women (teens-adults) or to children.
6. Donate Stem Cells & Bone Marrow (through OneMatch)
Calling fellow mixed people and visible minorities!
Currently, there is a great need for ethnic male donors aged 17-35. You could be someone’s match to have a second chance at life.
I have yet to try this but, though I am afraid of pain, I am willing to sign up later.
7. Sign up to donate your organs
This sounds morbid already and actually, I won’t be doing this any time soon but I would consider it when I’m much, much older.
This is an easy one for Canadians because we are already known as a nation of volunteers. Take a break from entertaining yourself and meet new people. Try volunteering at one of these places and learn something new!
- Shelter / soup kitchen – prepare and/or serve food, greet visitors, wash dishes… there’s plenty you can do!
- Great Shoreline Cleanup – keep our cities clean!
- Run For Change – encourage the lower-income communities to go for a walk or run! RFC is now in its 3rd year!
- BC SPCA – animals will brighten your day so why not help them too? Check out the list of volunteer opportunities. This would be great too if you’re not allowed to have pets in your homes.
- hospitals – admin work, telethon, events, etc.
- Canuck Place Children’s Hospice – entertain the children, support the families, help in the office or garden, etc.
9. Mentor others
You’ll be sharing your knowledge and guiding someone, but you’ll learn a lot too! I did something similar to Big Sister in uni and enjoyed it a lot. Be a kid again!
- Big Brother
- Big Sister
- One to One Literacy Society – read to a child or help them with reading. 🙂
- Sunday School – lead children in worship, teach children Bible stories, or simply be there for the children.
10. Spend face time with family & friends
This is something you should already be doing. By face time, I don’t mean FaceTime or Skype. I mean face to face time. Having a real conversation. Lending your ears and giving proper feedback. Giving hugs and kisses. Letting them know they are loved.
There you go! Make someone happy! 🙂