I want to do something different this month. I want to bring a change to my routine. I want to make a difference to other people's lives. So I decided I will give my time to help others - I will volunteer for good causes and here are the things I'll try to complete by the end of November 2014.
Assisting at an Event in the Local Community Centre
It turns out the Grovehill Community Centre in Hemel Hempstead are holding a pre-christmas event to raise money for charity on Nov 8. It is a whole day event and they need someone to help out for the day. Since it's an Xmassy theme, it all about kids (face painting, Santa Clause, playarea, arts and crafts) and I've registered myself as a helper.
Status : Accomplished - read my experience about it
Donating My Blood to Help Save Someone's Life
I'm a skinny guy and I've always feared if I donate blood, I will faint afterwards. Anyway, it's time now to change that mentality and since donors from Asian backgrounds are relatively low, I'm sure my blood is much needed.
I've booked an appointment at 13:35 on Nov 15 at the Blood Donor Centre in Luton.
Status : Accomplished - read the whole story.
Helping the Elderly With Their Chores
Many old people do not have the support they need. If I could help them with their shopping, cleaning their garden or taking them somewhere they need to go, that would be really great. However the only opportunity was with the Good Neighbour Scheme in St Albans which required you to be interviewed, get CRB (now DBS) checked and provide references. This was a bit too much effort for me but I still didn't discard it.
However during the Pre-Christmas event at Grovehill Community Centre, I met two elderly women who needed help. Joan was looking for someone who could help her tidy up her garden and Ann was having troubles with her laptop. I offered to help both ladies. This is really a nice coincidence and I'm looking forward to see how that goes.
09 Nov 2014 : The next day after I met Joan, she started tidying up her garden and her neighbour helped her out. In the afternoon on that day, when I called her to say I was coming over, she told me everything was already done but thanked me anyway for offering my help.
Status : Accomplished - read the full story here
Volunteering for Food Collection in Tesco Supermarket
I've signed up for two 3hr shifts at Tesco in Luton on 28 Nov 18:00 - 21:00 and 29 Nov 12:00 - 15:00 where I will be asking shoppers to donate long life products like rice, pasta, tea, coffee etc.
FareShare is organising this event and their mission is to "fight hunger and tackle food waste". Amazingly enough, 5.8 million people in the UK live in deep poverty, making it hard for them to afford every day essentials, including food whilst at the same time, 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food and drink industry.
Status : Accomplished - read the full story here
Making Seriously Ill Children and Their Siblings Smile
I wanted to help sick children in some way but I didn't know how. I researched online and came across the PostPals website which has a list of children who are seriously ill and need some cheering up. All you have to do is send a post to them. It can be a postcard or a little gift if you want.
I've scheduled to do that for 3 children in the third week of November.
Status : Not completed - I procrastinated a lot with this one and when it was the last day of November and I sat down to write the letters, it just didn't feel right to rush it just to complete the challenge. Although I had previously bought 3 cards to send the children and I thought it would take me 3hrs in total to do this, just sending a card was not going to make them smile. I read a story about this little girl and I got to know what she likes and what's been happening in her life as a result of the illness and how other people have sent little things after knowing what she likes, which made her happy. I said to myself if I was to do this properly, I would have to really get to know them to be able to make them smile.
What I Wanted to Achieve With These Challenges
I wanted to put other people first rather than me. Sometimes you don't realise but people tend to get very selfish and don't find time for others at all. If I don't challenge myself to do these things, I'd procrastinate and will end up wasting my time. Hence, I thought about who I wanted to help which were mainly old people and sick children this time round as last month I extended a helping hand to homeless people in London. I then researched opportunities on the Internet to help me with my goals.
My TODO list also included ways to protect the environment (something like neighbourhood cleaning) or help looking after animals but I didn't want to take on too much than I could really handle.
Maybe I will write down 5 good deeds to do every month after this challenge until this becomes part of your life. Some people may think you shouldn't be reminding yourself to do good (it should come naturally) but the truth is that you need to train your mind and stop yourself from getting into a routine where you come first all of the time.