G is for . . .
There are so many ways we can practise generosity. We can be generous with our time, whether that’s volunteering, spending time with loved ones or lending and ear to a troubled friend. We can be generous with our possessions – donating money or unwanted items to charity, handing them down to someone else who needs them or would love them more than we did. We can even be generous with our own bodies – from donating blood to surrogacy. But today, we’re kicking things off with being generous towards ourselves…
Start with you
It’s so important for our own wellbeing, and yet it’s something that many of us forget to do. There are so many ways you can be generous towards yourself, but it often starts with just giving yourself a little time. That’s right, we’re taking about that age old classic – ‘you time’. ‘You time’ doesn’t have to mean soaking in a luxurious bubble bath for hours on end (although it absolutely can mean that!), so we’ve come up with a little list to help you get started.
You want to donate, but you’re not sure where to start
2020 has been a tough year for, well, everyone. People and communities across the country have stepped-up to support each other and the most vulnerable in society in all sorts of ways - by volunteering their time, delivering shopping, picking up prescriptions for a neighbour, the whole shebang. In short, by really pulling together in a time when we must be kept apart. But, if you’re able and want to, you can also donate to some fantastic charities who are helping us fight the good fight.
Just Giving have put together a helpful breakdown of charities who are directly working to overcome the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Take a look at their chosen charities here: www.justgiving.co.uk/howtohelp
‘The man who dies rich, dies disgraced’
Andrew Carnegie. You may well have heard his name before, or at least the ‘Carnegie’ part. But perhaps you don’t know much about the man who has given his name to so many charitable trusts, organisations, initiatives and buildings.
Originally from Dunfermline, Scotland, Andrew was born into a family of very modest means who emigrated to the United States when he was just 12 years old. Through hard work and not a small amount of initiative, he worked his way up from bobbin-boy in a textile factory to become one of the world’s most successful industrialists, earning much of his vast fortune in steel production.
After selling his company at the age of 66, he devoted the last 18 years of his life to philanthropy, giving away $350 million (that’s roughly $5.2 billion by today’s standard) to charities, foundations, and universities – equating to around 90% of his fortune.
One of his main contributions to society was the funding of free libraries, over 2,800 worldwide with around 660 in the UK, and one of these is here in Devon - Bideford Library is housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building established in 1905 as a gift from the famous library benefactor Andrew Carnegie.
Chloe’s top book recommendations
The lovely Chloe from Sidmouth Library has hand-picked a selection of her favourite books that feature strong themes of generosity. A selection of children's and adult books with either a generous theme or character running through it.
Everybody’s favourite footballer
It’s not uncommon for those who’ve made it big to dabble in philanthropy – however, there are those who campaign with a fierce passion that can only come from experience of hardship.
Even if you’re not into football, you’ve probably heard of Marcus Rashford, the 23-year-old footballer who is making waves with his work and campaigns for children living in poverty. Now an MBE thanks his charitable campaigning, this year Marcus Rashford has twice persuaded the government to take a U-turn on their decisions around free school meals for vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic.
And now the footballer has teamed up with Macmillan Children's Books to promote reading and literacy. Macmillan said the scheme would see a large number of books being given away to children from vulnerable and under-privileged backgrounds.
Kudos to you, Marcus, for using your platform to inspire change.
Campaign to feed vulnerable children: