Want to make a difference in your community? Claire Barnardo shows you how to get involved.
To change the world you don’t need to make big gestures. Simply do one good act at a time, and you can set great things in motion and be an example to others.
Charity does begin at home. Start by sorting through your cupboards. Collect any clothes, shoes, or appliances that you haven’t used in the last year and that are still in good working condition. Contact your local charity organisation and donate them to a better cause. Get your kids involved and ask them to put aside any toys and books they no longer love, to give to an orphanage or hospital unit.
- Bin it
The next step is to get involved in recycling your refuse. Remember this slogan: reduce, reuse, recycle. All you need to do is set up a simple set of dustbins at home. You can label or colour-code them according to what is stored in them: paper, glass, tin, and plastic. Make sure you rinse out the containers before you recycle them. Then when your bins are full, drop them off at a collection site in your area.
- Helping hand
Why not volunteer your time to organisations that need extra help? Whether it’s serving food, visiting an orphanage or old-age home, or sharing your special skills, you will be adding to your community hands-on. Encourage your children to get involved in any community projects at school.
- Plant a tree
The best way to reduce your impact on the environment is to find something that absorbs carbon dioxide and turns it into oxygen. You know what that means? Plant a tree! Studies show that it takes 16 trees to supply the oxygen for one person’s life, depending on the size and lifespan of the trees, and the lifestyle and carbon footprint of the person.
Need a quick fix?
- Save electricity – did you know that tumble dryers use the most electricity? Use fresh air and sunshine to dry your clothes whenever possible.
- Pick up litter in your neighbourhood and encourage your neighbours to do the same.
- Support your local shops and buy fresh fruit and vegetables as locally as possible.
Want to get involved in the diabetes community? Here’s what you can do.
5 Steps to starting your own support group:
If you don’t have a support group in your area and you want to start one, here’s what you need to do!
- Spread the word: tell everyone you know with diabetes in your area, post on our Facebook page and blog, and put up notices in the community and even in the local newspaper.
- Find a suitable space that you can hold the meetings (for free).
- Find a diabetes educator or a clinic sister who can be at each meeting to answer questions.
- Get some diabetic-friendly snacks and free Sweet Life magazines.
- Meet once a month to support each another.
And finally, educate others too! Sometimes getting involved is as easy as being honest about diabetes.
Let us know (in the comments) if you’ve started a support group, and we’ll spread the word on the Diabetic South Africans Facebook page.