In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering for organisations like the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and the SPCA. A lot of organisations like these run Street Appeals, where people can donate money into buckets that you’re holding outside of stores like Countdown and Mitre10. You may be thinking, “Hmm, I don’t know about that. I don’t like harassing people for money”. Well, let me ease your mind – as someone who is collecting in a Street Appeal, we are asked not to approach people. Instead, we let people come to us, which I think this is really important because no one wants to be pressured into donating!
I usually sign up to the Street Appeals with a friend and we do a two-hour block of collecting. We usually make a day of it and either have breakfast or lunch together as well (depending on the time). We spend most of the time chatting away with each other and to those who donate. It’s quite interesting to see the different conversations you can have with those who choose to donate. Sometimes it can be a real eye-opener, as the person shares their personal connection with the organisation.
It is such an awesome and easy way to give back to others with a low level of commitment. I wanted to get into volunteering for years (specifically at the SPCA) but realised I didn’t have the time to commit to regular volunteering, so signing up for things like the Street Appeals (and other cool one-off events like the Cancer Society’s Walking with the Stars half marathon), I am able to volunteer my time on an irregular basis – win-win!! Why do this? Well, to be honest, it makes me feel good! As I say, it is such an easy way to give back to others, so I think the more important question is “Why not?”. I have found over the years that taking care of myself includes doing things for others and this is just one way that I achieve that.
That being said, this won’t suit everyone. If you want to help out but Street Appeals don’t sound too appealing for you, then perhaps look into other things that you could do – like bake cupcakes for the SPCA Cupcake Appeal or look into volunteering at the Starship Hospital. Whatever way you choose to give back, the organisations and those they serve will appreciate it 😊