You’ve probably heard that old saying a million times over, ‘’It’s always better to give than to receive’’. While it should certainly be something we should all strive to do, there are also ways to give back financially even when receiving. With the year winding to a close, this is certainly as good a time as any to take a minute’s pause in between every swipe of our Credit Card and start thinking about making a difference to the lives of the less fortunate amongst us.
While you don’t necessarily have to give up your spending habits and start distributing your wealth to all and sundry (although that would be quite a noble act on your part), we’d like to recommend a few ways through which you can actually benefit people in need without making major alterations to your lifestyle.
Turn That Frown Upside Down
We’ve all probably used BookMyShow at one time or another to book tickets to movies, sporting events or music festivals. If you haven’t, then the BookASmile initiative undertaken by BookMyShow should give you good reason to purchase your tickets through its online portal.
The BookASmile initiative was launched with the aim of uplifting and enriching the underprivileged sections of the country by providing them with opportunities to grow and involve themselves in fields like music, sports, theatre and the arts. Every time you book a ticket through BookMyShow, you can donate up to Rs. 5 towards this cause, regardless of how many tickets you buy.
BookASmile looks to encourage the youth from the poorer and deprived sections of society to be a part of its ‘Earn and Learn’ initiative. Through this, young adults from disadvantaged communities are given opportunities to intern with BookMyShow at various events, which in turn helps expose them to better and more challenging work opportunities in future.
So, the next time you’re planning on heading out to a movie, a cricket match or something similar, make a booking through this portal with your Debit or Credit Card, or whichever mode of payment you prefer, and help make a positive change to the lives of others.
Additional Reading: Online Shopping: Safety Checklist
Turn Over A New Leaf
Looking to head out into the countryside for some much needed rest and relaxation? Well, here’s your chance to get into the spirit of giving while you’re at it.
Legreen Hotels and Resorts offer environmentally friendly accommodation to tourists and travellers from all around the world, as well as a host of activities and cuisines that are unique to the immediate locality. This chain of resorts also encourages guests to be a part of their green program, which places great importance on the benefits of recycling and reduction of waste. In addition, all Legreen branches ensure that energy is conserved through solar heating, wind energy and even rainwater harvesting.
The resorts also support local communities by sourcing organic food products from around the area, and also provides employment to trained local people. Tourists, both Indian and foreign, can also intern for up to 6 months to take part in local projects, making it the ideal setting for anyone who wants to give something back to the planet as well as the local populace.
Additional Reading: The Benefits Of Going Green
There’s Magic In The Air
The next time you book airline tickets to wherever it is you’re planning on travelling to, maybe you could consider flying Jet Airways and give yourself the opportunity to contribute to their Magic Box in-flight fund collection programme.
Through this programme, the airline raises sizeable funds annually, which contributes significantly towards natural disaster relief work, health and education of underprivileged children, woman empowerment and the fight against women and child trafficking.
This project, in association with Save the Children India, has also funded rehabilitation and health facilities to people affected by the horrific earthquake that devastated Sastur Village in Maharashtra in 1993.
So, if you happen to book yourself onto a Jet Airways flight over the coming holidays, donate towards this programme and help fill someone’s life with a bit of magic.
Additional Reading: Magic In The Palm Of Your Hands
Smile An Everlasting Smile
With Christmas looming over the horizon, you’re probably up to your eyeballs in shopping lists. After all, you can’t really avoid swiping your Credit Card during this time of the year if you want to keep your friends and loved ones happy. However, if you’re big on online shopping, especially through Amazon, then you could certainly put a smile on the face of someone less fortunate than you.
The ‘Gift A Smile’ program run by Amazon gives you an opportunity to support online charities everytime you make a purchase through the Amazon online portal. All you need to do is scroll down on the Amazon home page and click on the ‘Gift A Smile’ link, which will tell you everything you need to know about the charities you can donate to.
In fact, these aren’t just ordinary donations. You can choose to ‘gift’ certain items like light bulbs, fans, blankets, clothing, furniture, etc. by simply buying them online. These items will then be sent to the respective charity or school that needs them the most. In addition, you can also sign up to a charity of your choice and contribute to children’s education, protection, health and skill development. You can also choose to contribute to charities that deal with terminally-ill children, senior citizens, differently-abled persons and even animal welfare.
So, while you’re busy ticking things off your shopping list this Christmas, take some time out to send some festive cheer to someone who really needs it.
Additional Reading: How To Use Digital Wallets Effectively For Online Transactions
What You Give Is What You Get
If you’re looking for a place that literally embodies the concept of ‘giving while receiving’, then look no further than the increasingly popular Seva Café. If you happen to be in any of the big Indian cities on one of your many jaunts across the country, make sure you stop over to savour their range of mouth-watering dishes. With branches in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Pune, Mumbai and even the United States, this restaurant boasts the unique feature of a menu with no prices. That’s right! The meal you eat is a ‘gift’, paid for by someone who happened to dine at the same restaurant before you.
All you need to do is keep this chain going and make a contribution towards the meal of the next person that comes along. The café aims to promote generosity and trust among people, and encourages customers to share the joys of giving unconditionally.
But, it doesn’t just end there. All transactions that take place are completely transparent and any and all profits are utilised to keep social service programmes and projects afloat. Certainly something to keep in mind if you find yourself looking for some scrumptious food on your travels.
While these are just a few avenues through which you can make a difference, you could always keep an eye out for causes you can support while you shop or dine at your favourite haunts. As Winston Churchill once said, ‘’we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’’.
Additional Reading: Putting The Smile On Rural Poor – Literally!