Christmas is not only a time when we celebrate the Christian holiday, meet with our family and friends and sing carols. It’s also an opportunity to think about others and help those less fortunate. ESN prepared for you some examples of actions you can become a part of and thus give some of the Christmas joy back to the world!
Disclaimer: if you want to join one of these activities, but don’t know how - ask your ESN section or Buddy and they will be happy to help.
1. Feed an animal with OLX
How can you help? You can feed homeless dogs just by using your smartphone! All you need to do is click this link. Then you choose a dog or a cat that you want to feed by clicking ‘’NAKARM" button. OLX will then send 20 kg of dog food to the pet of your choosing. It doesn’t cost you anything and you can make sure that those animals are fed and happy every day.
2. Give your hair with Rak’n’Roll
Did you know that in Poland you can help others by giving away your… hair?Rak’n’Roll foundation helps women who struggle with cancer. They distribute wigs for them which are made of hairs given by other people! How can you help? It’s very simple. You just need to find a hairdressing salon that cooperates with the foundation and they will cut them for you. Or you can do it yourself!If you want to join Rak’n’ roll mission here you can find more information here. Who said that when you cut your hair and change your look you couldn’t change someone’s life as well?
3. Szlachetna Paczka (Noble Package)
Every year, before Christmas, Szlachetna Paczka supports disadvantaged families by collecting and buying things they need in everyday life, from things like soap or rice to vacuum cleaners or fridges. Those gifts make the lives of the families much better. Many universities and ESN sections take part in this project each year. Here are some examples from this year: ESN Wrocław United , ESN Kraków United.
4. Wymiana Ciepła (Warmth Exchnge)
The idea is simple! Do you need warmth? Take some clothes. Would you like to help? Leave something on hangers. You can bring clothes that you don’t need anymore and leave them in selected spots. Here you have the list of the places where you can exchange your clothes: click.
If you want to learn more about it, visit Wymiana Ciepła.
5. Food banks
Food banks save food from waste and deliver it to people who need it most. You can donate money directly to the food banks to ensure that poor families will be able to have a meal. However, around Christmas time food banks organise collection of food in many supermarkets. By buying some extra products during your shopping and handing them over to the volunteers you can make a difference!
6. Adopting bees
Have you been thinking about adopting an animal? If the answer is yes, there is a unique chance to adopt… a bee!
Bees are crucial for our environment. Their work ensures the proper functioning of our ecosystems and allows us to enjoy a wide variety of foods. Imagine what would happen if they weren’t present in our world. Currently, bees are exposed to a lot of factors which are slowly leading to their extinction. But you can change their situation!
When you adopt bees your money is used to increase protection of this species in Poland and around the world.
7. Letters to Santa Claus
Christmas without letters for Santa are not real Christmas! And now, you have a chance to send a letter as Santa Claus to someone, who is a member of your family or a friend! At the same time you will donate a small amount of money for children in need.
How does it work? You choose one of the four specially designed graphics and the contents of your letter. You can upload information about addressee to make the letter more personalised. Make a small donation that not only covers the shipping costs, but also helps children who are victims of violence and sexual abuse.
8. Amensty International Write For Rights
Do you remember how to write a letter? Or maybe there has been a long time since you write one? Join Amnesty International and become a part of a group who is spreading knowledge about freedom and human rights. The action is based on the assumption that respect for human rights is a common matter of the whole society. It's a worldwide action that takes place regularly to help those, whose human rights were violated.
9. Collect bottle caps
Collecting plastic caps is the first small step to become environmentally conscious. It’s real easy and doesn’t take much effort, but it can make a difference!
Collecting caps has a double meaning - with the money received from recycling companies, wheelchairs, rehabilitation equipment and other devices are bought (it depends on the foundation that collects the caps). In addition, it helps to protect the environment. Plastic from bottle caps can be easily processed into a buckets, shovels or rubbish bags. Ask at your university or local ESN section and they will surely point you in the right direction to deliver your caps.
10. Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity)
We’ve saved the biggest event for last. At the beginning of each year Poland becomes full of people wearing stickers with red hearts on them. It means they’ve donated to one of the most impactful charities in our country - WOŚP! The foundation raises money for hospital equipment for children. The whole initiative revolves around the themes of unity, love and lack of hate. To know more check here. And stay tuned for more info about it, cause something’s coming!
If any of those initiatives speak to you, participate! It doesn’t take much and gives so much in return. A sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, but more importantly - a better world. Maybe it can become a part of your New Year’s Resolutions? Ask you ESN section or Buddy for help if you need any and they will do it with a smile! After all, we’re volunteers as well.
Written by Emilia Baczewska & Aleksandra Kulesza