December is an exciting month for many, as twinkling lights start softening the dark evenings and people gear up for festive fun and time with family but it can also be a tough period for a lot of people; something we forget when caught up in our own worlds and the Christmas buzz. December 20th marks International Human Solidarity Day – a time to think of others, share your wealth or time, and take action to help people in need.
International Human Solidarity Day (IHSD) is observed every year to promote the importance of sharing, to celebrate our unity in diversity and also as a day to take action and support initiatives that aim to combat and eradicate poverty. Empathy towards others encourages us all to act in solidarity, but also promotes the idea of justice and equality for everyone.
So, how can you show solidarity? Here are just a few ideas:
Give some of your time – whether a few days or just a few hours – to organisations who rely on help from volunteers to keep running. At this time of year, there are plenty of opportunities, including supporting homeless people with Crisis at Christmas, volunteering at your local food bank, working in a charity shop, helping at a local youth centre, coming together to combat loneliness amongst older people with Age UK, and so much more. You can maximise your skills and even offer IT or marketing support to a charity like the Samaritans if you can’t commit to being one of the helpline’s listening volunteers.
- Participate in charity events
From Christmas Jumper Day, to training for half marathons (and everything in between), there are a host of events and activities you can participate in to support charities and those in need. Or, why not set up your own fundraiser with friends, family or work colleagues? Take your pick from cake sales, coffee mornings, Christmas quizzes, a festive movie marathon, winter walk, crafting afternoon, or you could even offer a gift-wrapping service to friends and co-workers for a small donation.
If you can’t spare any time, there are so many amazing charitable organisations that would be extremely grateful for any kind of monetary support. Whether you want to offer solidarity with people suffering across the globe by supporting UNICEF; want to stand against hate, racism and inequality by donating to the Stephen Lawrence Foundation; give young homeless people a future with Centrepoint; or help create magical gardens at hospices that can be enjoyed by children with life-limiting illnesses and their families, with Greenfingers, there is a wealth of important work you can help to fund.
- Donate goods, food, clothing or tools
Spread Christmas joy with a fun-filled shoebox via Operation Christmas Child, give to your local foodbank, which provides emergency food and support to people locked in poverty; donate toiletries and new or preloved clothes, toys, and baby equipment to Sebby’s Corner to help build family care packages for children’s centres and refuges; or find your nearest Salvation Army donation bank and drop off any clothing, footwear, belts, bags, bed linen and towels to help the charity continue to support vulnerable people within the UK.
- Make more conscious and responsible choices
Remember, the decisions you make, the products you consume and the waste you generate impact others; either close to home or thousands of miles away across the world. The waste we send to landfill will still be there, polluting the environment, for generations to come. Meanwhile, tonnes of single-use plastics that can’t be recycled in the UK are shipped out to developing countries that lack sufficient disposal infrastructure and have high rates of pollution and poverty. This plastic waste pollutes waterways, can be burned illegally, spewing out toxic fumes and having a hugely detrimental effect on the lives of locals and wildlife.
Make a change for good by reducing the amount of plastic you use and buy, opt for recycled products or those that can be recycled and re-used, limiting their impact on the environment. Support organisations like Plastic Bank, which has set up recycling centres in Haiti, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, and the Philippines, helping to turn plastic waste into currency and giving people a way out of poverty, whilst preventing plastic pollution from entering the waterways. The game-changing result, Social Plastic® is then sold back into the supply chain for manufacturers to produce more environmentally- and socially-ethical products. Yes, recycled plastic already exists but this has the added social benefit of support impoverished communities.
LifestyleGarden® is pledging its own support for the incredible Plastic Bank initiative by utilising the ground-breaking Social Plastic® in its newest range. As a company that strives to make a difference in this world, LifestyleGarden® felt Social Plastic was the natural choice for its latest launch. That’s why it has teamed up with Plastic Bank to create a brand new version of one of the iconic collections, made exclusively from Social Plastic®. Coming soon for 2022…
There are so many fantastic charities you can support to show your solidarity to others, particularly over the Christmas period. However, whilst the December 20th is the perfect excuse to encourage sharing and unity; showing solidarity shouldn’t be confined to just one day – it should be something we do all year.
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