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About Everything Wiki » Inspiration » Alternative giving makes you happier. We tell you what it is and how you can participate in it

Alternative giving makes you happier. We tell you what it is and how you can participate in it

14 Jan 2024, 00:00, parser
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What is an alternative donation

This is a greeting format, when people give pleasant things not to each other, but to those who need it. Companies and just people who care can send money to foundations, collect gift boxes or buy things needed for charities.

The concept of an alternative gift can be appropriate for any holiday: birthday, Christmas, wedding. So, the most high-profile case of solemn charity was the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2011. The future spouses asked everyone who wants to make them happy with a gift to send money to the wedding fund. As a result, they managed to collect The Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund — Over 1 million pounds raised to benefit Royal Wedding Charities / more than a million pounds, which were distributed to 26 foundations and organizations after the ceremony. By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge personally chose the recipients of the help.

This approach to holidays is actively developing in Europe and the USA. In recent years, a trend has formed in many families The Joy of No-Gift Christmas / The Atlantic on the confrontation of pre-Christmas commerce. People refuse to buy unnecessary souvenirs and send free funds to help those in need. Someone makes do with very modest, symbolic presents, and someone creates new family traditions: gather for lunch, go to a museum or devote time to thinking about the religious side of the holiday.

In Russia, alternative donation is still gaining momentum. Largely due to the work of NGOs. For example, the Charity Instead of Souvenirs campaign is supported by the Mercy help service, the Love Syndrome, Gift of Life foundations and many others.

What is good about such an experience

Image: Irina Strelnikova / Shutterstock / Lifehacker

In addition to the obvious benefits that alternative donation brings to those in need, there is a more subtle one.

In one study TDL Brief: The Psychology Behind Charity / The Decision Lab a group of people were given a certain amount and asked to answer two questions: what happens if you spend this money on yourself or give it to someone else. The scientists assessed the emotional response during the responses and found out an interesting thing: although the participants predicted that they would get more pleasure by spending everything on themselves, in fact, a stronger positive response was observed when they gave money.

Doing charity activates Five Ways Giving Is Good for You / Greater Good Magazine brain regions associated with pleasure, social connections, and trust. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins, causing a positive feeling known as a "helper high." Therefore, it is safe to say that alternative donation makes not only the recipient of the help happier, but also the main actor.

How to participate in New Year's charity

First, you can find out who else shares your ideas. You can collect a gift for someone in need on your own or in a fold with a friend, but if, say, your management decides to abandon New Year's merch and corporate events, you will be able to make more than one person happy. When you decide on the amount, you can move on.

To help a small non-profit organization or foundation

There are many NGOs and volunteer initiatives in Russia that are engaged in good deeds, but do not have sufficient funding. For example, they help the homeless, treat street animals, and provide support to victims of violence. You can choose any organization whose values are close to you. However, before transferring money, make sure that the website has reports on the funds spent: This is important so as not to run into scammers.

To support an orphanage, a boarding school for the elderly or a hospice

Such institutions rarely refuse outside help. But experts warn What is the right way to help children from orphanages? Checklist / Higher School of Economics : there is no need to make gifts on holidays. The wards will most likely receive gifts and sweets from sponsors without you. It is better to transfer donations to specialized projects. For example, you can find targeted fees for educational courses or organization of psychological assistance for children.

If you do not trust aggregators, you can do it easier and call the administration of the institution you like. They will tell you exactly what money is needed for at the moment. By the way, the same can be done not only with regard to orphanages, but also boarding schools for the elderly or hospices. As a rule, such organizations welcome donations for medicines and medical supplies.

Collect the necessary things for families in need or fulfill a childhood dream

Image: Irina Strelnikova / Shutterstock / Lifehacker

If there is not a lot of holiday money, you can act targeted. For example, ask colleagues or friends if anyone knows families who need help. Buy groceries or sweets, stationery or toys and just hand them over with pleasant wishes.

If you have an impressive amount, you can transfer it to one of the charitable foundations that deal with the problems of such families. You can find a specific one, for example, on the website of the Mayor of Moscow. Moreover, there are organizations that help all over the country, not just in the capital.

Another cool initiative that is being picked up by more and more charitable organizations is letters to Santa Claus. Let's say you don't want money to be spent on utilitarian things like groceries and utility bills on a holiday. You can look for targeted fees that will be used to fulfill children's desires: someone will be given a smart speaker, someone a night light or a hat with the logo of their favorite hockey team. So in a couple of minutes, using keywords, we managed to find an action from Mercy in Kazan and a large gathering of the Russian Red Cross.

Participate in a festive charity event

For sure, there will be more than one local event in your city. They are often organized by religious communities, charity shops and even small catering establishments. There are different formats. For example, one of the most popular is the purchase of a certificate. This is how it works. One person buys a certificate "as a gift" to another, making a donation on his behalf to a charity organization. There are also markets where they sell things made by special children and adults. The money earned at such fairs goes to the development of educational or social projects for the wards.

Now a large-scale campaign "New Year in every home" is taking place all over the country. Absolutely anyone can take part in it: give gifts to those in need, volunteer for holidays in hospitals or social institutions, or fulfill a child's dream on the website.RF.

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