Business/Charity Mix

Ever sat at home and watched a charity advert?

They tend to be depressing. Moreover, how many people actually donate after watching a charity advert? Not me.

I’m no monster with a heart made of rock, but I rarely feel like giving money to charity is enough and prefer action for charity as opposed to sending a blank cheque to an office and hoping it goes to the people who need it. Having said that, I’m sure the money does go to the people in need, but what’s the use of money going to the people in need when the public is apprehensive about sending charities their hard earned cash?

One thing that I have recently been thinking about is a way to mix businesses, customers and charity work together. Businesses and companies use clever marketing ideas all the time but when they enhance business whilst giving to charity and making a difference, you could argue that businesses have essentially found gold dust.

Here are two examples of calling the general public to give to charity:

Innocent Knitwear!

Innocent Drinks: Big Knit

Innocent Drinks: Big Knit

The first Business/Charity Mix I will look at is the recent Innocent Drinks partnership with Age UK. For those that do not know, Age UK is a charity which aims to improve the lives of the elderly. Although we are only just reaching the end of November, the British weather has been particularly cold this year and unfortunately this means that the elderly population of Britain will be under threat from diseases and deaths related to the cold. Every year there are over 20,000 cold-related deaths during the Winter months (December-March) compare to other times during the year and Age UK have so far achieved much success in providing blankets and other forms of help to the elderly population of Britain.

This idea, by the wonderfully creative marketing team at Innocent Drinks, is a great way to mix fun, a bit of knitting and charity work together whilst continuing to make money from selling their products.

Make sure you wrap yourself, your drink and some lovely grandparents up with an awesome woolly hat this Winter, because it is getting cold…Brr!

Humble Bundle!

The second Business/Charity Mix I want to share with you is something called the Humble Bundle. It does exactly what the title says it is. The Humble Bundle site is one for anyone interested in purchasing top games for a cheap price whilst having the option to pay whatever you wish to whoever you wish.

Sounds amazing right?

It is.

Not only can you purchase at the price you wish, you can choose to give the money to developers, the website that runs this idea or to a charitable cause. Furthermore, Humble Bundle allows you to split the money you are paying to all three of these stakeholders!

So take a look at it. Currently they have a Games Bundle deal that is worth checking out before the time runs out!

That is how you do business, engage customers and help charity!

Reading – Fight Against Poverty?

My previous reblog got me thinking about the power of reading and the significance it has in our lives.

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the art of reading and its ability to transport me to existent and nonexistent places. Reading was seen as a way to exercise my imagination and appease my large appetite to wonder about new worlds and ideas. Reading is my first true love.

Me and my lover

Although my romantic, childish love for reading has by no means depleted through the years, my practical mind does however, understand the importance and wider impacts of the ability to read now more than ever.

Reading frees the mind from the chains of ignorance and develops a reader’s ability to not only understand new ideas, but analyse them critically too.

So why is this important? What can this achieve?

Imagine you are stuck in a shanty town, say Dharavi in Mumbai, and you are living in a hut like this:

Dharavi Slum, Mumbai

It’s overcrowded, dirty and the sewage system is open so that diseases spread easily.

In this situation many families are stuck in a cycle where they must find any job they can so they are able to survive and see another day. There is no time to go to school because you are needed to work and earn a couple of Rupees so that your family can have at least one meal a day. When you are stuck in a cycle like this, you are more than likely to remain in the cycle, because your mind is focused on short-term survival as opposed to seeking long-term sustainable solutions.

At this point, if you had basic language skills, you could read the news, learn about the developments of the world outside the slum and realise that there are solutions; realise that life CAN get better.

Just knowing that can transform the way you think and act.

You create your own ideas by borrowing other ideas and slowly, bit by bit, you give youself a chance to escape poverty.

I am by no means claiming reading is the one and only solution to ending poverty, but the ability to read is certainly a small and quite easily accessible step towards transforming lives.

Charities such as READ International are doing a fantastic job at spreading books, knowledge and ideas around the world. May it continue until every person on this planet has the ability to read.

~Arise knowledge-proletariats, break the chains of your minds and free yourself from ignorance~

How Room to Read Changed My Life

portraits of addiction

I will always think of 2007 as the year that changed my life.  I was 25 years old, a two-time college drop-out, and in a mentally and emotionally controlling relationship.  I partied a lot, barely saw my friends or my family and had completely lost focus of who I was and what I wanted to achieve in life.  I went to work and I went home.  I was lost in a spiral of depression I didn’t know how to climb out of, that is assuming, of course, that I could even figure out where to begin.  I had completely lost sight of who I was and what I wanted from my life.  The only time I ever felt any escape from the dark hole I had dug for myself was when I picked up a book and began to read.  No matter what was going on in my life I…

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