We all go through hard times, we all experience the stress of emergencies, illness and just plain bad luck. However, more often than not, someone always has it worse off – and one day that someone could be you.

Supporting a good cause isn’t just about donating small change. It’s everything from messages of hope on social media, raising awareness, doing something for nothing and, most importantly, making a difference. For some people, the light of a sunrise is only a sign of another day of hardship and struggle. If we can make that person’s day just a fraction better, through whatever means of support, then it’s 100% worth it.

Research shows that giving generously and participating in volunteer work makes us happier, evokes gratitude, promotes social connection and decreases stress levels, improving our overall health and longevity.

With the word “charity” comes a negative stigma that supporting good causes are either too much effort, a scam, or that they’re somehow above the people that certain charities support. First of all, buying a $2 raffle ticket to win an awesome prize and also raise funds for a worthy organisation isn’t that much effort, is it? Recycling or donating your old things is ridiculously easy, so why not give your stuff a second life? Even your Christmas shopping can support a worthy cause!

As for being a scam, there’s a lot of processes that organisations have to go through to become a registered charity, including providing evidence of what they have achieved with the donated funds. Particularly with charities that support cancers and illnesses, the money goes towards research for finding a cure, financial support for patients who are suffering, equipment and facilities, as well as marketing and promotional materials for special events and merchandise.

The fact that some people in the world think that they’re better than the people in which some charities support, particularly those aiding homelessness, is just disgusting. What if one day you needed help? What if your house burnt down in a fire and you lost everything and relied on the generosity of the public? What if you develop an incurable and debilitating disease that doesn’t receive any government funding or support? No matter who you are, where you come from, or how well-off you may be, everyone needs a little bit of help sometimes.

(Photo: mamamia.com.au)

There’s a saying, many hands make light work. Raising money is a bit like that. If I can door-knock for a few hours to a few hundred people, and they all donate a dollar or two, that’s a big chunk of money going to someone that deserves it, through a trusted charity, all from the generosity of the community.

If I am able to financially support someone in need who I know will use the money for good, whether it be with $1 or $100, I am happy to donate if I’m in a financially stable place myself. If I have the skills, experience or platform to benefit an individual or charity and bring awareness to something I believe deserves support, I will.

Whether through volunteering my precious days off work to door-knock for a charity, organising fundraising events with my local community radio station, or simply donating some cash, I’ve always tried to find the time, the effort, and the heart to do my bit in helping those that need a hand.

I believe that you get back what you give in the world – maybe not straight away, and maybe not all at once. Either way, being able to look back on my life in many years’ time, I’d like to think I’ve been a reasonably decent, kind and caring person, and maybe even changed a life or two for the better.