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The office activist

January 2, 2015

Even if I do say so myself, Mandela Day was a raging success in my office. It all started with one email I sent out the to company challenging different departments to donate items to an orphanage I and a colleague had selected. Our smallish company does not have an official Community Service Committee – so someone had to do it.

We collected boxes and boxes full of clothing, food, and toys. It was fantastic. In fact, we collected so much we ended up donating the surplus to a community centre near the orphanage as well.
It was this success that made me realise that a lot of people want to help needy organisations but don’t always know how to or where to. So, considering the bosses didn’t tell me not to send out charitable emails again, I’ve taken the opportunity to “run” my own little charity collection hotspot at my desk.

A few months ago we collected more items (toiletries and treats) for the orphanage and right now I have a box of dog goodies being collected for Barking Mad (www.barkingmad.co.za). This no kill shelter has recently moved properties and deserve some extra help at this stage.

Being an ‘activist” is as simple as sending out an email and a few reminders for the duration of the campaign. I only do one charity at a time because I don’t want people to get overwhelmed. While the donations don’t quite roll in I always have enough to present to the charity at the end. Enough to make a difference.

What I didn’t expect though is other people in the office drawing my attention to different charities and asking if I can send out an email to support them (apparently I’m the unofficial rallier now). This is a great added bonus because it draws my attention to organisations as well. The Barking Mad campaign was suggested by a colleague and so both our names appear on the appeal email. Once this campaign is done I’m going to run a school sock and musical instrument campaign for a very poor school in Ermelo after another colleague told me about the sweet, polite children there who need something as simple as socks. Just something to make their lives a little bit easier and more comfortable.

One email is really all it takes and people who are interested will support you and thereby you all support others. Sometimes good things need to be suggested but it’s well worth it. I challenge you to do the same at your company. I am confident that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people want to help.

P.S. If you want to donate some socks I’d be eternally grateful. There are a lot of kids. Of course I’ll post a follow-up blog post and some pics. Please get in touch.

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One Comment
  1. Thansk so much for this post. Great idea! Most people are willing to give. They just get so mixed up in their day to day activities to think about it.

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