“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela
You heard that “Mandela Day” was coming up, and you’ve been looking for a few ways that you can make a difference with your 67 minutes this year? We’ve got you covered with over 70 different ideas.
Wait… what is Mandela Day?
When Nelson Mandela’s birthday [18 July] was declared Nelson Mandela International Day [in recognition of our former President’s commitment to human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation]… Nelson turned it into an opportunity to make a difference.
Why 67 Minutes for Mandela Day?
He knew that if he could inspire people to take a small act of kindness – there would be a bigger ripple of change.
So he had a simple ask, give back 67minutes of your time.
But why 67 minutes? He’s asking us all to take1 minute for each year that he spent fighting for justice, equality and human rights for all.
So how does Mandela Day apply to business?
You may have noticed that many businesses are getting involved in Mandela Day. More than a “trend”, or “the done thing” – here are some reasons why getting involved, benefits your business…
What are some of the benefits of having your business get involved in #MandelaDay?
- You’re able to feed back into the community that supports you.
- You can write off the investment to CSI [Corporate Social Investment]
- It’s a fun way to incorporate a bit of team building
- Giving back is always great PR.
- It’s a great way to build your internal brand [after all, who doesn’t want to work for a company that does a lot of good]
- Clients love [and support] a company that cares
- Oh… and you get to change someone’s life / do some good.
A comprehensive list of 70+ ways that you can use your 67 Minutes to make a difference this Mandela Day!
Here are a couple of things you can do – within the sector that appeals most to you:
Food security [and clothing]
- Donate clothes to a homeless shelter
- Make “We Care” kits with combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste shampoo, etc. for the homeless
- Organise a canned food drive
- Organise a blanket drive
- As an office, make sandwiches to hand out to the homeless
- Serve food at a soup kitchen
- Cook food for an orphanage or shelter
- Bake a birthday cake for a disadvantaged child
- Organise a dinner with your friends to benefit a charity
- Organise a tea party for care givers
- Put together dry food packs
- Contribute clothes and blankets to Salvation Army
- Cook dinner and hang out with grandmothers taking care of HIV/AIDS grandchildren
- Organise a collection [of toothpaste, soap, biscuits] for the elderly
- Pick up groceries or medicine for an elderly person
- Knit a blanket for a friend in need [Constantia Villiage & Seattle Coffee Co had a drive to “knit a square of a blanket” option to help you get involved]
- Knit a jersey for a child who doesn’t have one
- Bake cookies and take them to a police station for the police officers working grave yard shifts
- Take Water and snack bars to your local fire station when they are fighting fires to keep you safe.
Literacy & Education
- Impart your knowledge onto some youth’s in disadvantaged areas, like this one, and this one
- Partner with a Principle at a struggling school – through here
- Teach at an adult literacy centre
- Donate school supplies… here is a cool way [thanks HumanWrit.es] that you can do it!
- Teach at Sunday school
- Get involved in a youth program
- Donate books to your local library
- Collect and distribute children’s books to local elementary schools
- Start a book club in your area
- Donate old magazines to a home for retired people
- Visit an old age home and read to them [or be brave and organise to sing at / or host a dance for them!]
- Coach a children’s sports team
- Teach a senior friend how to use a computer and the Internet
- Tutor a student that needs help learning English
- Volunteer to teach young children to read
- Donate your old computer to a school
- Teach a dance class at a nursery school
- Mentor a young person
- Offer to attend a high school class to talk to students about your career [This is on my plan!]
- Learn to be a peer counsellor
- Write a letter to an editor about an issue you care about
- Blog about a charity that needs support [YAY… I ticked this one off my list;P]
- Write an elected official about an issue you care about
- Use your skills [finance, marketing, customer service] to help a charity run more efficiently.
Service and volunteerism
- Learn first aid
- Organise a fundraising event for your favourite charity
- Give blood
- Go and hold an abandoned nunu
- Do a sponsored walk/hike/swim
- Help out and an abused women’s shelter
- Become an organ donor
- Donate money to your favourite charity [I kinda like kiva as it works with entrepreneurs]
- Visit the oncology unit at your local hospital and play with the children
- Hold a teddy bear drive for abused children [or join this one]
- Visit a local safe house and read to children
- Donate time at a local rotary club
- Volunteer on a hotline [like lifeline], or run a wellness course
- Volunteer at your local youth center
- Baby-sit for a single parent
- Become a volunteer firefighter or EMT
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Adopt a pet from your local animal shelter
- Walk a neighbour’s dog or pet sit while they are on holiday
- Rake leaves, or wash windows for a senior citizen
- Go for a walk with a senior citizen in your community
- Give up your seat on the bus or train to someone
Shelter and infrastructure
- Set up a recycling system for your home
- Pick up litter – on the beach, in the street, in your local park
- Create a campaign to encourage car sharing to work
- Plant a garden or tree where the whole neighborhood can enjoy it
- Plant a vegetable garden – and donate the fruit of your labour
- Build a playground with your workmates for an underprivileged school
- Offer to mow the grass at a school park
- Fix things at a local school [paint, fix broken windows]
- Remove graffiti [unless it’s a beautiful landmark in the making;P]
- Help build a home with Habitat for Humanity
- Walk/hop on your bicycle instead of taking your car
Be Kind… and Smile at everyone you see…