Solidarity Being supportive involves caring about the well-being of others and taking the choice to act and collaborate to achieve it. Solidarity is to assume the cause of others as their own, existing the personal, political and social.
Unfortunately, in these times, we live thousands of social conflicts and wars fruit of social inequalities and lack of freedoms.
Despite living in the 21st century, and having sufficient resources for all the people of the world, not all people have them, and for this we must contribute to the distribution as citizens we are.
We are accustomed to being filled with the soul of solidarity on dates marked as Christmas, in which we all overturn with family and friends, and at some time or other our hearts soften and we give something to the people who live in the street, but what about the rest of the year? What happens in the rest of the year? Does not people live on the street, starving, cold, calamities, social exclusion, among other things?
Well, that said, considering we are more than 7 billion people in the world, putting all our little bit of sand we could get a lot.
10 Steps to be supportive throughout the year
- Make solidarity contributions
In every city there are a lot of charitable projects with which you can contribute, either in a timely way because it takes you in the middle of the street, or permanently – meeting you or engaging you – to contribute a fixed amount as happens with sponsorship.
An interesting fact for the most distrustful is the comfortable forms of payment that currently exist. In them you can do the paperwork from home using the internet, thus avoiding donations in hand (which may worry you if you do not reach your destination).
- Sharing, happiness is double
Luckily, there are many ways to help those people – who by circumstances – to-day live in the street, or in shelters.
For those who can afford it, a fantastic option is to make a double purchase. That is, one for you and one for a disadvantaged person or family. What better help than food itself?
Another option – on a smaller scale – but very significant is the pending coffee. The pending coffee is nothing more than to leave paid in the cafeteria a coffee of more for someone who does not have resources to be able to pay it. In this way, even a person with no resources can drink something hot throughout the day. This measure of pending coffee was popularized in the Italian city of Naples, and has subsequently spread to other areas of the country and Europe.
- Contribute with what you can
Many of us – although we do not want to recognize it at times – we have clothes left in our closet. We accumulate and accumulate garments that we do not throw for pain, or simply for laziness, and are piled up without using it. In fact, many times we do not know what they are doing out there because we thought we had already thrown them.
There are many NGOs and solidarity campaigns that are responsible for the collection of used clothing that we no longer want. Often, these clothes are in perfect condition and can be sold in thrift stores, thereby raising cash for solving social problems.
The largest percentage of these garments is intended for small African merchants to revive the local economy. Another important percentage of the clothing we donate is worn, or unusable, so that it is recycled through specialized companies.
NGOs and other organizations involved in solidarity projects do a task as hard as it is useful for society.
Donating clothes is one of the most viable options for people who do not have many resources, and can collaborate by offering things they no longer need or do not use.
Another option is to donate books that you do not read, or that do not interest you too much, and deliver them to solidary libraries in which the proceeds go to social projects.
- Participate by offering your time
To help there is no excuse if you really have the will to do it, in case you do not have material goods to contribute, or money to donate; there is always the option to collaborate physically giving your time as a volunteer in campaigns such as food collection.
If your situation allows you, you can collaborate regularly with some NGO that works with people who need it like old people, children, disabled, or people at risk of exclusion.
As much as of any type of economic contribution they need affection. These people sometimes have serious lack of affection, and communication. By just standing by, listening to, and understanding, you will already be doing a great job. Having a distraction that makes them forget for a moment the situation they are in will thank you.
- Conveys the importance of collaborating
Attracting more people is as important as the collaboration itself. Many people are willing to collaborate, but they need that push that makes them decide.
That push can come as a result of a shocking photo, or a hard story that makes them consider the cruelty of the world, and decide to collaborate.
This is why it is very important to raise awareness through social networks with messages that can become viral and attract a good number of people.
Tell your circle of friends what it is you do, how they can collaborate, and all the information to make them see the importance of this humanitarian aid. Sometimes you can attract enough people to you.
- Create your own charity campaign
If you are a person and with people, you may be able to set up your own charity campaign. This can be developed through a simple market in your city, or in your neighborhood if you prefer.
The face-to-face relationship with the people you know throughout life will surely help you in social work of this nature.
Also, you should not give much importance to the object you sell, more than likely people who buy you will not need it, but still want to collaborate.
- International Volunteering
In case you find little help at the national level, you can always face a challenge like the one that involves going to a foreign country.
International volunteer programs are ideal for indelible experiences that will suit you more than any other activity as a person.
The issue of availability will not be too inconvenient as they are made in the holiday periods of the participants.
It is a great sacrifice to miss a vacation with your friends or your family to help people who need it, but surely, upon arrival you will not regret it. The emotions and experiences gained will make your return to be the best version of yourself.
There are different NGOs and cooperatives that offer this service at national and international level. Most of the Spanish projects are being developed in Africa and Latin America, but more and more areas are being actively collaborated.
- Solidarity encompasses the environment
Not all solidarity is restricted to the field of people. We seem to have forgotten that we are only human beings, and we live on a planet called earth that is being contaminated day by day above its possibilities.
Although there is no doubt that the great pollutants are the companies, we must all contribute in the least that can be done, which is recycling.
The aforementioned garment collection and donation of objects may also be included as recycling. These offer the possibility to raise funds or simply to be reused. This contributes to the better use of resources and the planet’s conservation.
- Donation of blood, marrow, and organs.
Faced with health problems, economic resources or volunteers can do little. More and more blood donors, and its great news, but the thing is complicated by circumstances of greater gravity as donations of bone marrow or organs.
Needless to say, but any help is minimal when it comes to a person’s health.
Fortunately or unfortunately, not everything comes down to money, and things like health can not be bought, so they depend solely and exclusively on the altruism and good faith of another person.
But to be able to carry out this solidarity is necessary to get rid of the fear and the insecurities. The fear of hospitals slows us down when it comes to participating in actions of these life-saving features.
In issues such as bone marrow transplantation there is a great deal of ignorance. Many relate it to the spinal cord, but they are different things. Bone marrow is the fatty, soft tissue found inside the bones, and the spinal cord runs along and inside the spine protecting it.
To know where to collaborate, you can register in the Platform of the Volunteer of Spain. It has a volunteer search engine, with the offers of NGOs classified by area and locality, and a volunteer map with the closest organizations where they can collaborate. There are also volunteer demands directories on volunteiado.org and hacesfalta.org.
Advice for solidarity
Solidarity is not necessarily linked to the homeless, hungry, or in poor conditions. Solidarity is something every day, between people who are in our same situation.
Some tips to be supportive every day:
- Be a Support: If a friend, family member, or someone you care about has a problem and decides to share it with you, listen carefully and show signs of interest that will make you feel better. You can also advise him, and give him your point of view. You do not have to downplay your problem, just help him cope; see that you are in this together.
- Be patient: Most of the time, the process of recovering from illness, injury, or personal problems can go on for a long period of time. What we should do with these people is not to worry about them and not to pressure them, to have patience in their recovery.
- It brings out of the crisis something positive: A crisis in any area of our life is quite frightening, so we always have to get something positive even the worst thing that has happened to us. When a person is
- In this moment, the vision of a person outside the situation, and what is wanted, can be very valuable. Make him see the good side of things.
- I am in solidarity with you: Throughout our life there are many disappointments with other people that we wanted but that – by circumstances – we no longer want. There are also many injuries that have borne us over the years, but we almost always know how to forgive them. On the other hand, with ourselves we have another yardstick, we are much harder and more cruel, we give a thousand turns to the things we did and that we cannot change. So forgive yourself.