The Power of Giving

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By Amy Erasmus, founder of ‘Keep Caring’

It is an absolute delight to welcome our guest blogger for the month to the ReTrade Depot! Amy Erasmus is a long term friend, advocate and fund-raiser of The ReTrade Project. She is the founder and manager of the amazing local initiative "Keep Caring" based in Port Elizabeth. Amy joins us today to give our readers some insight in giving back to the communities in which they live. Welcome, Amy!


The Power of Giving

By Amy Erasmus, founder of ‘Keep Caring’


Did you know: Donating to charity helps both the charitable organisation and the donor. 


Donating to charity not only makes you feel good as and strengthens your personal values, but it also teaches the importance of generosity to children and encourages others to do the same.


Studies show that 42% of people who donated to charity said that the enjoyment which they received from donating was a key factor in them donating again. Research states that there is a link between donating and the part of our brain that registers pleasure. 96% of people donate as they see donating as their moral duty.


Sharing this fulfilling experience with children and friends encourages them to donate and shows them how a small act of kindness can have such a big impact on the world. No matter how big or small donations are a wonderful way to give back while supporting organizations  and individuals doing good. There are common myths that exist regarding donations, and today we talking about some of the common myths often heard when talking about donations.


Bust The Myth 

"I don’t have money to donate.”

“You don’t know if it’s going to the right cause.”


When asked, these are two of the most frequent statements I received when asking why people don’t donate to charitable organisations. There are many reason why people feel these statements to be true and there are unfortunately situations were donations are not directed as intended, however by tackling some of the myths associated with donations I hope you will feel encouraged and empowered to donate with confidence knowing your generosity goes a long way.


Myth: Cash donations are the most valued

Fact: While cash donations allow a charity or NGO to purchase what they currently need, it is not always the only way to donate. Some people prefer to donate items and products instead of money. Time is also a valuable donation to many causes. If we take The Retrade Project, you can donate basic grocery items and they are valued as much as a cash donation would be. Not  all donations cost you money, think about those shirts in your cupboard that you don’t wear, these are the perfect donation which would appreciated by organisations like ReTrade. I encourage you to ask to the question; “What are your organisations current needs?”, you may be surprised that often finances are not the only need.


Myth: My donation is too small.

Fact: No donation is ever too small. If 100 people had to donate R50, it would add up to R5000. While you may feel that donation may be a drop in the ocean, all of those droplets together do start to make a difference. Donations should also be seen as an investment into the work and cause of the organization. As a giver, you can never fully know the encouragement that blooms from receiving a donation. Giving has a domino effect and the potential to create hope and a pathway for future giving by others.


Myth: The donation won’t go to the right place

Fact: There is always a risk that the donation may not be applied properly, if you are concerned about this there are many ways to avoid it, for example: donate clothing to charity shops, donate food to a soup kitchen or volunteer your time at a shelter. Building trust is vital and organizations should also play their part in acknowledging your giving and directing it towards their needs in an accountable way.


Closing thoughts: The myths often associated with giving should be explored. The easiest way to give is to ask about needs, but never doubt your own creativity and individual desire to give based on the needs you see. Keep Caring is a charitable organization which has been involved in directing and managing donations, large and small, specifically in Nelson Mandela Bay. Partnerships become important for channelling donations, and partnering with The Retrade Project has been fruitful and positive for both us as a giver and as a receiver.


About Keep Caring:

Ronald Reagan once said “You can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone” As a newly matriculated 18-year-old I didn’t realize how much that could apply to one person. I knew I would take a gap year, but had no idea that this is how my year would go.


Keep Caring was started when I had an idea at a planning meeting with my dance instructors about incorporating community service into the studio. Sitting there I realized that winter was coming up and everybody needed warmer clothes, and most of us have clothes we no longer need, but which could still help somebody else. This led to the first clothing drive, and to the start of Keep Caring, founded in March 2017.


To date, Keep Caring has:


The Keep Caring motto is “Make your drop in the ocean.” 


Even though the difference we make is so small, if we all make a small difference it will help. Instead of trying to change the world, change somebody's world.


Check out more about Keep Caring on Facebook:

Picture: Eugene Coetzee
Picture: Eugene Coetzee