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6 ways to make a difference that lasts past Mandela Day

Launched in 2009 in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, Mandela Day is now a movement celebrated across the globe. 18 July is a celebration of Madiba’s legacy and is a call for people around the world to make a positive change in their lives and in the lives of others.

This Mandela Day, think about making a contribution that lasts. No matter how small the action, making a change for the better is a great step in the right direction.

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This said, we all have the power to make a real and impactful difference in our communities that lasts beyond just 67 minutes.

Here are six ways that you can make a lasting difference this Mandela Day.

1. Sign up to be a regular volunteer

Many organisations look for volunteers to help out on a long-term basis. One of the biggest gifts you can give is your time, so why not sign up as a weekly or monthly volunteer with your favourite NPO. Whether this is helping to walk dogs at an animal shelter on the weekend or putting your hands to good use planting trees in areas that need them most, a lot of charities rely heavily on regular volunteers to help out.

2. Add a debit order to donate

While a once-off donation is always helpful, the running of non-profits is a monthly struggle. Help them year-round by signing up for a monthly debit order to be taken off your account. This gift will not only help them in an ongoing basis, but it is easier on your pocket too!

3. Spread the word on social media

Help get the word out about your favourite charity by following them on social media and sharing their posts. Most non-profit organisations will post about things that they need and ways to help out. By broadcasting this to your friends, you help them to reach and hopefully inspire people who they hadn’t before.

4. Donate to places making a long-term difference

It can often feel like donating money to a cause can be frivolous and a temporary solution to a bigger problem. The old adage ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’ is especially true in a country like South Africa where a skills shortage is one of the major problems affecting people’s ability to provide for themselves. By giving to places that are helping to empower people through skills development, you will help to make a life-changing impact in people’s lives.

5. Offer your skills

Are you a marketer, IT pro or accountant? Many non-profits don’t have the funds to pour into skilled professionals. Why not put your skills towards a more meaningful cause and offer up your services in some of your free time? Whether it’s a once-off brochure design, setting up their computer system or giving some professional advice, your contribution is likely to have long-lasting effects.

6. Get a free MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card

Something as simple as signing up for a MySchool Card lets you give back every time you shop at any of the partner stores. MySchool My Village MyPlanet fundraising programme allows you to choose the charities that matter to you most and gives back a percentage of your purchase value every time you swipe. Because the card is free, it is a long-term solution that anyone can sign up for.

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MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet is one of South Africa's biggest fundraising programmes and allows you to make a difference, just by shopping. Every time you swipe your card at any of our partner stores they'll give back a percentage of the purchase value to your chosen school or charity. The programme allows cardholders to make a difference to worthy causes without it costing them a cent. More than 1 Million South Africans carry a MySchool card. Thanks to you more than R1 Million is donated every week to help over 8 000 schools and charities. Get your free card today. Every swipe counts!

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