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What are the different things and ways in which you can donate?

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Aug 26, 2020
What are the different things and ways in which you can donate? Do you donate? What do you prefer to donate? When have you gone out of the way (non-preferred things/ ways) to donate? How has that benefitted a particular (specific) kind of donee (receiver)? Can you share your special donation stories here to influence/ encourage others to donate in a similar way?

Off the top of my head, here are some usual ways I could think of in which you can donate:
  1. Money and stuff you can buy with money
  2. Time
  3. Organs
Let’s get creative and think of the most unusual ways one can donate or does regularly donate but hadn’t thought of it that way.
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Creative contributions

Solve other people's problems and donate solutions to them

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 26, 2020
Donate brainpower. Come up with an effective solution to other people's problems. Write it up and make sure the information reaches the right people. Sometimes the people battling the problem might not be able to implement an effective solution (because of money, politics) or might even not understand it (education, culture). If you want to see it implemented, it has to reach the right audience - that's your 2nd job. Taken even further, you could put your own solution to action by investing years of your life/work, assembling a capable crew, and doing the necessary work (as a prime example take Elon Musk with SpaceX)

Technical volunteering in tough times

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Oct 11, 2020
Here, I will speak from my own personal experience. Mostly, we are too caught up in our own lives and it is hard for us to outrightly practice altruism. However, there are some incidents we come across that we can genuinely help people in unconventional ways.

In the month of April 2015, a massive earthquake hit Nepal, my home country. It created havoc, toppling down ancient temples and leaving a lot of people homeless and dead. As such, a lot of Samaritans from all over the world flocked into our country to volunteer in reconstruction and rescue of the victims and survivors. As such, I was also really devastated and confused as to what shall I do to make it better and provide real help. Within a few days, I came to learn about a WHO project that was going to examine the loss of water quality due to the earthquake in the most-hit regions. I teamed up with two other friends and went to the remote district of Sindhupalchok and with the assistance of WHO, we set up a small makeshift laboratory there where we could conduct a basic microbiological analysis of the drinking water in that region. In a week's time, we were able to collect more than 150 samples from direct water sources (like rivulets and deep water sources). As expected, the result of our analysis showed an alarming level of E. coli contamination in the sources (note that a lot of drainage breakdown, the hot summer, and the unavailability of latrines post-earthquake contributed to this). This was a really serious issue. Immediately we called up for a meeting with the water consumers association of that area and suggested a large scale campaign to distribute water-purifying tablets in the whole district.

With this little effort of our three-membered team, we were able to caution a large population that might have otherwise suffered from water-borne infections.
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Dr Aviskar Chapagain7 months ago
You did awesome My Dear Brother 💞 . You serve for humanity ...
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni7 months ago
Great work Subash! Kudos to the three-membered team. I am trying to extract the things you donated from the volunteering work. "Time" is surely one of the things. The second is "expertise". You knew how to set up a lab, how to grow cultures, and how to identify E. coli. Here lies your expertise. Expertise is acquired by spending a lot of time, energy, and experience. Therefore, expertise does not linearly depend on time and can be mentioned as a separate thing that you donate. When there are fewer people who can do the same job as you, your work does not linearly depend on time. The third is, as Darko suggested in one of the earlier suggestions, "brainpower". You understood that the damaged drainage system and unavailability of latrines contributed to the problem. You also thought of what could be done and suggested to the officials to distribute water-purifying tablets. All of this falls under donating "brainpower".

Donate by being of influence, creating awareness

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Nivari Van der Voorde
Nivari Van der Voorde Nov 15, 2020
I think an effective way of contributing to a social matter is speaking out about this. In real life conversations but also online on social media, it can be effectively used to create awareness.

-Social media
-Attending (peaceful) protests
-Conversation
-Actions

Look at the example of George Floyd, the amount of people that spoke out about this on social media and the series of events it brought. By protesting there is of course initially no solution to the problem, but what it does do is raising awareness. This way it stays a topical issue, bringing the subject forward and perhaps create a shift of consciousness. To refer again to the BLM-movement, this movement has been contributing in The Netherlands to change the tradition of ‘Zwarte Piet’, also known as ‘Black Pete’. A caricature that is a servant of ‘Sinterklaas’, bringing presents on a children’s holiday, imaged as a black man. It took many years, but by keeping the subject alive every year, even more conservative parties are getting aware of the suffering that goes behind this caricature.

Even though it can sometimes difficult, I do believe that by keeping a respectful conversation, a lot of understanding can be brought up for both parties. Keeping an open mind and truthfully listening would combat a lot of polarization. Here an example of that again (I’ve shared this video here before on another topic).

At last, I want to give an example of how I tried to support a good cause. Even though I am not vegan myself, I do think this is a kinder way to treat animals and that it is an important movement specially to create a smaller environmental footprint. I try to create awareness about this by talking about it, and showing plant-based alternatives. On my birthday I have cooked a vegan three-meal course for 30 people to show them that it can be easy and delicious as well.

[1]B. Chai & all, Which diet has the least environmental impact on our planet? A systematic review of vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous diets, Sustainability, 2019

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni6 months ago
Nivari Van der VoordeI agree. I am trying to pinpoint the thing that you donate by being influential. You spread news; you tell people what is really happening. So, there is definitely knowledge that you donate. Is there anything else?
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Nivari Van der Voorde
Nivari Van der Voorde6 months ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni I do not know if it is simply just knowledge. You can share on social media a political post that one has already seen before and does not include any new information. But by repeatingly seeing this message being spread again it can cause awareness.

I mean, did we not know (knowledge) that racism is not a good thing already?
But by multiple people sharing this message it becomes a more topical issue, creating awareness for the subject again.

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Nivari Van der Voorde
Nivari Van der Voorde6 months ago
I think that a lot of things that are protested for, are things we already know. It just goes to the back of our minds again as we are caught up in our own lives. So bringing it back to the front seems to me different the just sharing knowledge, what do you think?

Take the example of the parents of Madeleine McCann. At some point the whole world knew that this little girl was missing, but by keeping the subject alive in the press they gained a continuously awareness around this, that new updates on the case still appear 13 years later on the news.

It was not the parents just sharing their knowledge, it was their influential network that made the change. Almost a strategy I would say. I also use this on my social media, to create a synergy of more knowledge together. So yes knowledge, but with a strategy that creates a lot more awareness.

empathy (time) and vulnerability

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Martina Pesce
Martina Pesce Oct 16, 2020
Often people in a difficult emotional state are also lonelier and more ashame than needed. This because they think their situation is unique and has no solution. If you can listen carefully and long (time) enough, you'll find something to relate to and empathize with. This, plus the vulnerability necessary to narrate the event that helped you empathize, will help the people in difficulty to not feel alone anymore and shameless. If someone else came out of a situation similar to theirs, they also will feel entitled to a solution to their situation, and then they will surely find their own.

Translating it in a personal experience example: one of my dearest person was having a hard time going through jealousy for his girlfriend. After a while of asking "Why are you jealous? From where is it coming?" with no progress, I instead shared the most shameful things I thought/done because of jealousy. It turned out that he was thinking roughly the same things. He felt understood and forgiven and could let go of the shame he had for his own feelings and he found his way out of this paralyzing feeling and situation. I had the chance of been in both the roles, I quite like this donation style.

Knowledge (not linearly correlated with time)

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Aug 26, 2020
Knowledge, when imparted the traditional way, is linearly proportional to the time invested by the donor. Therefore, I did not add that to the list above. However, on second thought, if you record your thoughts, lectures, etc. and people/ students view it, that kind of knowledge can be viewed by hundreds, multiple times. Then this donation is not linearly correlated with time and therefore, has its own standing.

Work (time)

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 08, 2020
Arguably it's easier to donate money than work/time. You earned your money by doing something you are comfortable with or possibly even enjoy doing. When you donate your work/time it takes stepping out of your comfort zone into other people's world. To you, that world would likely be less comfortable than yours.

Donate knowledge

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Dr Aviskar Chapagain Oct 12, 2020
Two years ago, I went with my three friends who had recently joined a medical college.
We have some knowledge regarding nutritional supplements, proper handwashing techniques, and some medication that can be referred by us. So went on the bus, hike around 8 hours in the jungle, upside hills of Chitwan. We reached a small school.

Gather people on the school premises, taught about the health, nutritional supplements.
Also, we checkup around 50 people. We refer some of them to the health post, and others to higher centres.

With this little effort, we tried our best to find and extract those who need serious medical attention. We were able to teach in somehow extent about the proper handwashing techniques and nutritional value to the people.

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General comments

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic8 months ago
I was about to write that time is the most expensive donation an individual can make until I saw your 3rd point - organs. Hopefully, our technologies would soon catch up and make organ donations a thing of the past.