Here’s How You Can Do Some Good in 2020

BARACK OBAMA: “On a day of fresh starts and new beginnings, I challenge you to take a step toward change in your community. If everyone reading this can commit to one positive change for their neighborhood in 2020, our collective impact will be extraordinary. Even if we don’t always feel it ourselves, I know that we’ll keep making the world a little bit better in the next year and in the many, many years to come. Here’s to another year full of hope …” – President Barack Obama

I subscribe to Barack Obama ‘s Obama Foundation newsletter and I wanted to share his final paragraph here.

But let’s do more than just read it. Let’s act on it. WE are the helpers. So let’s help! #webeforeme

Here are some ways to give back in 2020. Naturally I’m going to start with the current horrific bushfire crisis engulfing so much of the country. Following that there are many ways you can volunteer your time or donate goods and services to a range of charities . Please feel free to add more ideas in the comments. I’ve just listed a few (– my kids are waiting to play Monopoly with me so I’ll come back here later and add more!)

For those of us who live comfortable lives, I truly believe it is our moral duty to give back. Give back and change a life. As I say to year 12 students — every year that goes by someone else should be breathing easier because you are here. That’s our goal as human beings. #webeforeme ❤️

Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal:…/disaster-relief-and-recovery-…

Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal…/make-a-d…/donate-online/…

NSW Rural Fire Service Donations…/support-your-local-brigade

CFS: Country Fire Service Donations

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund…

Sponsor A Firefighter!!
A FB page called My Sisters Keeper has been doing an incredible effort buying face masks for firefighters! You can also spend $90 and sponsor the cost of a face mask for a firefighter. Check out her FB page and follow her instructions.

Foundation For Rural and Regional Renewal…

Country Women’s Association…/donations-assistance…

Animal Rescue Craft Guild
Can you sew? Then join the 21,000 people around the world sewing items for our injured wildlife. They are making joey pouches, bat wraps, koala mittens and kangaroo hangers. The rescued and injured animals really need your help.

Foodbank is delivering emergency food relief and water to East Gippsland, helping firefighters and local communities caught up in the bushfires.It is fundraising to send about 5,000 food relief hampers in the coming days.…

Shoe Boxes Of Love
This organisation is collecting necessary brand new personal care items such as toothbrushes, body wash, nappies, sanitary items, etc. You can even donate money or do a click and collect at their local supermarket if you can’t get the goods to them or don’t want to send money. Donate here:…

Melbourne Period Project
The Melbourne Period Project are doing some great work on providing much-needed sanitary items to bushfire affected areas and have also provided other helpful links in relation to those caring for children. Donate here:…

The Nappy Collective
The NC collect leftover, unused disposable nappies across Australia and divert them to families in crisis.

Blue Hope
Blue Hope offers mental health services and support to former and current police officers.

That’s David’s vineyard in the photo. David Bowley lost his entire home and business (a vineyard) to the fires in the Adelaide Hills. You can help him rebuild by buying a bottle of his wine. (I know many of you have already bought a bottle — David emailed me last week to say how shocked and happy he was that so many Brisbane orders came through for his wine when I posted about it the other week. Keep it up! Let’s help him rebuild.)

GIVIT – Goods For Good Causes
Givit is like a matchmaking service for charities. The Givit team work with hundreds of charities around the country finding out what their clients NEED and then go to the general public with a wish list. Check out the GIVIT site to see if you have an item at home that someone else desperately needs. OR list an item you are willing to donate and GIVIT will contact hundreds of charities to see if that item can be of use.

Start following Buy From The Bush on Facebook or Instagram and let’s all aim to support regional businesses this year. Also think about doing holidays and weekends away in regional towns to help spend dollars in the local community.

One Day Closer to Rain (Drought) – Rural Cottage Crafts
Join this FB group to discover amazing arts and crafts created by those in rural areas. Similar to #BuyFromTheBush — this is about supporting regional businesses.


Eat Up Australia – Australia -wide
I love these guys! 10.9% of Australian kids are living in poverty. Eat Up Australia works around the country to supply a free school lunch to kids who are going hungry at school. Once a month you can get together with dozens of other volunteers and make up to 5000 sandwiches in an hour which get bagged up and delivered to schools. It’s a great way to give back. Best of all, kids under 12 are welcome to volunteer.

Give Blood
Here’s a way to actually save another person’s life. Give blood. 1 in 3 Australians will require a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. The actual process only takes 5-15 minutes and the whole appointment no longer than one hour. Plus you get a free snack. #winning Do it for Joe … a wonderful man who died suddenly in 2018 and who is dearly missed by his wife, kids, family and friends.

Make A Meal At Ronald McDonald House
I’ve done this several times over the years and it’s WONDERFUL. Grab a group of friends, family or colleagues, buy the ingredients and head into the kitchen at RMH and make a meal for the families staying at your local Ronald McDonald House. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience and a wonderful way to support the families who are staying there while caring for a sick child.

Orange Sky Laundry
If you’re a great listener and love a chat — volunteer with Orange Sky Laundry. OSL is a mobile laundry service providing a chance for those without homes to have their clothes washed. And in the hour it takes to do a load of laundry — volunteers sit and chat to the those everyday Australians using the service. It’s a wonderful way to connect. Volunteers are required every fortnight for a few hours.

Cake Angels
Cake Angels is a group of volunteers across Australia who provide decorated cakes to those in need (eg kids in hospital). Maybe you’re a professional baker or maybe you just love to bake – all volunteers are welcome!

The Pyjama Foundation – Australia -wide
If you are longing to make a significant difference in life of a child — become a Pyjama Angel! Trained “reading angels” are sent into the homes of kids in the foster care system to help provide them with support and help them unlock their love of reading (which can, in turn, change the course of their life). Volunteer OR host a Pyjama Day at school or work and raise funds to help train volunteer angels!…

Mummy’s Wish – Australia-wide
Mums who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis still need to be mum to their kids. Mummy’s Wish provides these mums with practical support (from house-cleaning to liaising with their children’s school). You can donate money or volunteer your time to help them at their events. They’re also currently looking for a graphic designer to help them.

Hummingbird House– Queensland
Hummingbird House is Queensland’s only children’s hospice and it is a place full of love, laughter and magic. HH is always looking for volunteers for a wide range of roles — you just need to commit to giving ONE SHIFT PER WEEK for 12 months. If this is you – click here to read more:

The Basket Brigade – Australia-wide
This was a highlight of my Christmas season in 2019. The Basket Brigade operates in 74 countries around the world with the aim of getting Christmas hampers and presents to the city’s most vulnerable – disadvantaged families, children and the elderly. You can donate a hamper of food, a new toy or other presents or you can donate your time to wrap presents, pack hampers and deliver these gifts to those in need. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Sign up for Christmas 2020 if you can! Kids are also welcome on the volunteering wrapping/packing days.

So for the past 19 years, I’ve sponsored writing awards at both my old primary school and high school. I did this before I was a published author. I just chose something I loved (writing) and went to my old schools and said I wanted to give back. I’m not telling you this to big-note myself. The award money I give is tiny (about $50) – there are thousands of people doing waaaaaaaaay more impressive things than me. But the point is — think about contacting your old school and sponsoring an award. A kindness award! A team spirit award! A maths award! A resilience award! Or perhaps you can donate money to go towards a bursary to pay for kids going on school camp. It’s a really lovely way to give back to your old school if you had a positive time there.

** You can subscribe to the Obama Foundation newsletter here:


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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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