Women have an amazing capacity to give, to create and to band together to make things happen. This is especially true for women community groups.
I've regularly been impressed by the efforts of many focused on an end result, particularly over a year or more. I love how craft groups can make treasures that offer love and comfort to others - whether they be Wrap with Love blankets that give love to others or project quilts that are raffled to raise money online or offline and everything in between.
For craft groups like quilting circles, spinners and weavers, knitters, scrapbookers, beaders, creative online forums, embroiders, painters and others have the heritage of pulling together with regular donations to help community groups effect the change in the world that's their mission.
How you're group can share the love:
1. support one group for a set period of time - 1 month, 12 months - the focused attention could mean you could sponsor something that's really needed by the group.
2. spread it round - make the money work for as many groups as possible by giving the fundraised to a different group each time.
3. raise money as well as making beautiful handcrafts for them, so a quilting circle could make a quilts for beds or raffles, to offer something make with love.
Here are 20 community charities that are making real change in the world today and would love your support:
1. Canteen is about connecting young Australians who have experienced cancer and getting away on camps - this fantastic organisation makes real change. See their Ways You Can Help link for ideas.
2. Challenge is a non-profit organisation which was established in 1983 to provide children living with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders with the opportunity to put their illness aside and interact with other children in similar circumstances.
3. Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and bipolar disorder. This organisation is making real and positive differences.
4. Cottage by the Sea - this independent children's charity organisation relies heavily on community support and charity donations to provide a service to over 900 children every year by giving them relief care in a holiday environment by the beach.
5. Catherine Freeman Foundation is working with Indigenous girls and education to bring positive change in indigenous communities.
6. Prostate Cancer - a grass roots support group for prostate cancer patients, survivors and their families and is based in Onkaparinga, South Australia.
7. Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC), Australia’s premier provider of educational services to children with hearing and/or vision impairment.
8. Australian Childhood Foundation protects children from abuse and helps care for those who are harmed.
9. Cat Protection Society gives cats a second chance and is a no kill organisation.
10. Friends In Need - this Australian online forum is a support network for breast cancer patients, survivors and family is a great place to connect and share.
11. Kids Foundation is about making life better for kids who have had bad accidents with camps,
12. MontroseAccess treats children and young adults throughout Queensland with physically disabling conditions of varying severity.
13. Planet Cancer is a community of young adults with cancer that lets open communication and sharing of experiences.
14. ACREM, the Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors, is a group of trained radio operators that provide a volunteer monitoring service on the CB emergency channels, and/or other relevant local channels or repeaters, relaying calls for help from the community to the required service(s).
15. The Animal Welfare League of Qld takes care of approximately 12,000 strayed and abandoned animals a year on the Gold Coast and surrounding areas.
16. CanDo4Kids is also about ensuring that Townsend House can continue its 130-year plus tradition of serving the kids of South Australia who have a sensory impairment
17. Alzheimer's Australia is the peak body providing support and advocacy for the 500,000 Australians living with dementia.
18. Bone Marrow Donar Institute is dedicated to the care, treatment and support of cancer patients and their families and funds research into better treatment methods, prevention and early detection tests for leukaemia and other forms of cancer.
19. Animal Welfare League of South Australia saves, protects and rehomes animals in South Australia.
20. Inspire Foundation has a great motto - 'our mission is to help millions of young people lead happier lives' - just love it!
We've looked for Australian organisations that can all do with a helping hand but if you're elsewhere in the world you don't have to look far for charities that are being part of creating positive change that you can support.
It is the doing that matters. This article was inspired by my mum and her spinning group who raise money every week with their gold coin morning tea donations for their chosen charity. Every few months they have a special fundraising event to make the extra special donation of a few hundred dollars. It is social, enjoyable and lifts the spirits when you help others. They gave their 'Biggest Morning Tea' money to the local regional hospital's cancer unit fundraiser directly - there are all manner of ways of getting involved.