Of the numerous ideas Affordable Mallorca has for you to create roots on this island and make friends, forming part of a charitable organization is top of the list.
There is nothing more bonding than working as a team to support changes in an area that is close to your heart. It is an excellent opportunity to interact with Mallorcans or other international residents like yourself. Every man, woman and child – or even the entire family unit – can think of a cause to work for. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Local or International? #
Expats usually opt to support an organization based on the island that addresses local needs. It is clear that while Mallorca is a beautiful place to live, there is always room for improvement.
Time … #
Some people have both time and money. But most of us have SOME time to give. If you are willing to make time in your busy schedule or are unemployed, retired or widowed, all charities need your physical help at some point. This is a great opportunity to interact with the public about the cause or meet others in the organisation. I met a core group of women friends through a charity and we are always recruiting new willing souls. We work in a garage sorting clothes and home goods once a month. It is dirty, stinky and physically tough as we sort donated items, stack boxes and load trucks. We are all over 50 and have been doing this for 10 years now…and will continue until all our backs give out!
If you are less of a hands-on person, why not give while enjoying your leisure time? Organisations often hold beautiful events to show support and raise money at the same time. You can have a chock full social calendar and still “do good” by going to concerts, shows, exhibitions, barbecues, marathons, parties and children's events all benefiting NGOs. Next time you want to go to a restaurant try the Amdip restaurant to support the mentally disabled.
Money … #
When it comes to money, opt to become a member. Local charities have a terrible time with cash flow as governments often change and grants do not arrive on time to continue service. While one-time large donations get media coverage, it is the small consistent amounts from you that are actually the most helpful for future program planning.
Or Stuff! #
What if you don´t have neither time nor money? Maybe you have a something to give away? Charities can either use your stuff, donate it or sell it for operational money. See here for one environmental organisation´s wish list.
Other charities like the ones mentioned below need you to put extra in your supermarket shopping cart for them or provide linens and clothing.
Preventative or Restorative? #
Let me take advantage of having a captive audience. Many of the charities that look to rectify an already existing problem and they take the lion´s share of government and individual donations. What if we were to direct more money to preventative programs? Would the rehab centres, prisons, homeless shelters be so full? Find out the root cause of the charity´s existence and spend some of your energy with a parallel organisation that is supporting healthy values or habits to circumvent anyone else having to be in a precarious situation, for a two-pronged solution to the problem.
Social, Environmental and Cultural Causes #
Check-out our ever-evolving directory and add your favourite charity, too!
Nevertheless, it is important that before donating you make sure the not-for-profit is properly registered and that their financial statements are transparent. We are sorry to report that the island attracts all kinds of fraudulent activity – even in the NGO sector. Once you have done your due diligence and participate for the first time, you are officially part of Mallorca´s community. Welcome!
Websites of organizations mentioned
By Holly Veneman
8 January, 2021