Charity by donating or volunteering.

When we hear about charity, we usually think "money donation", and rarely "time donation"; in other words—being a volunteer. Thankfully, that's changing, especially in China where volunteering is quite prevalent at large events and at many city street crossings, like Shenzhen with their well-known red and yellow U-booths. But in my opinion, as a donor to and volunteer in various charity groups, the experience of spending time for a cause that we believe in is far more rewarding than just opening my wallet or clicking on the donate button on an NGO's website.

As volunteers, we know where the money goes, how our time is spent, and how our efforts make a difference. That's powerful motivation, and when we go to work at on Monday morning we do it with something more than the past week; we gave something, we helped someone, we’re part of a better world. We keep that with us, proud of ourselves and feeling in our hearts the power of humanity to still do great things, instead of the terrible ones found daily in newspapers. What I also like about volunteering is that I don't need to ask for feedback about my donation’s impact; I get to see it live right away! And this is priceless; that even someone with a small wallet can feel like the biggest philanthropist in world.

Time donation is accessible to everyone, unlike monetary donation. Anyway, both are valuable and inseparable from one another, as volunteers without money may have limited effectiveness, and money without volunteers is nothing but a sleeping bank account.

The hardest hour to donate is the first one. We are all busy trying to earn money each month, and it's hard to take that first step. The first step of anything is difficult, but there are people who deserve our time, whoever they may be; your friend, your family, your neighbor, perhaps even you yourself. 

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