COPPERSTONE was born after I did my first charity event for Jacaranda and Louis Botha children’s homes. Growing up in a house where giving back to the community was a regular occurrence, it just came naturally to keep giving back. And later, just on a bigger scale. The vast majority of people don’t usually have much of a voice or any influence. Usually, regular people, the grassroots, only manage to acquire power once they do it in a group setting. With our charity events, the SA Bachelor & Bachelorette and Talent Search competitions and through our very own TALK Initiative we have created a platform for everyday people, who might not have had the outcome they hoped for when doing charity or community work on their own. We believe strength is in numbers. And even more so, like-minded people in numbers. People with big hearts and who believe in bringing about change.
For the past 11 years COPPERSTONE believed in working with like-minded people who are nice to the core. As it turns out, those people also feel compelled to give back. And that makes any event, fundraiser, charity or community project just so much easier and more enjoyable.
So why is it so important for us to give back?
Here are a few reasons why:
- It is a must. About 63% of young South African children live in poverty, which can affect their physical, cognitive and emotional development, a new study has found. Imagine not having a bed, a roof over your head, to go to school or work hungry and not having basic services like electricity and sanitation. 26% of young children lives in households with poor sanitation, over 40% of young children still suffer from lack of vitamin A and 47% of women in rural areas are depressed during pregnancy.
- It strengthen communities. From cleaning up a street or handing out food parcels to reading to kids at the local library, you can enhance your own life by improving the areas where you work, live and play. A strong community with a high quality of life means safer, healthier lives for you and those around you.
- It helps you develop and grow as a person. Volunteering is an excellent way to explore your likes and dislikes. If you’re interested in a new career, volunteer in the field first to see if you will actually like it. You may find a totally unrelated field is a much better fit for you, one you’d never consider if you hadn’t volunteered there first.
- It feels good to give. Sure, giving back should be an altruistic, selfless notion, but the truth is that giving back is good for both the giver and the recipient. Studies even prove that there are amazing benefits to giving, whether you are taking on a regular volunteer position, donating money, or simply doing a random act of kindness.
- It teaches you new skills. Gaining skills, knowledge and expertise are common side effects of volunteering. Giving others your time brings you interesting and challenging opportunities that might not come along otherwise. This experience can be added to your CV and could result in a better paying job in the future.
- You can make an impact: Looking to make a real, lasting difference in this world? Unlike other aspects of life you may not be able to control, volunteering allows you to choose where and how to make a difference. It’s easy to get inspired with a cause you truly care about—and it’s rewarding to see your direct impact.
- It can make you a company who cares. Giving back makes jobs more engaging and engaged employees are more productive employees.
- You meet new people. Looking to broaden your network or find others with similar interests? Volunteering is a great outlet for meeting others. A local club or organization can put you face-to-face with people right in your community—plus, it’s easy to bond over a shared passion. You can create lasting friendships with those you may not have otherwise met in your day-to-day grind.
- Find new opportunities. Doors open when you volunteer. You can widen your social network, discover an organisation in your community or find a new best friend. Who knows: You may even stumble across your dream job by meeting your future colleague or next job reference.
- Improve your health. Yes! Volunteering is actually good for you. Studies have shown that volunteering makes people feel physically healthier, manage chronic health conditions and lower stress!
Here’s an important life lesson: no matter how tough you think your life is there’s always someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than yours. The question is are you ready to make a difference in their lives?