Access to a decent life and dignity are rights that all citizens should be able to enjoy on a daily basis. While the words "sharing" and "solidarity" are less and less obvious to realize in a fast-paced, individualistic world, there are still simple ways to help, a little extra, those around us who are in need. You don't have to be a great philanthropist to make yourself useful and help the people around you to live better. In an era where there are still many inequalities that continue to widen, it is possible to do our part every day. Through many small acts, the snowball effect works and improves life little by little for our entire village, town and society.

Here's how, with simple gestures, you can contribute in 2017 to improving the lives of many people around you effortlessly. If you can donate your time as a volunteer, you can also bring back your old objects to associations or make a donation to support a cause, we tell you all about it here.

1. Acting as a volunteer
The associative and cooperative sectors in Quebec are full of possibilities. Whether it's personal assistance or the development of your neighbourhood through more political involvement, there are a multitude of choices to give a few hours a week of your time.

Here are a few ideas | Connecting Communities :

Retirement homes are often looking for people to give a little time to the elderly during special events or regularly to spend time with the elderly.

There are associations that help school children with difficulties with homework help after school.

In organizations helping immigrants with integration, you can help in many ways such as learning French, help with writing a CV, etc.
2. Give a second life to your used items
Do you regularly clean your wardrobe, attic or garage and have all sorts of household items, furniture, clothes that you no longer use? Why not give them to an association that will take care of redistributing them to people who need them or selling them to reinvest in rehabilitation.

Next time you have items you no longer know what to do with, think of the Salvation Army, Renaissance or Emmaus. These are non-profit organizations that reinvest the profits from sales in reintegration, in other words they train unemployed people and help them reintegrate into the job market. This is a wonderful virtuous circle!

The little extra? They often come to your home to pick up large items, such as household appliances, for example.

3. Organize a collection
If you have the soul of a leader and are ready to take a significant action, why not organize a collection yourself? Whether it's money or basic necessities, there are many ideas, just get started!

With your entourage, friends, family and colleagues, choose an association, a school, a retirement home, a rehabilitation centre, near your home for example, and collect objects or donations that are likely to help them.

Set a maximum time limit for your collection and advertise around you. There's nothing like getting together to help a cause.

4. Walk or run for a cause
There are many diseases for which effective cures have yet to be found, and research is expensive. Whether for genetic, degenerative or infectious diseases, research is more essential than ever if they are to be eradicated one day.

By taking part in a walk or a run, by raising funds in your entourage for every kilometre you walk or run, for example, you can help medical research in a great way.

5. Make a donation, support a cause | Connecting Communities !
You don't really have the time to volunteer, or objects to donate, why not make a donation and support a cause that directly affects children?

Sponsoring children living in countries with few resources is a great way to give, it's useful and very effective.

For less than one euro a day, you can sponsor a child who will be able to go to school, have clothes and a minimum of food every day.

The little extra? A sponsorship is a very enriching life experience! The organizations give you a feedback allowing you to get to know your godchild better and maybe one day go and meet him or her in his or her country!