Where Should I Volunteer?

Do you have some time off this year? Perhaps you have an extended summer break, maybe you have just finished your studies and are contemplating what to do next, or perhaps you are no longer working as often as you used to and have a lot of free time on your hands.

Here at Shareagift we have seen hundreds of projects and campaigns over the years where groups have raised money to sponsor people to go help in far away countries, build or resurrect community projects, and even run a sponsored abseil down the side of a church! If you want to give something back to the world we live in then perhaps one of the following endeavours may interest you…

The Internet is awash with people crying out for volunteers, and it is very easy to get lost in the sheer amount of projects that are available to us now. Over summers it has become very popular to take some time out and go to work abroad in countries that are struggling and need help. Be that helping to build structures for families to live and learn in, working to help teach in areas where education is needed, or working to comfort and heal the sick. The first thing to think about if you are considering working abroad is where do your skills lie? Are you good with people or do you have experience in construction? Take a look at how two of our Shareagifters recently visited Nepal and raised money to help victims of the recent earthquake.

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The next thing to think about is how far away you are willing to travel, remember that working in deprived areas can be very dangerous, how long is your journey going to be to get back home if you have an accident or something goes wrong? The third main point to reflect on is how much your trip is going to cost you and if you can’t afford it how many people do you know that may be willing to sponsor you?

If your considering helping out a little closer to home then again there are so many different projects and charities that you can get involved in. Is there a project in your local community that is close to your heart? This could be something as small as helping to pick up litter around your street to getting involved with building a local park or setting up a youth group.

Even if you only have a few hours a week to dedicate to helping others places like charity shops, youth groups and retirement homes are often crying out for volunteers to either cover shifts or just help out around the place. By doing this you are not only just helping others but it gives you a chance to work within the wider community with people that you may not necessarily encounter in your everyday life.

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Once you decide what you would like to do come and take a look at Shareagift and see whether we could help you in your role. Whether it’s collecting sponsor money for a trip abroad, raising funds for a local project, or collecting money to pay to run activities within your local community, with our newly added option of being able to donate using gift aid we are the perfect platform to help you raise funds.

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Sand, Sea, Surf, Sun and Shareagift!

Save With Shareagift Towards… A Gift For A Rainy Day

We love finding out the different ways in which people use Shareagift. This week we caught up with Rebecca, and she told us about how she used Shareagift to collect money online for her friend’s leaving gift.

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What gave you the idea to create a page and start collecting money for your friend Danella?

Our friend Danella has decided to leave Toronto and live in Costa Rica for a year.  She has a large circle of friends and we thought it would be the best idea to pool funds and buy a Visa gift card for her to use as a ‘rainy day fund’ while she is away.

Why did you choose Shareagift?

We chose Shareagift because it allowed us to collect funds from her friends by sharing the direct page link.  You can invite people through email or paste the link on social media.  I like that you can customize your page and add pictures, but most importantly, I love that everyone can see the running total, that way the collection process is transparent.  

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How helpful has this page been in collecting money together?

It was super helpful as I was able to receive collections from some of her friends that I had never met. Instead of meeting up with friends to collect money, everything was done online.

How much of an impact will this gift have on Danella?

This money is going to provide her with a rainy day fund, she will be extremely grateful as she begins this new adventure in her life.

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If you were to set up a new Shareagift page what and who would it be for?

I could see myself setting up a Shareagift page for a friend’s upcoming baby shower.

If like Rebecca you have a friend who is moving away, or if someone is leaving work, a Shareagift page is a great way to collect money online with friends towards an amazing leaving gift, to show them how much you are all going to miss them!

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Top 5 Weird Food Festivals

Food does have its share of spontaneity and adventure to it. Pay a visit to these weird food festivals and taste the popular local delights. You never know what you might end up tasting!

1. RoadKill Cook-off, West Virginia

Squirrel gravy biscuits, tacos filled with armadillo and various other specialties have made the roadkill cook-off popular. Dishes are prepared with animals that often meet their end in traffic accidents. Similar versions of this food festival have been started in several countries. The winner of the cook-off is awarded the Roadkill title.

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2. BugFest, North Carolina

Last year’s theme was stinkbugs and the festival hosted more than 35,000 visitors. Insect delicacies like Quivering Wax Worm Quiche sell out quickly. Insect dishes prepared by local chefs, competitions like Roach Races and other insect displays are some of the attractions at the festival.

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3. Testicle festival, Montana

An adult-only feast, special delicacies include the Rocky Mountain Oysters, which are deep fried bull testicles. The testicle festival also involves oil wrestling and wet t-shirt competitions. The testicle festival is growing popular and has been started in several other countries for the lasting taste that the bull testicles have.

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4. L’Aplec del Caragol, Spain

12,000 snail club members and 25,000 visitors eat 12 tonnes of snail at this annual snail festival. Along with the fireworks and music playing around the clock, new snail dishes are on the menu every year. A tourist attraction as well, the snails do offer incredible variety to your palate.

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5. Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, Florida

Fellsmere calls itself as the Frog Leg Capital of the World and holds the Guinness World Record for the most number of frog legs served in one day. Around 7,000 pounds of frog legs are served to over 80,000 visitors. The festival began as a fundraiser but it has gained so much popularity that even Barack Obama attended it!

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A trip to these weird food festivals will surely make for a great dinner with friends and family. Have some better ideas for hosting a dinner party? Use Shareagift to collect money online from friends and satisfy the foodie in you by experimenting with new food. Start a page on Shareagift today and never forget to explore.

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Related blogs:

Top 5 Weird Food Combinations That Work

Top 5 Cheap Eats in London

TOP 5 MOST FORBIDDEN PLACES AROUND THE WORLD!

These forbidden places are sure to impress you and set you off with some surprise. Find out why they are off-limits for everyone!

1. Whites Gentleman’s club, London

Built in 1674, this is the most exclusive gentleman’s club in the world. The club’s members include the most elite like Prince William, Prince Charles and a few former Prime Ministers. The club is used to host private events that the public is not privy to. To join the club, you need to have an invitation from the members of the club or have access to the password.

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2. Area 51, USA

A place that is growing popular because of the level of secretiveness and mystery associated with it, the primary purpose of Area 51 is unknown as the government has never disclosed it. Believed to be a site for aerial surveillance programmes, conspiracy theorists believe that Area 51 hosts communication with the aliens.

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3. Jiangsu National Security Education Museum, China

The museum is strictly restricted to Chinese citizens only and thus foreigners are not permitted. However, no photography is allowed and anyone who visits the museum is permitted from speaking about it, as per Chinese policy. The museum consists of all the documents and gadgets that date back to the 19th century.

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4. Metro – 2, Russia

Metro-2 is the secret underground system codenamed as D6, and is believed to be operated by the Ministry of Defence. It lies 200 metres underground and is believed to be larger than the public underground system. This was first found by urban explorers and was later confirmed by American Intelligence officers.

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5. Javari Reserve, Brazil

The Javari Reserve has the largest concentration of uncontacted tribes in the world. Satellite imagery shows at least 14 tribes still existing because of why the Brazil and Peruvian government strictly regulate who can visit. The Javari Reserve is a part of the Amazon jungle and is nearly half the size of Florida.

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Travelling around the world is one of the best experiences anyone could have. Get a chance to be a part of that experience by starting a page on Shareagift to raise money. Collect money online and gift an unexpected surprise with Shareagift.

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Kasondra Gets A Birthday Weekend To Remember!

Save With Shareagift Towards … A Relaxing Getaway

This week we spoke to Shadia about her Shareagift campaign to send her friend Kasondra on a birthday getaway! Kasondra works a very busy job and only gets one day off a week so for her birthday, Shadia thought it would be a great idea to get all Kasondra’s friends to chip in towards a long weekend away in the coastal town of Monterey, so she could relax and have a few days to herself. Here’s what Shadia had to say about her campaign and Shareagift experience.

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What gave you the idea to create a Shareagift page and start collecting money for Kasondra?

I used Shareagift a few years ago to help raise funds to bring my mother to Lebanon for the first time. She’s first generation Lebanese but had never been! So when I was thinking of Kasondra’s birthday coming up, and I knew I wasn’t going to be in town to help her celebrate, I thought the best thing would be to crowdfund a mini-vacation, as she works far too much and could do with a break. The Shareagift platform worked great before and so I decided to use it again.  

How helpful has this page been in collecting money together?

The page was really instrumental because I could load pictures and links. Being able to share the link via Facebook, Twitter and email was awesome, all the info was right there.

How much of an impact will this money have on your friend?

The gift came at a great time, this is what Kasondra emailed me the other day; 

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This is one of the sweetest things anyone has every done. And it makes me feel so loved and supported to see this list of people who helped in this wonderful gift. Just as I was starting to feel a little alone in the world, getting this e-mail and seeing a nice list of people who really are there for me was the perfect reminder that I needed, that I am surrounded by an amazing group of wonderful friends.”

She hasn’t gone on the vacation yet but she will in the fall, I’m going to help her plan it and I’m sure some rest and relaxation outside of our busy lives will be just what she needs.

If like Shadia you think that one of your friends could do with a relaxing getaway, a great birthday or thank you gift or simply a surprise to cheer them up, then head over to Shareagift, create a page, invite friends and start raising money!

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Stories From Other Shareagifters:

Honeymooning In Orlando

Sand, Sea, Surf, Sun, and Shareagift!

Saving Igor’s Fantasy Football League

Raising Money For The Victims Of The Nepal Earthquake

Dave’s Friends Send Him To Frankfurt In Style!

Helping Shaun After His Business Burnt Down

Top 5 Wedding Gifts Voted As The Best

Want your wedding gift to be used for a lifetime? Get some inspiration from these wedding gift ideas that couples found to be the most useful.

5. Personalised gifts

Beer brewing kits, Engraved Oak Cutting boards or monthly shipments of the best wine will help you offer a tailored and personalised gift, even if you do not know the couple too well. Another top idea is to offer a piece of artwork, which includes framing their wedding invitation or drawing a portrait of their best moments.

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4. Cashmere blankets

A wedding gift that is quickly turning trendy because of the luxury and value for money it offers, cashmere blankets can certainly survive the test of time. These gifts work perfectly well as a bed throw or as a warm shawl and have multiple purposes to it. Couples look forward to such useful luxury gifts that stray away from the traditional gift ideas.

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3. Shared travel bag

A shared travel leather bag can be one of the most useful and lasting gifts you could give, as it is something that most couples forget to include in their wedding registry list. The bag is perfectly proportioned to hold the things that a couple can share together and also makes up for something you could use for those quick weekend trips.

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2. Vacuum Cleaner

Amongst the other essentials that couples prefer to receive as wedding gifts, a durable vacuum cleaner for any type of flooring is much required. Majority of the couples, considered a vacuum cleaner to be the most useful gift that they have received. Kitchen tools that are gifted during weddings may not be the most suitable for all couples, but a good vacuum cleaner certainly is!

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1. Hard Cash

Gifting a cheque or hard cash, has been voted as the best wedding gift by nearly four-fifths of those who are getting married. Most couples found traditional wedding gifts to be unnecessary as they have already lived together for a number of years, and preferred hard cash to fund the other expenses that come with a wedding.

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All you have to do is find the perfect wedding gift and then use Shareagift to raise money and fund it. Planning to group gift something? Shareagift makes it easy for you to collect money online and surprise them with that dream wedding gift. Create a page today and don’t worry about funding a gift that doesn’t fit within your budget.

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Top 5 Madly Insane Spanish Festivals

Save With Shareagift Towards … A Trip To Spain

Spain recently celebrated its La Tomatina festival, which saw thousands of tourists and locals flock to the little town of Bunol to throw tomatoes at each other! If you think that is weird check out our pick of the strangest festivals that Spain throws each year, some of them are just downright disturbing!

5 – Entrodia

Kicking off our top 5 is the Entroida festival, which happens in the town of Laza in northern Spain. This festival sees people flocking to the streets and throwing muddy rags at each other in the attempt to cover each other in mud. A selection of young men then head to the mountains to collect fire ants in sacks and then bring them back to the town where they cover them in vinegar to rile them up and then run round throwing them in people’s faces.

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4 – Fiesta De Santa Marta de Ribarteme (Festival of the near death experience)

This festival in northwest Spain sees those who have had near death experiences carried through the town in coffins to the Santa Marta de Ribarteme church. After this the procession heads on to the cemetery, and then to a shrine, where friends of those in coffins will offer financial tokens of gratitude for their loved ones surviving their near death experience.

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3 – Goat Throwing Festival

Every year in the village of Manganses de la Polvorosa, in honour of Saint Vincent, a goat was carried to the top of the village church tower and thrown into the crowd below who would catch the falling animal with a canvas sheet. The goat would then be paraded through the town and cheered by onlookers. However, due to animal rights groups demanding the end of the festival the goat throwing was banned in 2002. The festival still goes ahead today but a toy goat is used rather than a live one.

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2 – El Colacho

Once a year in Castrillo de Murcia the international baby jumping festival takes place. This involves men dressed as the devil jumping over babies that were born over the previous 12 months. The ritual is thought to bless newborn babies and remove any sin preparing them for a life with God. Babies are set in rows of two and up to ten children can be leapt over in one jump!

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1 – The Running Of The Bulls

One of the most popular festivals in Spain is the Fiesta San Fermin and the running of the bulls part of the festival sees bulls let loose in the streets where they charge at runners for 825 meters into the bullring. The run usually lasts between 3 and 4 minutes and as long as you are over 18 and sober you are allowed to participate!

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If you liked the look of any of these or know someone that would love a trip to Spain, then why not use Shareagift to group fund the perfect trip. Alternatively this may have given you an idea for a fundraising event for a cause that is close to your heart. With Shareagift you can collect money online with others to support those in need. We have also seen Shareagift used to fund local projects and events, why not fund your own event and put your town on the map!

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