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12 One-Hour Things You Can Do That Will Make The World A Better Place

Send a card to a sick child, or use a video app to help a visually impaired person.

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1. Become a Postpal.

This small, UK-based charity helps connect seriously ill children with "post pals", who send cards, letters, and small gifts to bed-bound 3-17 year olds. Children are featured on their websites, along with a P.O. box address. All you have to do is pick your pal, and start writing! It really is as easy as that.

2. Make a wiggly bag.

"Wiggly bags" are pouches that children and teenagers can use to carry their hickman lines (intravenous tubes used in cancer and other treatments). This UK organisation connects crafty volunteers with kids who need a wiggly bag, and also details their favourite colours, movies, and TV shows. There are instructions that you can follow to make a customised pouch, and an address to send it to.

3. Or bake a birthday cake for a child in need.

Free Cakes for Kids are a UK-wide, volunteer-run service that links keen amateur bakers with families who aren't able to provide a birthday cake for their child. There's a map that shows all the current baking groups, or, if there aren't any volunteers active in your area, you can set up a new group yourself.

4. Listen to the Surfaid album on Spotify.

Surfaid is a global non-profit that was founded by surfers, who want to help people living in isolated coastal communities around the world. As part of their fundraising efforts, they've produced an album of relaxing ocean sounds and released it on Spotify. They pay royalties to Surfaid if you play it, so get listening!


5. Join a movement aimed at reducing ocean plastic.

Facebook: PlasticBank

Plastic Bank pays people in developing countries to collect waste ocean plastic, and they pay them well. That plastic is then recycled into high grade Social Plastic, which is then resold. You can help them by regularly tweeting various big companies to encourage them to use eco-friendly Social Plastic in their products.

6. Help to identify (and conserve) wild animals.

The EDGE of Existence conservation programme needs help to identify the wide range of unique and vulnerable species captured on automatic wildlife cameras. Their Instant Wild app sends these photos to your phone, and asks you to identify the animal in the image. It's great fun, and a huge help to the organisation too.

7. Cook a meal for an older person in your area.

Casserole Club is a UK charity that connects people in need (often older, isolated people) with neighbours who are happy to bring round meals for them. You can share food once a week, or once a month: whatever works best for you. All you have to do is cook an extra portion and deliver it to a neighbour who needs it.

8. Use a charity alarm clock to turn zzzs into £££s.

Facebook: icukoo

If you're someone who can't resist hitting the snooze button several times each morning, don't despair. You can turn your "bad" habit into a regular donation to charity using this app. You simply use iCukoo as your alarm, choose a charity to donate to, and every time you snooze the alarm you'll be sending a donation.


9. Take part in the Amnesty International Pocket Protest.

Pocket Protest is an Amnesty International initiative that encourages you to use your phone to stand up for human rights. Once you've signed up, you'll get messages with details of people who urgently need support. That support might be signing a petition, writing a letter, or (occasionally) making a donation.

10. Play the Free Rice game to feed hungry communities.

Since it launched in 2007, Freerice has generated enough money to donate almost 100 million grains of rice to the UN World Food Programme. By playing a simple but fun word game, you help build a database of educational materials, while the banner ads also generate income for the project. It's a win/win idea.

11. Help people practice their English.

"English Out There" links people who are learning English with native speakers who can help them practice their skills either face-to-face or online. You can start immediately and you don't need any formal training, you just need to be able to speak English well. The first step is joining their volunteer Facebook group.

12. Lend your eyes to help the visually impaired.

This innovative iPhone app connects blind and visually impaired users to sighted volunteers. If the visually impaired person needs help, for example, having ingredients or cooking instructions read to them from a packet, a live video stream will start, and link to the volunteer's device in real time. It's pretty epic.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now, and you can get started straight away.