Winter will soon be here and asides from the lovely, exciting things about the season like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, snow and sledging, there are quite a lot of things that you need to be prepared for. For example, you’ll need to stock up on de-icer and salt in case it snows; you’ll need to get the boiler and the gas fire serviced and check your CO2 detectors; you’ll also need to take part in the daily race to the thermostat with your other half as one of you wants to turn it up and be warm and the other wants to turn it down to save costs.
Heating bills are undoubtedly troublesome for all of us: the cold weather and the longer periods spent indoors mean that average bills can double over the winter months. In the UK, charities face exactly the same kind of problems, but on a much larger scale. For instance, the bills faced by the RSPCA rise dramatically during winter as they need to keep the animals in their care warm. They also need to continue to advertise their animals for adoption and continue to raise awareness of the need to spay or neuter pets and to consider adoption before buying a pet.
Furthermore, they also face an increase in the number of animals that need caring for:
- Some are abandoned by owners who can no longer afford to care for them;
- others are unwanted Christmas presents (yes, people do still buy pets for Christmas despite all the well-known campaigns against doing so);
- still more are handed in by members of the public who have found strays or wild animals badly affected by the cold weather and in need of medical care and a loving home.
The sort of help that the RSPCA needs as a matter of urgency include:
- people to raise money for their projects (RSPCA Choices offers a wide range of projects, see below);
- volunteers to help in shelters and shops (regular volunteers in shops are often away over the Christmas period and temporary replacements are needed to allow the shops to remain open to raise money from sales);
- donations of food, blankets and money.
The RSPCA has recognised that people like to see what their money is being used for, and so if you decide to raise money or donate to the RSPCA this winter you could look at the projects that currently need help on the RSPCA Choices site. You can search for projects that help animals, staff (including Inspectors through their Everyday Heroes campaign which aims to promote and support the work done by those on the front line of animal rescue and protection) and even location. If you cannot find a project that appeals to you or you have a project in mind that you would like to support even more then you can use the Choices site to create your own project.
In the UK charity organisations rely solely on members of the public to raise money or donate their time or cash. Could you find the time this Christmas to think about doing whatever you can to help out the RSPCA?