Donations in Kind

Donations in Kind

RAG Resources

 

Blood Donation

There are loads of ways of encouraging Common Room members (or other members of college) to donate blood, which is vital for maintaining the national supply, used both in emergencies and for those with long-term conditions. Blood donation sessions are run approximately twice a term at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre near Pembroke, or every weekday at the John Radcliffe hospital.

Specific ideas

  1. Consider donating platelets - platelet donations can be much more frequent than whole blood donation. A component of blood, platelets are given to patients unable to make enough in their bone marrow, including those with leukaemia or other cancers. As they can only be stored for a few days, regular and frequent platelet donors are in great demand.
  2. Several JCR’s have passed “Pint for a Pint” motions (so far, Pembroke, University, Lincoln and St. Hugh’s) offering students a pint in the bar if they donate a pint of blood.
  3. Registration drive – like a registration drive to sign up new voters, but you could instead be encouraging people to join the register of blood donors, which increases the chance people will donate in the future. At the same time, you could encourage people to consider signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register; signing up online for both takes minutes, so you could get lots of people signed up over the course of a welfare tea.
  4. Group visit - organise for a group of students to visit Oxford Blood Donor Centre, which is at the John Radcliffe Hospital. You can drop-in or make appointments every week, Monday to Friday, and can get there by bus from the city centre or share taxis.
  5. Keeping track - you could put up a chart in the Common Room showing the total number of pints donated by college members so far, and celebrate landmark volumes.

Requirements

Not everyone is eligible to donate blood – when attending a donation centre or blood drive, you’ll be asked confidentially about your travel and medical history, any recent piercing or tattoos, and sexual practices (not in very much detail!). You also need to leave a certain interval between donations; this is usually 12 weeks, but is much less for platelet donors.

You should also advise that people follow the safety advice they’re given; this means eating plenty, staying hydrated, and avoiding alcohol and vigorous exercise before and after donating.

 

Donations to Homelessness Hostels.

Oxford Homeless Pathways are always looking for donations in kind at their O’Hanlon House. You can find up-to-date information about what they are short of at www.oxhop.org.uk/howyoucanhelp/giftsinkind.

Specific ideas

  1. Run a collection for an item that is particularly in demand and get people to buy one extra when they are buying it for themselves. For example, Oxford Dignity Drive collected sanitary items that were needed for hostels in Oxford. You could run this over the course of a term.
  2. Have a specific week where you collect a whole range of different items. This could be around Christmas.
  3. Run a collection at an event, bop or formal where everybody had to donate something in order to get into the event.

Thing to think about

Make sure you contact the charity you’re planning on donating to, to make sure that they need what you are collecting and that they have storage for everything.

Think about where you’re going to have containers for people to deposit their donations. They need to be visible, without being in the way, or easily mistaken for bins. Common Rooms, bottoms of staircases and college lodges are all good locations.

How are you going to get the items that you have collected to the charity? Some charities offer collection services. Otherwise you could put in a Common Room motion to pay for a taxi to deliver the items.

 

Stamps, Bras, Glasses etc.

Many charities collect  all sorts of different goods that they can then sell or use in their projects.

Specific ideas

  1. Stamps - Stamps can be collected for many charities, such as RNIB. You could put a box in the lodge and encourage people to put stamps in here as soon as they get their mail. Encourage staff to use the box as well, as they probably get a lot more post.
  2. Bras - charities such as Against Breast Cancer collect bras for small businesses in Africa and use the profits to fund their charity. They provide boxes, which could go in your lodge or Common Room.
  3. Glasses - Vision Aid Overseas collect used glasses which they sell to fund their work. You can collect glasses and send them to them free of charge.
  4. Milk bottle tops, jewellery, un-used pills and ink cartridges can all also be collected. 
  5. Oxford SU run collections at the end of each term for household items and unopened food, which happen in every college. Items collected are sent to the British Heart Foundation and the Community Emergency Foodbank. For more information contact vpcandc@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk.

Thing to think about

Who is going to empty the collections bins? Especially think about who might empty them when you are no longer in your role. Could you write this into your successor’s role description?

Think about where you’re going to have containers for people to deposit their donations. They need to be visible, without being in the way, or easily mistaken for bins. Common Rooms, bottoms of staircases and college lodges are all good locations.

How are you going to get the items that you have collected to the charity? Some charities offer collection services. Otherwise you could put in a Common Room motion to pay for a taxi to deliver the items.

 

Fruit Trees

If you have fruit trees (eg. apple trees) in your college where the fruit is never used, you could consider organising a collection with Abundance (https://abundanceoxford.wordpress.com/). They distribute fruit to local non-profits who can use it.

Specific ideas

  1. Organise a fruit-picking event and get other people involved in the collection.
  2. Abundance also run jam-making workshops to help people think about using the food around them. You could combine these two events.

Thing to think about

You might need to have multiple collections if a tree keeps producing fruit.

Make sure to get permission of your college first. This has already been done in other colleges such as New College, with no problems.

Make sure you contact Abundance to organise a time for them to pick up the fruit. They may be able to provide volunteers to help with picking.