Here at Blackheath Weather, we believe that giving is a great idea. If you are a bit short on time, head to the linked images at the bottom of this page and give if you can. If you've got a minute or two, please feel free to keep reading.
I love the Dalai Lama's sentiments when he says that no matter whether we are agnostic, atheistic or theistic, we should all practice compassion through mindfullness. He calls it Universal Responsibility which is best gained via contemplation and meditation. Anthony De Mello and Thomas Merten, the christian contemplatives, express similar sentiments.
I do not know of a better explanation of what true meditation is (as opposed to the common western idea of meditation as relaxation) and what it can bring to us than the words of Sogyal Rinpoche, the author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. See his video on YouTube here and DeMello's video here as well as a Merten video here.
A practical way to express this compassion or Universal Responsiblity can be via the Smiles Catalogue at World Vision. Gifts start at $5 and they make a huge difference to some very vulnerable world communities. Medicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) is also another way to give, as their work around the globe is well recognised and respected. Both of these organisations spend relatively little on administration, so most of the money goes directly to where it is needed. Click on the images below to be taken to their sites. I think many of us can give something, even if its just a few dollars now and then.
NB: Recently, another organisation has come to my attention. Please visit the redkite website. They provide emotional and financial relief and educational services for children with cancer and their families.
You can also check out auscharity.org for more charities around the country. As Webmaster of Blackheath Weather, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and regularly send gifts to vulnerable communities this year and every year from now on. Please give where you can. As little as five dollars can send hundreds of water purifying tablets to places where they are desperately needed.