From becoming more proactive about making social change to addressing the much needed work/life balance, the new year brings with it the perfect opportunity to change your life and the lives of others.
After all, it only takes one week of holiday spirit, family reunions and festive cheer to fuel feelings of gratitude, hope and humility for the new year.
And now we've just learned of an innovative apparel that will revolutionise the way we donate to the homeless.
N=5, an independent media company in Amsterdam, has created a contactless payment jacket – commonly referred to as 'Helping Heart' – which enables givers to hover their cards over an electronic reader on a jacket to deposit one euro from their bank account.
The creators of the N=5 felt inspired to make it easier for people to donate to the homeless after reading an article quoting Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, which read:
'Not all homeless people are on the streets begging for money for a quick win, a lot of them are trying to rebuild their life.'
Silvia van Hooft, an N=5 employee, explained to indy100 that nowadays, people carry no cash or very little on their person, preferring to use their cards to make transactions.
'Secondly, most people would like to help the homeless, but they feel that giving money basically goes to supporting addictions.'
Van Hooft revealed that the front of the jacket has a contactless payment symbol with the 'Helping Heart' logo stamped on it and is specifically made for cold temperatures.
'The coat looks very much like any other sold in the winter: it has a hood, and the inside is lined with thick material to keep the wearer warm,' she said.
When a donation has been made, the wearer of the coat can only redeem the money at an official homeless shelter in order to ensure that the money is never received as cash but in other benefits such as accommodation for the night, a shower or food.
(via Het Parool)
Not all homeless people are on the streets begging for money for a quick win, a lot of them are trying to rebuild their life
The money from the jacket can also be exchanged for vocational training courses and to create savings.
While the jacket is still in the prototype period and being tested by several homeless people in Amsterdam, its creators reveal they are receiving positive feedback from users.
'They [the homeless] have embraced the fact that it takes away the concern of how your donation will be spent. Organisations for the homeless are also very positive about the fact that it contributes to more than just immediate challenges – the possibility for a homeless person to use donations to better themselves through education and savings is seen as a huge benefit,' it said.
The gift of giving never sounded so easy, rewarding and helpful.