A kindly soul once said that the best exercise for the heart was by reaching down and helping others up.
Even if you think that is hippy nonsense, most people would agree that charities do worthwhile and important work.
Whether it is helping vulnerable children, raising money for medical research, international aid or the environment, we all have a cause that is close to our hearts.
Your Nokia Lumia smartphone can help you to support your favourite charity by donating money or simply by keeping you updated with the latest news.
Here are five of our favourite charity apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Oxfam is a global charity dedicated to fighting poverty and providing international aid. Its website boasts that in 2011 their emergency and development work helped some 15 million people in 55 countries.
This is a beautiful app that’s been fully designed with the Windows Phone-style tiles in mind. It offers the latest news, photos, social media integration and links to help you get involved with their campaigns.
The app also makes it extremely easy for you to donate £5 directly to Oxfam through a simple SMS message.
Walk2Help is a really interesting concept that allows you to make a difference without needing to hand over any cash.
The idea is that by downloading this app, it will track how far you have walked using your Lumia’s GPS functionality. The more you walk, the more points you will accumulate.
You can then donate your points towards a specific cause, for example, the building of a library or providing clothes for refugees. Once a project has collected enough points then its sponsor (a company or other benefactor) will come good on their promise.
It really is that simple. Never has taking a walk sounded like such a good idea.
GOTM is an acronym for Give On The Mobile, a service that is dedicated to helping people donate money to charities on their phones.
This Windows Phone version is very simple to use. You search through the list of charities (there are hundreds on the list) and select the one you wish to support.
On the next screen, you choose the amount (£1, £3 or £5) and then fill in your personal details. All this information generates a text message and you just need to press send to complete the donation.
Within the app, you can select favourite charities and it remembers your last donation. You can also set up a fundraising profile if you’re trying to raise money for charity.
The Just Giving website is based in the UK but has an increasing international presence. It now accepts donations in all major international currencies.
Just Giving has become a popular way of donating money online and supporting your friends when they embark on sponsored pursuits, such as running marathons.
This is an unofficial app and you can’t donate money directly through it but there are still a lot of features that you may find useful. It has Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube integration for all the latest news from Just Giving.
Perhaps best of all, it pulls in informative articles from the Just Giving blog to help you with tips, such as creative fundraising ideas and helping you to secure a place on sponsored events.
All too often giving money to charity is a rather impersonal process. You sign your cheque, put your coins in the tin or press send on your phone and that’s the end of it.
This app is an antidote to all that. You read through the stories or pick an issue that has pricked at your conscience, then select an amount that you want to donate.
A couple of weeks later you will be contacted again with photos and a report of exactly how your money has helped. More than that, it introduces you to the very person or people that has benefited from your donation.
Have you ever used your Nokia Lumia to support a charity? Let us know in the comments below.
Updated October 1, 2015 7:43 am