Giving Back on a Budget

Some rights reserved by kelp1966

Some rights reserved by kelp1966

Giving back can sometimes seems as if it just won’t fit into the holiday budget. However, there are many ways to give back that don’t require monetary donations. Consider the following options this holiday season, and all year-long, to help those in need:

Donate items you already have

  • We all have items, often brand new, collecting dust in our basements and closets. Do your spring cleaning early and donate items in good condition to local charities rather than sending them to a thrift store or consignment shop. Other donation items can be purchased at a low-cost.
  • Shelters, schools, child care centers, and other non-profit organizations are often in need of clothing, blankets, hygiene products, books, toys, sports equipment, art supplies, and office furniture. Call ahead (or look online) to see what donations are accepted and needed.

Volunteer your time

  • Many organizations rely on the help of volunteers to operate smoothly. Find one whose mission you support and donate your time. Full and part-time volunteer positions are often available, along with event-based work.
  • Organize a group of friends to assemble care packages for military service members; deliver meals to the elderly; serve at the local soup kitchen; or lend a hand at church events. As an individual, you may be able to stock shelves at the library or assist at an after-school program

Volunteer your talents

  • If you have a talent that could help serve the community, offer your services up free of charge.
  • Sing holiday carols at a nursing home; lector at church services; design a website for a small non-profit; participate in charity walk/runs and other events; or craft items for charity auctions. Giving back can also be as simple as shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor.

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