How to Help Others When You Have No Money
How to Help Others When You Have No Money?
Acts of Kindness are Priceless
When you think of helping others or of giving, do you immediately think that means you have to donate money?
There are other ways to contribute to the well-being of others that don't cost a cent. Many times, acts of kindness are more personal and worth far more to the recipients than a donation to your local charity. Sharing of yourself and your time can make a difference to someone who needs it, especially around holiday times.
So, come on folks. It costs you nothing but a little time to help someone in need . Heck, you may find you like practising random acts of kindness so much that you start doing them for people who aren't in need - just because it makes you feel good. Everybody benefits - there are no losers.
Here Are a Few Ideas About How to Help Others When You Have No Money
Some of these suggestions you've seen before and a few you may not have thought of. This list may even inspire you to come up with some new ways of helping others.
I know a couple of people who are just getting started in new businesses and have little (no) operating capital. One is my youngest daughter, Lisa, and this sentence is her plug. If you are interested in the Galvanic Spa or any of the other incredible NuSkin products, just let me know.
Not being in a position to offer financial backing, I tried to think of other ways to help. Both of these entrepreneurs believe in what they're doing and they have my moral support but I wanted to do more, if I could. The only thing that I could think of was article marketing. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.
Of course, it doesn't have to be a friend or relative's business that you run an article marketing campaign for. It could be a cause or charity you believe in, too. Maintain their email list, write and/or send out their newsletter for them if they don't want articles. It doesn't matter as long as it's wanted and it helps.
When I wrote this section, I had Hubbers in mind, I think. You need to be able to write effectively for this idea to be a genuine help.
Naturally, you need to get permission to do this. If you can write reasonably well, you're not likely to get turned down. The most notable thing that I have run into is product/company legalities. My daughter's company has strict legal rules about what can and cannot be advertised and written about. If you run into something similar, just be sure of what you can and cannot do before beginning. Then, it's all good.
This idea can be a family affair, which is a great way to instill in children the great feeling that comes from helping others. You can clean off cars or shovel snow and salt walkways in winter; mow the lawn in summer; rake leaves in autumn. There is almost always yard work that needs doing. Cleaning out the eaves trough, taking the garbage out or bringing the cans back in, weeding and watering.
Yard Maintenance is easy enough for able bodied people to do but for the elderly or ill, these tasks can seem monumentally impossible.
Usually, if you clear snow from someone's driveway, nobody cares if you ask first, they just love you. However, you may want to check in with the homeowner before doing some of the other types of tasks. Please put a little thought into this before going up and knocking on the door. Don't make the person feel like a charity case. Keep the tone light, tell them that since your doing yours (eaves, lawn, whatever), why don't you do theirs as well at the same time. Another consideration to keep in mind with the elderly - if they don't know what you're up to, you may scare them.
You may want to use your own tools rather than risk breaking the homeowner's and having to replace something. Also, don't assume that the homeowner's insurance is going to cover you if you injure yourself. That's not cricket. If you're volunteering (and especially if they didn't ask you) then don't expect to collect on their insurance. That's like suing somebody else for something you did and I will hunt you down. Don't get me started.
It costs nothing to call and just ask someone how they're doing. Your call may be the only one that they've received all week or all month. If you know someone who needs a shoulder, you can be that friend. If the other person has a computer, you can also email, send ecards and jokes. Anything to help them maintain human contact and lighten how they feel. Help them to laugh and feel that somebody cares. It costs zero dollars but is priceless.
Sometimes when people have had no one to talk to in a while, it can be hard to get off the phone with them. Plan ahead of time to determine how long you have to chat and find a kind way to say good-bye that won't make them feel like you're dieing to get away from them.
The only one that I can think of is really in the considerations. With some folks, you need to be conscious of your boundaries. This usually is the case if they get clingy. You may however, be able to introduce them to others in their age and interest category to help alleviate both their loneliness and their dependency on you.
Offer Your Time for a Variety of Tasks
Babysit for parents who can't afford a sitter, write cards or letters for someone for whom that may be difficult, do some light housework or cook a meal if that's what's needed. These are the types of things people generally won't ask for help with regardless of badly they need it. It can be a real relief to them for someone to offer. Again, it doesn't have to cost anything but it is worth so much.
Similar to the yard maintenance, you can't just barge in and start scrubbing a toilet or baking. Come up with a diplomatic way that makes it easy for the other person to accept your generous offer without feeling like they're accepting charity. Many people have a really hard time accepting help if they think it's charity.
I would be careful not to make it so predictable that your help is expected a certain day every week or month UNLESS you want that. It's all just a matter of where you want your personal boundaries to be. Other than that, don't blow up the toilet or burn down their house.
If you're the type that prefers working with an organization over dealing with people one-on-one, then cavassing and fundraising may be perfect for you. Drumming up and collecting money for a worthy cause can be very satisfying and help a lot of people. You also have the added benefit of the social interactions that take place when working with an organized group.
Just make sure that you will have the necessary time and dedication available to put forth a sincere effort. If your heart isn't really in it, you diminish the contribution that you make. Other than that, have fun with it.
If you're canvassing door to door, make sure you're wearing really comfy shoes and clothing. Don't take it personally if some folks prefer not to donate to your cause.
Food Banks / Soup Kitchens / Missions
Lots of people are happy to help out in their local food banks and soup kitchens at Christmas time. That's wonderful but often these places could use some help at different times of the year, as well. Some cities also have breakfast programs for school kids. Some of the duties involve cooking, setting up, serving, cleaning up. Really, anything the organization needs help with is what you do.
Be sure that you can commit to the time your help is really required. In the case of the school breakfast program, you may be asked to show up each weekday morning for a semester or a school year. Regardless of where you're helping out, a smile and a few pleasantries are free and you should spread both as you go about your tasks and interact with the folks who came for assistance. It will uplift you and them.
Leave your judgements at home. If you don't realize you have any until you're there, keep them to yourself and deal with them afterwards when you're done your shift. If it is serious, you should probably give notice that you won't be back.
Shopping and Errands and Potential Lifesaving
These are tasks that many are in dire need of. Those who are unable to get out themselves and the elderly in the winter. If you incorporate picking up what they need into your weekly shopping trip, it needn't be an inconvenience for you. That also will help them to not feel like a burden to you.
I would like to mention under the heading of potential lifesaving, that if you can check that they have working heat, hot water and such, that would be wonderful. Older folks especially are loathe to ask for assistance and more than one has succumb to dangerous heat and cold. Often times, no one realizes that they are need.
If you know someone has a furnace problem (or similar type of situation) you can offer to call a professional. The trick may be if the people in question are unable to pay. In my opinion, the decent thing to do is make a few calls to see if there is an agency who can help or a furnace guy/plumber/whatever trademan who would be willing to donate their services and/or materials or set up a special low repayment plan. Please don't leave these people in the lurch without at least knowing where to turn.
If shopping or running errands is how you're doing your bit, check whether brand names or specific stores are an issue. It's not much of a help if the other person can't use it or doesn't want it.
You may encounter having to return the odd item if the person you're helping is persnickety. Just work it into your normal schedule as smoothly as you can. Other than that, the only caution I can think of is that of boundaries again - yours and theirs. How much help is too much for either party? Be helpful, don't take over their lives and don't let them overtake yours.
Almost Everyone Can Help Someone
When my mom lay on her deathbed last year, she never said good-bye to us. However, she left messages and a to-do list. One of the tasks she assigned my youngest sister was to notify the person in charge of the volunteer work that she did that she would be unable to do it anymore. Mom had been ill for several years and the last couple she had been bed or wheelchair ridden most of the time but she still sold lunch tickets and sent out notices of meetings to an email list.
A fatally ill woman in her seventies was helping people, so the rest of us can do it, too. It can make such a world of difference to someone.
Enjoy the feeling that comes from helping.
How to Help Others When You Have No Money?
Other Hubs About Helping Those In Need
- Helping Others in Need
How can the act of helping others increase the quality in our own lives. The information listed here gives creative ideas of how we can reach out to others and provide the help that is needed.
- The Joys of Volunteering
Voluntary work is defined as working without payment. The reason most people give why they work as a volunteer is because they want to give
- How You Can Save Christmas: Operation Santa Claus
You have just been voted Santa this year so you better check your list and warm up the reindeer. You're going to save Christmas for some kids and maybe, just maybe, you'll save Christmas for yourself as well.
© 2008 Shirley Anderson
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