ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Ways to Give to Your Community Without Spending a Dime

Updated on June 10, 2019
I Am Rosa profile image

Rosa is a work-from-home mom of 2 active children. An author of both fiction and non-fiction, Rosa enjoys reading almost as much as writing.

Presenting a thank you certificate to a local volunteering business man who helped with the Haunted House Fundraiser for our local Boys & Girl's Club.
Presenting a thank you certificate to a local volunteering business man who helped with the Haunted House Fundraiser for our local Boys & Girl's Club. | Source

What to Do When You Can't Volunteer or Give Cash?

We always mean to do something to help improve our community, volunteer, or donate to good causes, but the time commitment or financial cost of helping others can knock the wind out of our sails.

Since the back-to-back births of my children, I'm not as active in my community as I used to be. So, I decided to think of some ways I could give without stressing myself or my family.

Here are five ways that we give without straining our budget or busy schedules:

1. Fill a Need at the Women's Shelter

Women's shelters are always in need of gently used clothes, socks and shoes for those who have fled without packing. They can also use gently used baby and children's clothing, family games, movies and books to help pass the time.

If you don't mind spending a few dollars, they always need toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, and other toiletries that can be bought at the Dollar Store. Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving are always hardest time of the year, so little gift bags of toiletries and treats for the families spending their holidays at a shelter is greatly appreciated.

(Note: These things are also needed a men's shelters, but so few communities actually have a safe haven for abused men ... If you have one, please find a way to include them in your generosity.)

2. Books and Magazines

Bestow gently used books and magazines to your local library, doctor's office and hospitals. But, not just to the emergency waiting room; all the departments have waiting rooms where people sit around for long periods of time, including the maternity ward where bed-ridden mommies need something to help pass the time.

Gently loved kids' books are great donations for day cares and children's clubs. Children's wards and hospitals, Ronald McDonald House and other medical care facilities that focus on children would also be glad to have books and movies in good condition and age appropriate. Of course, a few family-friendly books and movies for the adults are also valued.

Our daughter enjoying a "Wild Book" we found at the park.
Our daughter enjoying a "Wild Book" we found at the park. | Source

Surprise a Stranger

You could also surprise a stranger by leaving a "Travelling Book" or "Wild Book" in a clearly marked bag somewhere public, such as a local park, playground, or restaurants. These are books left in the public for someone to find, read, and set lose again (aka Travelling Book) or to be found and kept (aka "Wild Book" ).

3. Coupons

I'm regularly inundated with coupons from various sources; coupon packets in the mail from marketing companies, flyers in the newspaper, even coupons and samples from companies that produce baby-related items and foods. I'm not a big coupon user. I prefer to buy generic brands which are often much cheaper than a brand name, even when using with a coupon. However, I know other people prefer name brands.

Clip coupons and leave them at the local welfare office (if they have a coupon drawer) or even at the announcement board at the grocery store. Coupons for baby and children's items can be given to local Early Year's Centres, child care businesses, and even Health Units.

4. Baby and Children's Clothing

Most of us generally try to sell our unneeded children's clothing via local Facebook "yard sale" groups or consignment shops. You could also share gently used clothing with a family member or friend with a child who would fit them. Local woman's shelters, maternity wards or Early Year's Centres also appreciate gently used baby clothes. Of course, toys and educational items in good condition are also desirable.

Our itty-bitty in the NICU was so well cared for! We were happy to leave some newborn pyjamas for other families in need of them
Our itty-bitty in the NICU was so well cared for! We were happy to leave some newborn pyjamas for other families in need of them | Source

Newbie Needs

It surprised us to learn that the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where we delivered our daughter had a need for pyjamas. Many parents, just like us, are caught off guard by their child's premature arrival. And, just like us, many of them were from out of town without access to their baby supplies, including jammies. If you have spare newborn pyjamas, hats or mitts, check with your local hospital to see if their maternity or NICU unit would like them.

Baby clothes for the 2013 Philippines relief efforts .... with love from our family.
Baby clothes for the 2013 Philippines relief efforts .... with love from our family. | Source

Social Media Call-Outs

Keep an eye out for posts on local Facebook groups about families who have experienced loss and need help. This is a great way to help out your community. If you have what a family needs and can spare it, give what you can.

There is also the occasional call-out for clothing donations to help the relief efforts for the victims of the latest natural disaster. Don't be shy! Contact the co-ordinator and find out what they need. If you have it to spare, box it up to be collected and shipped out to help those in need.

What do we have to spare?
What do we have to spare? | Source

5. Pantry Items

We all have items in our pantry that we meant to use but never got around to it. If the items aren't too close (or past) their expiry date and are in good condition, donate them to the local food bank.

If you're really ambitious, you can host a get-together (or event through your church or other favourite non-profit organization) that requires guests to give canned or dried goods in exchange for entry, with the goods going directly to your local food bank. If you're a little less ambitious, but still like the idea of mixing it up with others in your community, attend a local event like this and bring all you've got to share from your pantry.

The Giving Spirit

Volunteering an afternoon of fun with the United Way.
Volunteering an afternoon of fun with the United Way. | Source

WWYD? (What Will You Do?)

Now that you have a few ideas to run with, what can you do to give back to your community?


Please, share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below for others to read and maybe even use in their community!

© 2013 Rosa Marchisella

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)