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How to Help the Homeless When You Are Broke?

Updated on January 1, 2017
Ripe Pears Ready for donating!
Ripe Pears Ready for donating! | Source

Broke but want to help the needy?

It is human nature to want to do good for others. Unfortunately sometimes that doesn't feel possible. When you are living paycheck to paycheck or barely making it, the possibility of helping someone other than yourself just doesn't seem like it's going to happen.

So it is time to think outside the box. It is not always about being rich! Sometimes it's just about giving back no matter how little it may seem. What is not much to you may be big to someone else. Use your skills and abilities not just your money.

Beautiful home made jewelry
Beautiful home made jewelry
Christmas tree waiting on a new home
Christmas tree waiting on a new home | Source

How to help the needing while on a budget?

  1. Make Jewelry- So you already have a hobby of making jewelry? Great! You can donate jewelry you make to several charitable groups. At Christmas homemade bracelets and necklaces can be great gifts to children who's parents normally can't afford much. Many local organizations will collect throughout the year to give to children at Christmas. So each month you can make one or two (more if you can) extra then in November you can donate to your local group who helps needy children.
  2. Christmas Trees - So you have land but not tons of money? Or maybe you just have $30 extra dollars, but you really want to do something meaningful? Why not cut down Christmas trees from your land or buy a Christmas tree to donate to a family who would love to have one? Our local Goodwill helps in collecting used fake pre lit Christmas trees to donate to needy families. Check with your local organization to see if they could use Christmas trees to help a family.
  3. Grow food - Every year we have a garden. We always end up with too many tomatoes and too many cucumbers. Some we manage to make into things we can use later by canning and freezing, but sometimes there are just too many! So instead of letting them go to waste donate them to your local food bank or soup kitchen. This is also great for those fruit trees that seem to drop more fruit that gets wasted than what actually gets used.
  4. Couponing - Yes the suddenly in style again thing to do can actually help you be more charitable. For example, every Sunday I buy my local newspaper and get online and go coupon hunting. Today I found a great .75 cent off any Colgate toothpaste coupon. Well my local dollar tree now accepts coupons. I got a regular size toothpaste for only .25 cent. This is not the brand I use so it will get stored away until I have several things I can donate to my local children's shelter. There are also many other coupons that can get you free to cheap items. For example I have a .50 cent off coupon for toothpaste right now that will double to $1 off at my local grocery store. That brand is on sale this week for $1 so I will only pay tax for each tube. Just grab a few things throughout the year. When you have a bag full you can donate them.
  5. Your time - So this one is last because of of the endless possibilities that can be done. Here are a few options. Check with your neighbors and see if any can not afford or are unable to do basic lawn care or maintenance. Clean some gutters, trim some hedges, paint a mail box ($1 investment by stopping in at your local Dollar Tree first), gather downed limbs after a storm, mow grass, really this part has almost endless possibilities. Another great idea is taking time out to volunteer at your local shelters and soup kitchens. Many have options where you can sign up to come in just once a month. If you don't have big family celebrations on the holidays go pass out Thanksgiving dinner at the local soup kitchen. Get creative! Your time can help people far more than your money can many times!

Do you still give when times are hard?

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Donating Your Gently Used Items

Before you start thinking outside the box, make sure you have filled the box. The most basic way of giving back when you are short on funds is to donate good usable items that you no longer want to local charities. Do you have children who have out grown their toys or clothes? Then donate them to your local children's shelter. Have you got some shoes and clothes that you no longer wear? Donate them to your local shelter or Goodwill. Clean out your garage or attic and donate anything you haven't been using. Fill some boxes and take them to whatever charity you have in your area. Every little bit counts. Please remember though that the items you donate should be in new or gently used condition.

Ways to Help The Homeless on a Budget

To learn what to include in Homeless Care Bags Check out this Article.

In this article you will learn the best items to pack in zip lock bags, shoe boxes, or backpacks for the homeless.


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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 13 months ago from the short journey

      These ideas are good to think through at the beginning of the year!

    • Annsalo profile image

      Annsalo 22 months ago from Somewhere

      Seedlings are great also. We are doing that this year, though I admit was an accident. The compost bin grew about 100 tomato plants, so we stopped turning it and let them grow. By next weekend we will be giving some away.

      This year we planted one extra plant in each row just for donating. We even planted a couple things that only I eat, so since the rest of my family won't be eating them, much of it will go to the food pantry.

      Growing food is a wonderful way to help others!

    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

      Fiona 22 months ago from South Africa

      I like the idea of growing food. We always try to help others even if it is just a bit - we also grow a lot of our own veggies and so we have enough for members of our household and some needy families as well. To go a little further with the idea of growing food, I always plant extra seeds and give some seedlings away as well.

    • Discordzrocks profile image

      Gavin Heinz 22 months ago from Austin TX

      I love the idea of growing your own food. I also like giving them my old childhood toys. Signed, Zoidberg.

    • Annsalo profile image

      Annsalo 5 years ago from Somewhere

      I have been there myself HoneyBB. It is one of the reasons I included it. Thanks everyone for the comments.

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Helen Laxner 5 years ago from Illinois

      Very useful and insightful ideas to help the needy. There was a year in the past that I couldn't afford to get a Christmas tree and I didn't know how to get one without any money and it was the saddest Christmas for me because I didn't have a tree for my child and then there were years where I had a tree but had to wait til the last minute before I spent my bill money to buy presents to put under it for the kids. This info will probably make somebody's Christmas much brighter. Voted +++

    • Poohgranma profile image

      Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

      Wonderful ideas, very creative and things we can all do!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      You are amazing. I love each of your ideas and I also make jewelry. I welcome you and can hardly wait to read more from your corner.

      Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      There you go Ann! Featuring you on our site as well! These are tremendous ideas, coming from a young Woman! Thanks again! Adding your link to our website. First time, first served!

    • angela martinez67 profile image

      Angela Martinez 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Nice hub Annsalo ;) just great!

    • Annsalo profile image

      Annsalo 5 years ago from Somewhere

      Thanks so much everyone. This H.O.W is going to be great! I look forward to reading more from you all.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 5 years ago

      Again, you inspire and share some great ideas about H.O.W. to make a difference! Thank you so much! Voted up and shared!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Your ideas are great! Most of us have too many things. I feel I could donate more. There are many small organization around where I live that donate all kinds of clothes and food for poor people in eastern European countries. I could really contribute to them. I'm going to write my own hub about H.O.W. soon.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for a great hub, filled with wonderful ideas! This is aperfect addition to H.O.W. ! Up++! and welcome!