How to help people without giving money
If you’d like to help others and make your community a better place, local charities might have you thinking that there’s nothing you can do to help if you can’t afford to make a cash donation. If you have a desire to help people, there’s plenty you can do without writing a check or handing over a stack of bills. Here’s how to make your community better without giving money.
Donate Your Time
If you’ve got time on your hands, chances are, there’s a charity that can use every minute of it! Soup kitchens and food banks need help keeping their shelves stocked and distributing food to recipients at all times of the year. Schools can use volunteers to help kids reach their full potential and groups like Habitat For Humanity can really use your help if you're experienced in construction. To find other places to donate your time, check out volunteermatch.org where you can search for non-profit groups in your community that welcome volunteers.
Get Rid of Old Stuff
Have you cleaned out your closets lately? Clothing, shoes, furniture, kitchen utensils and other items in your home that you no longer want will be greatly appreciated by Goodwill or The Salvation Army for sale in their retail stores to fund their non-profit work. Goodwill provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities and job search assistance while The Salvation Army provides adult rehabilitation programs and disaster relief. You can find donation bins at your local store or visit their websites and your donation may be tax-deductible – call for details.
What's the best way to help people in need?
Use Your Talents
If you’d like to give back to your community, a good place to start can be by looking at what you’re good at and what you enjoy. Do you speak a second language, have a musical talent, enjoy working with young people or senior citizens or have a skill that most people don’t like American Sign Language? You can also look at groups you’re already involved in – such as your church – and see where they need help and how that matches with what you’re good at. Is your church lacking a group that you think is desperately needed? If there’s a talent you have that you think will benefit the community, you can start talking to community leaders about how to use it in a service capacity.
Make Travel a Do-Good Endeavor
Want to help those devastated by a natural disaster? While giving a cash donation is always appreciated, there’s another way to help. Singer Harry Connick Jr. urged people to visit Louisiana years after Hurricane Katrina hit because local businesses needed the tourism. Consider how your vacation plans could double as a do-good endeavor. By planning just part of your trip to an area that’s still trying to recover, your purchases on dining, entertainment and lodging won’t just be vacation purchases – they’ll help determined communities move towards a brighter future.
© 2013 erinshelby