When it comes to helping others, sometimes people’s first reaction is to simply cut a check to their favorite organization.
But what happens if you’re broke?
There are plenty of ways you can help others and support causes when money is tight. Try some of these ideas:
You can be generous with your time.
Many non-profit organizations are in dire need of volunteers. Work a shift at a soup kitchen or volunteer at a coat drive. Help a friend with a home improvement project, babysit for a parent who needs a break, or help a housebound senior shop for groceries.
You can donate blood.
You may just end up saving someone’s life and you get cookies and juice. What’s better than that?
You can donate items to charity that you no longer use.
We all have extra stuff in our closets that would be appreciated by others. Find clothing and household goods that could be donated to charity thrift shops or a local shelter. Or simply help out a struggling friend in need.
Share your freebies.
If you know how to shop with coupons, you can get some food and personal care items for free or nearly free. And don’t forget to gather up those free samples you found online or got in stores. Those freebies can then be donated to a non-profit organization or given to a friend or neighbor in need.
You can earn points to help others.
You can help support your neighborhood school with your purchases by saving Box Tops or Labels for Education. You can sign-up for services like MyPoints, where you earn points for searching online and reading your e-mail that can be cashed in for gift cards or donations to charities. You can save up loyalty rewards (like from My Coke Rewards) to support charities.
You can scale back in other areas of your life.
Giving up a soda habit, buying fewer things, or holding off on dinner out, can free up some extra cash you could put to better use elsewhere. If supporting a cause is important to you, look at ways you can alter your budget to make it a bigger priority.
You can share your talent.
We all have things we know how to do. Maybe you could knit some mittens, take photos for a fundraiser, or play music at a nursing home. Bring a meal to a friend who’s going through a tough time. You’re generosity won’t be forgotten.
You don’t need to have a lot of money to help someone. You just need to think a little outside of the wallet.