Usually when we think of charities and non-profits and helping them out, we think of having to donate money. We're often approached on the street by their street staff looking for monthly donors, for example. But even if you're living on a limited budget, you can give back in ways other than giving financially.
Rather than ditching items in the garbage, do the greener thing and drop them off at a donation centre or outlet such as Value Village or Goodwill. These organizations employ people from the community and teach them skills to further themselves, while your goods are sold and the money goes right back into the organization. While you're there, take the time to peruse the items on offer too. You can make some fantastic finds (sometimes even designer brands) at great prices.
If you know the local schools will soon hold a fundraiser by selling cookies or even crafts of frozen meat, hold off on buying what you need, and make your purchases from a student participating in the fundraiser. These are items you already need, after all, so it's not like you're spending money that's not in your budget. For your regular groceries, consider shopping through Donate Naturally; 15 per cent of your money goes to a charity of your choice, and your fridge gets stocked with the staples you already need to feed your family.
You already love to host dinner. Forgo having guests bring a hostess gift (you rarely use the items anyhow!), and ask them to donate to a cause that's close to your heart. You get to enjoy an evening with friends while also giving to a cause — a win-win scenario.
If you can more easily carve out time in your schedule than dollars, then do so. Whether it's licking envelopes for a charity for an upcoming fundraising drive or working a water station at a big marathon, your contribution is needed and much appreciated. If you have special skills, put them to good use. For example, if you are handy, pitch in on a build with Habitat for Humanity.
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