Helping charitable causes isn’t always about giving money.
Organizations requesting monetary donations stay top of mind because they have marketing budgets, but there are many ways to give to causes that make people smile without the need for you to open your wallet.
Try not to take what you know or perform for yourself on a daily basis for granted. There are numerous things you do automatically that others cannot do or need assistance to complete.
This list isn’t full of suggestions I wouldn’t do myself. In addition, some options are not part of the list because of general health and safety concerns.
Here are two ways I’ve shown kindness to strangers without it costing me a dime.
- Helped a senior citizen in a bank who wasn’t sure if her deposit slip was written correctly. She tried to thank me with $5, but I returned it as I expressed to her my gratitude for everything she’s endured in life to make my existence better.
- Gave an autographed copy of my book, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, to a young mother with three children as we rode on the A train in New York City. The book was originally for a person visiting the U.S., but I could not find the person and was returning home when I saw the mother.
Most publishers provide authors with complementary copies of their books. The mother received one of those copies.
As stated earlier, giving is not always cash based. Here’s what you can do.
1. Read to seniors, children, or the blind
2. Grocery shop for the home bound
3. Play board or card games with seniors
4. Walk sheltered dogs
5. Donate blood
6. Help build a home through Habitat for Humanity
7. Volunteer serving food at a soup kitchen
8. Help clean garbage from a park or beach
9. Drive a neighbor to the supermarket
10. Help a lone child cross the street
11. Compliment a stranger’s attire or hairdo
12. Re-purpose something you own to a person in need
13. Mow a senior citizen’s lawn
14. Deliver meals to those who are immobile
15. Mentor a youngster
16. Donate no-longer needed books, clothing, furniture
17. Write a letter for someone who cannot write
18. Assist at a food bank
19. Help organize an upcoming fundraiser
20. Educate youngsters in a school setting about your profession
When reading this list, there will be ideas that you will not or cannot do, and that’s fine. Your goal is to decide which ones you can do, which people you can help, and recognize that the assistance takes a small amount of time versus the joy you’ll bring to whomever is in need.
Which of these actions will you include in your life?
How are you helping someone today in a way that’s not on this list?