Feel good and give back
Volunteering

It's great to give to those in need in your community and around the world. You can give back in ways other than financially. Here are some ways to do so if you can't afford to donate money.

Giving back doesn't have to mean giving money

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.

Give your unwanted goods to a non-profit organization (and shop there too)

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.

Shop for goods you need that help to raise funds

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.

Hold your own social fundraiser

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.

Give your time and energy

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.

More on volunteerng

Volunteer kids: Raise a socially responsible child
Volunteering as a family
How to be a good neighbour

Tags: charity volunteering

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