Many individuals and families are living on a tight budget, but that doesn’t mean that people who want to give back to charitable organizations have to stop supporting causes close to their hearts. Though having cash is important to every group, having volunteers or donated goods can make just as much of an impact on the overall positive outreach of that organization as money can. Here are five ideas that might inspire you or someone you know to donate to your favorite organization… in a way that won’t break the bank.
Animal rescue groups are often overlooked when people donate to charitable organizations, but they are often the least expensive and easiest to help. Because of the sheer number of stray, lost, or abandoned pets that these groups come in to contact with, they are constantly in need of lots of items including new or used towels or linens, old newspaper, plastic grocery bags, and cat or dog food. When cleaning out your house, consider setting aside these items and taking them to your local animal control or animal rescue organization.
The Pink Door is a Houston organization that supports women who have survived their bouts with cancer. They have many events, but one of their most important goals is to help women who have been battling cancer find jobs during remission. Because many women with cancer have been out of the workforce for months or years, potential employers may not be as ready to hire them as someone who has just recently become available. If you are an employer, or know of one who has available job postings, forward them to the Pink Door’s JOBdoor and you’ll likely help a woman who has finished fighting the biggest battle of her life, get back on her feet.
Got old clothes? Consider donating them to an organization like Goodwill or The Salvation Army. These organizations help people get on their feet and back in the workforce. Your old suit or dress may give an individual a chance to interview at a job that will change their life! In addition, groups like these usually own and operate thrift stores where you can volunteer your time or shop for highly discounted clothes or other items.
Many airlines sponsor programs that allow an individual to donate his frequent flier miles to an organization, soldier or individual in need. As an example, Continental Airlines has lots of options including the American Red Cross and March of Dimes. Check your airline’s website for more information.
Most charitable organizations sponsor some type of fun run or other athletic activity during which supporters raise money from friends and family when they pledge to run, walk or bike. An interesting example is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, who sponsors lengthy bike rides, usually between two cities. Houstonians and Austinites have the opportunity to ride their bicycles from Houston to Austin in the MS 150 in support of raising money and awareness for MS. All that’s required is a bicycle to get started!