First of all, I don’t believe that giving is, or should be, seasonal. It should be a way of life. These are some resources that make it easier to make helping others a regular habit.
- Charity Miles– Walk, run, bike, dance, jump or crawl for a cause. This app tracks your exercise and donates to a charity of your choice for every mile. It uses corporate sponsorship to make donations, so it’s a way to improve your fitness and earn money for charity, even if you don’t have much extra money yourself.
- Donate A Photo– For every photo you share, Johnson & Johnson gives $1 to a charity of your choice. You can donate 1 photo per day.
- Buengo– We all need to declutter. When you do, take a picture of something you no longer want/need, post it, and choose what cause you’d like to donate the proceeds to. When someone buys the item, they pay the app and the proceeds are donated directly to the cause. Charities can also post items for supporters to purchase.
- One Today- This is pretty simple. Donate $1 or more per day to the charity of your choice. Google covers the transaction fee, so the charity receives all of the money. You can set up daily alerts so you remember to give, and get a receipt for tax purposes.
- GiveTide– This makes giving really easy. You download the app, connect a debit or credit card, and each purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar. You can control how that’s done. For example, you can adjust the number of times per week that roundup happens, or arrange an auto-roundup at the end of the week.
- FreeRice– Basically this is a fun way to “waste” time with an online quiz, but for each question your get right, a donation is made through the World Food Program. While it’s unlikely to add up to huge amounts, every little but helps, and it’s a way to help even when you’re broke.
- Turn your hobby into a way to help others. These organizations accept craft donations. So you can knit, crochet or quilt and help someone in need.
- Give blood– OK, there’s something inherently icky about asking someone to give parts of themselves physically. But get over it. It’s quick, it’s free, and it directly saves lives. Most people only think to donate after a disaster, but it’s needed on a regular basis. It can take as little as ten minutes and the website tells you exactly what to expect.
- Make a phone call. 5 Calls is a resource specifically for Americans (let me know if there are similar resources out there for other countries!) that allows people to call their representatives about issues that matter to them at home and around the world. It even provides scripts. Remember that your government should work for you.
What are some of your favorite ways to give back? Are there are resources that you know of that I missed? Remember that kindness also counts and it costs nothing. Be a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on when someone needs one. Give what you can, even if it isn’t money. Every bit of kindness given makes the world a better place. That’s something that we can all benefit from.