Guest Author - Maria Brown
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
Every year, especially around the holiday season, we try to find ways that our family can give back to others. If you have extra money to donate, that’s great, because money can always be used and it is always in need. However, there are many other ways that you can help others, without spending any money.
Volunteer at your local food bank.
If you do a search in Google on “your city food banks” you will see a list of results that come back. (Replace “your city” with your actual city). When you visit the food bank’s website, there will probably be information right on the front page about volunteering. If the food bank doesn’t have an actual website, you will usually still get an address and phone number. It will only take a few seconds to contact the food bank and ask on ways that you can donate your time.
Once my family volunteered at a local shelter and we helped to serve food. Another time, when a local food bank was overwhelmed with canned donations, my family went to the local food bank and organized the pantry with all of the new additions.
Do an internet search on “Volunteering”.
A great website that I found on the internet was VolunteerMatch.com. VolunteerMatch.com allows you to specify what type of volunteering you want to do, what type of group you would like to help, etc. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with them. Last year, we found a local charity that provided gift cards and canned goods. With the gift cards we were able to purchase a turkey and some food and we were able to use the canned goods as additional food. My family took all of the food that the charity purchased to a specified group home and we cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the kids who lived in the group home. This was the perfect volunteering opportunity because the charity had already collected everything needed for the perfect dinner, the only thing that was missing was someone to volunteer their time.
Check with your local church.
If you belong to/live close to a local church, stop by and ask if the church is helping out any specific families/churches. Often there will be a family that may need coats or winter clothes for the winter. Just taking a second to go through your old clothes in your closet may be the one thing that a needy family benefits from the most.
Often times we hesitate to help because we think that we will have to spend money and we may be struggling on our own. The information provided above is just a few ways we can make a difference in someone’s life without costing you a penny.