Many of us are scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to giving. I've emptied the change in my car ashtray, checked the sofa and chair cushions, and examined old purses for leftover pennies. Some people have been unemployed for a long period, many have lost their retirement savings, and everyone is hunkering down and trying to survive. And now, with the news from Haiti, we're trying to figure out how we can scrimp and save and give more. Fortunately, there are ways when you just can't scrape up any more cash, that you can give with nothing more than your time.
One way to do this is with click-to-donate sites. Although a few of these are really popular, in fact there are dozens of sites where you can donate with just a click. No matter what you're passionate about, whether it's rescuing animals, saving forests, caring for children, feeding the hungry, providing medical care, cleaning up waste, providing education, or financing loans, there's a click-to-donate site for it!
You can also volunteer your time at your local food bank. While it's true that Haiti is in the forefront of the news, we can't forget that people are starving in our own countries. If you can't do that, read to children at school or the library; hold a garage sale and donate part or all of the profits to charity; volunteer at a homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter; enroll in a phone bank; clean cages at an animal shelter; knit sweaters or crochet afghans; or join just about any nonprofit organization and devote a few hours a week.
Reading to children at the library is
an activity that many will appreciate
Still too much? How about just making sure that we all keep those who so desperately need our help in mind? Post links to articles you read on twitter or Facebook; blog; or write a message to your social networking friends. Send an email. Send an e-card that is sponsored by a charitable organization that will provide a few cents every time you send one of their e-cards. If your computer runs all the time, consider donating unused computer time to a distributed computing project--again, there are dozens of scientific, literary and mathematical projects that will accept computer time as a donation!
Write your elected officials
Not activist enough? Write your elected officials and let them know that you want them to support relief efforts for your chosen causes. Elected officials care who comes to visit them, and who writes them. Those letters, while not individually answered, do count for something when the people an official represents speak up in numbers--and that starts with one person!
Too impersonal? Go talk to your neighbours. Share your concerns, and find out what they need. Provide an hour of baby-sitting; tutor their children or teach them a skill; sweep their walks or shovel their driveways; cook them a meal.
Need something? How about shopping online for charity? If you truly need something, try to find a store selling what you would buy anyway that donates their profits to a charity you care about--or even one you don't.
Regardless of what you choose to do, by doing something you will feel better and have taken an action to improve someone else's life. Taking a positive action will result in benefits for you--whether you call it the Law of Attraction, Abundance thinking, karma, the Golden Rule--giving transforms you in positive ways.
PROFITING OFF THE MISFORTUNE OF OTHERS IS WRONG. THIS WRITER HAS NO INTENTION OF DOING THAT. ALL EARNINGS MADE FROM THIS ARTICLE - LARGE OR SMALL - WILL BE DONATED TO THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN HAITI. IF THIS ARTICLE CONTINUES TO EARN AFTER DONATIONS ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED FOR EARTHQUAKE RELIEF, CONTINUED EARNINGS WILL BE DONATED TO OTHER LEGITIMATE CHARITIES SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE OPPORTUNITY IN HAITI IN PERPETUITY.
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