Where to Start with Donating to Charity Without Spending Any Money

Clothes donations

In 2012 alone, people in the United States gave over $300 billion to charitable organizations. Not all of that money was actual money — some came from goods donated at local schools, for example. A more accurate way to report the figure would be to say that total donations amounted to $300 billion, and it’s an important distinction to make. People sometimes get a notion that in order to make a difference, they have to give some kind of tax-deductible charity write-off, and that’s just not true.

Of course, money is still the most immediate way to affect change in any charity’s agenda. But Americans haven’t particularly had the best decade themselves, with stock market plunges and housing market crashes littering the landscape even today. That’s why it’s crucial to find the ways you can help out charities in your area that are looking for donations without having to give any actual money. For example, you could…

Donate clothes.

What You Can Do: Look for the blue donation bins around your town or city, pack up your old clothes and textiles and plop them in. It’s really just as easy as that. And don’t worry about your old pair of ripped jeans — those might not be sold, but they might be able to be broken down to make cloth wipes. If you can, find the organizations that focus on fostering growth, like the ones devoted to helping disabled veterans.

Why It Matters: When you make clothing donations, you might just be helping a vet pay for his next round of medical bills. You might be helping give a homeless person a bed for the night. Whatever you’re doing, you’re making a real difference.

Donate food.

What You Can Do: How many times have you walked into a supermarket and seen a donation bin labeled “Canned Goods Only” or something like that? The sign means what it says — all you have to do is drop in a non-perishable food item. Canned fruits and vegetables are a good place to start.

Why It Matters: A can of corn or beans or peaches can go a long way to someone who hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks because of poverty and homelessness. Again, it might be another step toward helping disabled veterans.

Donate your time.

What You Can Do: You might think a VA hospital would be an intimidating place, but it’s really just filled with men and women looking for someone to spend a little time with them.

Why It Matters: All it takes to make someone’s day inside a medical facility is smile at them, but if you want to go the extra mile, strike up a conversation. Find out about their families. Write them letters. You’re doing more than just helping disabled veterans — you’re helping people.

Remember that there other ways to contribute besides just by giving money. For a list of local organizations to get involved with, find out more about what’s going on in your community. For more information see this: www.gogreendrop.com

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