When you look around and see stories of people donating thousands or even millions of dollars to various causes, it can kind of feel like there’s not a whole lot that one ordinary person can do. Most of us don’t have that kind of money lying around to donate, nor do we necessarily have the time or resources do dedicate years of our lives to volunteering full-time. For the people that do, those are obviously incredibly important and great ways to serve others, but most of us don’t have that luxury.
Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t things regular people like us can do each day to help others in our community (or even around the world)! Here are a few quick and easy ways you can give back to your community:
- Go through your closet. Whether it’s a sweater that doesn’t fit anymore or that dress you bought years ago but never wore, there are probably at least a few clothing items in your closet that you could donate. You might not need it (and you might be glad to get it out of your apartment), but it might be incredibly helpful for someone else.
- Volunteer. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming or elaborate. A quick Google search will probably turn up lots of shelters, soup kitchens, or other organizations in your city that are probably always looking for volunteers. Even if you can only help one night a week or for a few hours on the weekend, it’s definitely worth the time!
- Get a haircut. If you’re willing to grow your hair out and then cut it off, there are a lot of great organizations that take donated hair in order to make wigs for cancer patients and others who have lost their hair. This might be the easiest one on the list – just set up an appointment with your hair stylist and you’re good to go. After all, hair grows back!
- Help your neighbors. If winter weather is a problem where you live, consider helping out an elderly or handicapped neighbor by clearing off their sidewalk or driveway. Or, if you see someone struggling to get their groceries to their car or front door, lend a hand! Little things like this are so easy to do and can really do a lot to brighten someone’s day.
- Recycle! Not only is this great for the earth, you probably have some things in your home – old electronics, medicine, or batteries, for example – that can potentially be harmful to the environment if you just throw them away. Look out for local collection days when you can drop of these items to be disposed of safely.
- Give change. Even if you aren’t in a financial situation where you can give a large donation, every little bit helps. A few cents – the change you got from breaking a $1 bill, for example – can still do a lot. Look out for donation boxes or collection jars or ask when you’re at a store or restaurant if they offer a “round up” program that donates your spare change to charity.
- Donate blood. If you’re not to squeamish around needles, donating blood is a great way to provide something super valuable that you won’t miss. After all, your body replaces the plasma from your donation within about 24 hours. So, check the donation website for the Red Cross or Carter Blood Care to find a local blood drive near you.
While they might not be super obvious, there are so many ways that are quick, easy, and pretty inexpensive – or even free! Giving your time, money, skills, or spare belongings is a great way to give back to your community!