Ways to Give This Year That Don’t Cost a Cent

posted: 12/19/17
by: Katie Morton
Close up of little girl's hands holding red rubber heart on the snow with copy space

The holiday season is a magical time for many of us. Unfortunately, for those families struggling financially or emotionally, it can be a time of stress and strife. The holiday season is a time for charity and helping others. Even if you have a tight budget, that doesn't mean you can't find a way to give back. Read on as we share impactful ways to give back to your community this year that won't cost you a cent!

1. Volunteer Your Time and Skills

One of the most meaningful ways to make an impact on your community is by volunteering your time and skills. Want to volunteer, but you're not sure where to start?


The following reputable organizations are always in need of volunteers and can help match you to the perfect position based on your skills:

2. Give Blood to Save Lives

Donating blood is a simple way to give that can literally save lives. According to the AABB, "A blood donation truly is a 'gift of life' that a healthy individual can give to others in their community who are sick or injured. In one hour's time, a person can donate one unit of blood that can be separated into four individual components that could help save multiple lives."

Check out the American Red Cross or AABB for more information and to locate local blood banks in your area.

3. Donate Household Items

The adage, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" holds true here. What's old to you can be new (and needed!) to someone else.

You can donate everything from clothes and furniture to used sporting equipment, books and electronics--the list is endless. Look around your home and get creative. What are the items you could live without that could help another family?

Some charities even offer free pick up so you don't have to find a drop-off. Visit the Salvation Army or Vietnam Veterans of American to schedule a donation pickup. You'll feel good and you'll even get a tax-deductible receipt--it's a win-win!

4. Help Families Impacted by Domestic Violence

According to Verizon, "HopeLine(R) from Verizon Wireless helps support victims and survivors of domestic violence while ensuring that phones are reused in an environmentally responsible way. Anyone can donate no-longer-used phones (from any provider), batteries and accessories to HopeLine; Verizon then uses the proceeds from these donations to provide cash grants to domestic violence organizations across the United States."

Learn more about how your used cell phones can help others at Verizon HopeLine.

5. Donate Your Credit Card Rewards

It may surprise you to learn that you can donate your credit card rewards. Cash back, miles, and points can all go directly to a charity that you designate. In fact, "most credit card companies allow you to do this directly from their website. Simply log in to your account, go to the section to manage your rewards and look for a charity link," to learn more visit USA Money.

6. Visit a Children's Hospital

For some, this magical time of year is tampered by the stress of serious illness. Spend an afternoon visiting with a local children's hospital. You can volunteer your time, visit, or even read books. Bonus points if you want to dress up as Santa or Mrs. Claus for a visit the younger kids will never forget.

This season, give and support your local community without spending a dime. It will make you feel amazing to know that you're helping someone in need. Wishing you a warm, joy-filled, and charitable holiday.