I used to work in the fundraising department of a non-profit organization and we focused on developing two types of givers: the type who had the ability to give a large gift on one or two occasions and the people who gave smaller, but regular donations – $25 a month or $100 once a year. But what about those of us who cannot even afford to give any money at all? While I faithfully give to my church, there are other charitable efforts to which I would like to give, but I simply do not have the money.
Philanthropists fascinate me. I often think about what kind of charitable efforts I would support if I had so much money that I could be one of those big donors – the kind who can change an inner-city school overnight or like the man who used to fund all of the Christmas bonuses for the over 200 employees of a non-profit organization. But I digress, I will probably never be put in that situation. However, it is important for all of us to look for ways to help those less fortunate than us. Even though some of us might not be blessed with a great deal of cash, we can still develop an attitude of giving. Here are some ways to be a philanthropist without money:
There are all kinds of charities that can use people like you to serve food to the hungry and homeless or to do the dishes or to clean up afterward. Many of these groups do not need your money, they just need your energy. I enjoy serving at the Denver Street School from time to time.
If you are like me, you might purchase most of your clothes second-hand, but maybe your children have clothes out of which they have grown – or maybe you just lost a lot of weight and have some duds that you can no longer wear. You can give your used, but still nice clothes to organizations who re-sell the items and use the proceeds for all kinds of charitable endeavors. We give most of ours to Goodwill.
If you have long hair, why not think about donating it to the Locks of Love organization? The hair that you donate must be clean and at least ten inches long. Your hair will grow back and the stuff that you normally throw away will be used to make life a little easier for a child with a serious illness.
Donating blood can be one of the most unselfish acts that a person can carry out. All the money in the world cannot help car accident victims or those in need of serious surgery without this life-sustaining fluid. A donation of one pint of blood has the potential to save three lives. The American Red Cross is the best place to get more information.
As we go into a holiday weekend that is intended to remember those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom, I hope you will take a moment to think of a way that you can give for others.
Article by Stew
Photo by dbking