As the holidays approach, the giving spirit is in full force. As you shop for gifts, you may purchase an extra toy or two for children in need or donate some of your extra change to the food pantry in the grocery store check-out line.
But, if you find that you have limited room in your budget to make a big difference financially, there are plenty of ways to give back to your community without breaking the bank. Read on for some creative and impactful ways to support those in need this holiday season.
Volunteer Your Time
The holidays are all about connecting with people, and there is no better way than to volunteer your time to a good cause. If you’re looking for local opportunities, use websites like VolunteerMatch and JustServe. Both organizations help users filter opportunities based on interest and location. You can volunteer for advocacy and human rights organizations, animal shelters, crisis support centers, disaster relief programs, and more.
Simply select your areas of interest and zip code to view a populated list. Each listing has information regarding the opportunity and can be a great way to learn about local organizations in your area.
Donations come in many shapes and sizes, so if you’re short on cash, there are other ways you can contribute. Many charities and non-profit organizations collect gently used goods, including:
- Books, magazines, music, and DVDs
- Clothing, shoes, and accessories
- Devices, like computers, tablets, headphones, and mobile phones
- Sports equipment
- Pet supplies like bedding, toys, leashes, and collars
Another way to give back is through your credit card account. Some credit card companies allow cardholders to redirect their cash rewards to an approved charity or non-profit organization with a few simple clicks. To learn more, view this Experian article that outlines different policies from companies like Discover, American Express, Chase and more.
Partner With Your Employer
Check with your employer to see if there is a charitable matching policy in place. If there is, you may be able to receive matching funds from your employer, allowing you to save your money while making a big impact.
You can also talk to your company’s Human Resources team about paid time off for volunteer work. Many companies allot one or two days per year to each employee to give back to their community. Some companies may require proof of service, so make sure you understand the terms to ensure you get the time off.
If your company allows it, use VolunteerMatch or JustServe to find an opportunity near you.
Spearhead a Fundraiser or Donation Drive
If you’re limited on time and money this holiday season, try leading a fundraiser or donation drive in your community.
By using social media or sites like GoFundMe, you can create an initiative for your network to like, share, and participate in. Some social media sites, like Facebook, even allow you to host a fundraiser directly through the platform, making it convenient to share with your network.
You can also host a drive to collect items for people or pets in need. Simply select a drop-off deadline and collect goods from your friends, family, and neighbors.
Gift Your Skills
If you’re still looking for creative ways to give back, you can consider donating your skills to a good cause. In many cases, non-profit organizations need experts that they cannot typically afford, including copywriters, graphic designers, social media managers, tutors and more.
If you have a special skill, reach out to organizations in your area to see if there’s a need for your expertise. If there is, you can donate your time to helping them achieve their goals.
Giving back doesn’t have to break the bank, and it can be a rewarding experience for you too. Not only do these charitable acts allow you to do something good for the community, but it also helps you to connect with the people living in it.
Take some time this holiday season to make a difference, and if you’re looking for ways to make adjustments to your budget so you can afford to participate in various ways, subscribe to the Slavic401k blog. We also have resources to help you financially navigate the holiday season, simply and stress-free.