Christmas is one of the most popular times of year when people take the time to donate to charities, whether it is giving money, or purchasing new items (such as Toys for Tots). While it is a wonderful idea, there are others out there who may not be able to afford this. Some of us struggle with our day to day expenses, and spending a few dollars for someone else might not be a viable option. This doesn't mean they are selfish, rather, it is just one of the many realities people face.
It is still possible to be charitable to others without donating money, and many tend to forget this.Below are some ideas to be kind to the world, any time of the year.
1. Microloans for Those in Need - Kiva is a great organization that delivers micro-loans to people from all over the world (usually developing countries) who aren't able to get a conventional loan. This is either because the country they live in don't have conventional methods to get loans or they didn't qualify due to a number of reasons. How this works is this: you look up profiles of people (or a group) that want a loan. These profiles will include photos, the name, country that person is from, a brief bio, and why they need a loan. You loan money in increments of 25 dollars. Kiva will also disclose who is administering the loan, the time frame for paying back the loan, and other facts about the currency, and default statistics. Once you choose to lend the money, Kiva will send you a message every time part of your loan is paid back. Once your 25 dollars is all there, you can choose to deposit it back into your account, or loan it to another person in need. This is all done without you donating money.
2. The Power of Prayer - Doing something kind doesn't need to take a lot of time. By praying for someone other than yourself everyday, it means you are thinking of them and sending kind thoughts into the universe. Hopefully your prayers for that person will be answered someday!
3. Tell a Joke - Sometimes, a simple laugh is all someone needs to feel better and go on about their day.
4. Give Advice - If someone is in need to some help with anything, offer your expertise! It can be anything from ideas on romantic proposals, or giving advice on starting a business.
5. Teach a Skill - You are smart, so why keep your skills to yourself? Impart your wisdom to those who need it, whether it be for a hobby photographer looking to further their skills, or someone trying to improve their English skills.
6. Be a Mentor - Organizations such as Big Brothers and Sisters are always looking for people to spend time with children. Even some churches might have similar programs in place. It would mean the world to a child for someone who cares to spend time with them.
7. Host a Reciprocal Babysitting Service - A good way to help new and busy parents out is to offer your services to babysit. This can be as regular as you want. This parents can return the favor by babysitting your children.
8. Find Items That You Don't Have Any Use for Around the House and Put it to Good Use - If these items are new or gently used, there are many charitable organizations that will be more than happy to take them, such as Goodwill. Or, if you know if someone who is need that can put the item to good use, that is another option too.
9. Smile! - A smile is enough to put someone in a good mood. It is free, easy, and only takes a second, so go ahead and do it!
10. Help at a Food Bank Anyway you Can
11. Volunteering at a Museum - Museums or other Arts programs are always looking for volunteers. Imagine putting 'museum tour guide' on your resume!
12. Be a Virtual Volunteer - There are many organizations these days that call for different jobs such as webpage development, making newsletters, and e-marketing. Many of these do not require you to be anywhere in person, which can give your
13. Give a College Student a Cooking Lesson - Not only will they eat healthy, but hopefully on a budget too!
14. Host a Free Workout - This is also a great chance to meet others and to help you get motivated to exercise too!
15. Donate Your Hair - Whether you're looking for a new style or have been purposely growing out your hair for this charity, Locks Of Love will always welcome people who can donate their hair. Be sure to check out their website to see how it works.
16. Clicking on Links that Will Donate on Behalf of You - There are lots of websites out there where you click on a link daily and the website will either donate food, money, or something else towards a cause. A website to help you get started is TheNonProfits.com, which lists a large directory of sites to different organizations.
17. Help Someone Carry Their Groceries (or anything heavy for that matter!) Back to Their Car - If a store clerk is too busy to do this, or there is nobody else around, this simple deed doesn't take too much of your time. You can also count this as exercise.
18. Donate Points off Your Rewards Card - Some credit cards (or rewards sites) give you the option of donating the points you earned to a general charitable organization or one of your choice.
19. Be a Foster (Pet) Parent - Some animal shelters simply don't have enough room or not enough resources to take care of rescued animals. As a foster parent, you take care of these animals in your own home. Some pet supplies are included, depending on the shelter.
20. 'Adopt' a Grandparent - Similar to Big Brothers, there are organizations out there that would appreciate the time you can spend with a senior citizen. You can even volunteer your time at your local nursing home and try to make your rounds to everyone there.
21. Clip Box Tops - Various products you buy will give you the change to cut off 'box tops', which then you can give to your local school. The school can then trade these for money.
22. Grow a Community Garden - You don't need to spend money to buy supplies; simply ask some local businesses what your intentions are and they might be inclined to donate some equipment. You can use the crops to donate to a charity or to local members in need. You can also teach others to garden, giving them an invaluable skill to start their own garden in their own yard.
23. Using Referral Links From Charitable Organizations - Some charities have affiliate links (such as amazon or ebay) that you can click on when you go online shopping. Your purchase will help donate money (normally a percentage of the amount you bought) to that particular organization.
24. Perform in a Charity Show - Have you got some singing or dancing talent? Or any thing where you can perform in front of an audience? Many charities these days host a dinner and show, or even concerts to help raise money. Donating your talents could help raise more money. Don't you think it's an excellent way to raise capital without donating money?
25. Donate Used Books to the Library
26. Collect Pop Tabs and Donate Those to Charity - Charities such as Ronald McDonald House takes pop tabs off to recycling centers and collect money depending on how much they weigh. If you or your friends already drink soda, this is a great way to put those cans to use.
27. Participate in Movember - This is a charity even where you grow a mustache during November to help raise money for charity. Some people I know have gotten quite creative growing some unique designs during that month.
28. Participate in a Marathon or 5K Race - You can spread the word out there who you are running for, and see the donations fly in! You don't need to necessarily donate any money yourself, as long as you can cover the registration fee (disclose this to people who are donating money) normally charged.
29. Compliment Someone - Something simple but can make or break someone's day
30.Read a Book, Have One Donated - This cool website called We Give Books has a catalog of ebooks you can read to your children. For every book they read, they will donate one!
Tami Rogers from Seattle, Washington on February 05, 2015:
I love this...How often do we all ask this question? We donate money to favorite causes every year but my best experiences are ALWAYS when I give of myself...thanks for the fab ideas.. voted awesome and useful!!!
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Sarah (author) from USA on January 10, 2013:
Thanks DDE, I always appreciate your comments!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 10, 2013:
Brilliant ways and most convenient thanks for this Hub voted up!
Sarah (author) from USA on January 04, 2013:
epigramman - Thank you so much for your kind words! It really made me smile. I do hope this hub will help people in some way and get people to do more for others, it is always needed in the world.
epigramman on January 03, 2013:
....only an 'angel' could write a list like this - and the young lady who is the author behind this most life affirming hub presentation most certainly fits the apt description of 'one.'
Hubbravo from the epi man who would urge anyone reading this to go out tomorrow and try at least one of these suggestions and believe me it will make you feel so good.
lake erie time ontario canada 10:18pm and sending you warm wishes and good energy
Sarah (author) from USA on December 28, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by Rajan!
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 27, 2012:
What an interesting list of things to give to others without it costing any money. Voted up & interesting.
Sarah (author) from USA on December 27, 2012:
Thanks hawaiianodysseus! That's great what you do every week, I think more people should do something like that!
Sarah (author) from USA on December 27, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by Louisa! I think we need to get away from equating generosity with money and try to focus more on other good deeds.
Louisa Rogers from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico on December 27, 2012:
Great hub! I agree, when we think of generosity, we tend to think money and finances, and there are so many other ways to contribute and help.
Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on December 26, 2012:
Sarah, my wife and I love to visit elderly friends at three different senior sister agencies (nursing home, assisted living facility, and retirement home) every Saturday afternoon. Every other Saturday, we also sing for a couple of hours at two different geriatric facilities. We are as blessed as those we visit. Your excellent article points out a generous amount of ways we can give of ourselves. Thank you so much for being on target with your Hub mission of making a positive difference in this world. Aloha, my friend!
Sarah (author) from USA on December 26, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by! Kiva is a really wonderful organization, as all the loans are funded by people like you and me. Of course there's a risk with giving out a loan, but Kiva is upfront about the default loan percentages.
Sarah (author) from USA on December 26, 2012:
I was scratching my head at more ideas until I remembered back in the day when I used to volunteer at a senior citizen home. I think that older people are sadly ignored and there is a lot more we can do for them.
Richie Mogwai from Vancouver on December 26, 2012:
You certainly open the eyes of a lot of people with this hub of yours. I had no idea there was such a thing as Kiva until I read your hub. Prayer and telling a joke are definitely wonderful ways to give to somebody without having to dole out cash.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 26, 2012:
An excellent list of suggestions! I love the adopt a grandparent one...so clever and so important. Well done my friend.