With the economy in the dumps there are a lot of people who could use a helping hand out there. But how can you help if you are financially strapped yourself? There are a lot of ways to help without spending money and there is nothing like a little service to others to make your own situation seem a little less dire.
Whether you can donate large amounts of time or just a few minutes there is a volunteer job for you. Some volunteer positions may be ongoing such as patient advocates at hospitals or coaching a little league team but there are plenty of smaller opportunities such as serving snacks at a church bible school or reading to the elderly at a retirement home. Check with local hospitals, schools, libraries, churches, animal shelters and youth organizations for volunteer opportunities in your city. This option can also pay you back with networking contacts and by improving the community you live in.
Help a neighbor
Do you have an elderly neighbor or, perhaps, a busy, young family near by? You could offer to babysit while the mother runs errands or has a few precious minutes to herself. You could help an older neighbor with yard work or home maintenance or take a neighbor kid fishing. Basic human kindness and care is a definite help in times of high stress. Just a kind word or sympathetic ear may be all someone needs to brighten their day.
Okay, I said it wasn’t going to cost you anything and it’s not! Clean out your cupboards! Almost everyone has non-perishable food items that have sat on the shelf for months and haven’t gotten used. Maybe you bought several cans of something on sale and discovered you didn’t like it or you brought home the wrong brand or flavor, whatever the reason, donate your unused foodstuff to a food pantry where someone else can get some good from them.
After you are done cleaning out the cupboards, move on to the closets! If you have a lot of used books; you could donate these to a retirement home or jail. School libraries may like to receive children’s books in good condition. Jars, buttons or other odds and ends can be donated to church Sunday school classes or school art departments. Clothes, toys and blankets could go to a homeless or women’s shelter. Worn out towels are appreciated at the animal shelter. Look around, do you have something no longer used that could help out someone in need?
Helping others is a great way to help yourself and make the world a little brighter for everyone. There are numerous ways to help without spending a penny. Look around, what could you do to make your community a brighter place?