January 16, 2008

There are many people who think they need thousands of dollars to give to a charity. Not true! Whatever you can give is a great help and will be appreciated. Here are a few ways, without the use of money, that you can make a charitable donation. Individuals also need the plain essentials of life. You can volunteer your time; donate items such as clothes, household goods, canned goods, etc. Every so often even a life saving blood donation is needed. Occasionally, these “other” forms of donation are desired more than a cash donation.

You can find many charities in your community that would appreciate ten or fifteen dollars- if that is all you have to give. When you see a red kettle around Christmas, drop in the change in your pocket. Yes, it will make a difference and that little bit is what helps to keep many charities going. The smallest amounts can add up quickly. Your “pocket change” donation will do more than you think, as long as you are giving it to a legitimate charity.

Let’s consider a few guidelines on the “other” donations concept. You can help clean up your community, spend time with underprivileged children, or work in a soup kitchen. I mentioned above that you can donate older items in your home. You can give old clothing, household items, books, and toys as long as they are in respectable condition. If something is broken or stained, it is not a good charity gift. If you won’t use it for those reasons, chances are no one else will want to either.

When you think about making a donation, check before giving your money. There are many great charities but, there are a few who mismanage money, and even some scams that just want to take your money. Do some researches online before you donate to any charity. That way, you can be sure your money is put to good use. Remember, even though you don’t think you have a lot to give, you really do. Just an hour of your time can make a difference in the life of someone else.

One last thing, when you help others, you’re also helping yourself! Many of these foundations provide you with a tax deduction at the end of the year.

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
~~ Maya Angelou

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