You know there are people in need, but aren’t sure where to start?
Are you leary of getting “too involved,” afraid to make a big commitment to being there every week, unable to donate blood, but you still have love in your heart that wants to help your fellow man?
Here are a few tips that can help you find a place to help others, without having to sign up for a regular schedule:
Special Note – Share the Love: Once you find a charity, involve your social group – work, church, hobby groups, veteran’s clubs etc. is always a good idea and very rewarding. It’s a great way to fellowship, too.
Clothes Closets: A wonderful choice for charitable donations are clothes closets that provide work clothes to people who are trying to get on their feet, often out of shelters or other similar conditions. Local salvation armies, Goodwills, and churches can guide you to where you can donate work clothing that is new or like new condition.
Food Pantries: The need for food doesn’t end with the holiday food drive at your local school. Food pantries operate year round and are also a place that really help people who are down on their luck and the elderly. Here are a couple of places to look for local food pantries:
www.ampleharvest.com lists many local food pantries and handles a lot of fresh produce
Soup Kitchens and Shelters: Often are accepting food goods as well as time. These links will start you on the path to finding some.
Meals on Wheels: This is usually a donation of time, but is worth an honorable mention here, because they take care of an often neglected part of the community. If you are able to donate time to prepare meals or deliver them, contact meals on wheels at www.mealsonwheels.com. This company makes sure the elderly has food.
Train a Helper Pet: An unusual way to help is to train a helper pet. While this is a commitment more so than our other suggestions, it’s something that is done largely in your own home and the whole family can help with. There are many good organizations that will let you take part in training dogs for disabled people, including those bound to wheelchairs, deaf, blind, or other impairments whose lives are completely changed with a therapy pet. If training isn’t your thing, birthing animals often need hosts homes too.
If You Come Up Empty Handed: If you want to go the whole 9 yards and are able to get your group involved but have no local organization that needs help, why not start a food drive that you can drive down to a food bank out of state or in another distant location that still needs donations?
Random Acts of Kindness: Everyone needs love. Everyone needs a pick me up. A small kindness, like paying for the coffee behind you, can totally change the day of another human being.
If you were digging the idea of a group drive, you can also get involved with one of the suggested groups here in our previous “How to Be an Angel” Article for crafting for charity.