• How To Be More Charitable

    The U.S. National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) estimates that more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations are registered nationwide. The economic and health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic urged people into action, increasing charitable donations to 3.8%. Nearly half of affluent households in America donated in direct response to the pandemic.

    While these numbers are commendable, it creates a misconception that only the wealthy can engage in charitable giving. This is especially true for many Americans facing unemployment and a higher cost of living.

    However, there are ways to be more generous in day-to-day life.

    Contrary to popular belief, giving to charity doesn’t always involve writing a big check or donating disposable income. In this article, I explore charitable acts that are not only doable but also inspirational to those who want to make a difference, despite their financial situation or limited resources.

    Donate in Kind

    What better way to give to charity without spending money than to give items that you already have? Start by sorting your clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, and other personal belongings to see what’s only taking up space. Another person could put your items to good use and benefit from them immensely. Giving away your gently used items is also good for the environment since you are repurposing and not disposing of them.

    Shop Responsibly

    The cry for corporate social responsibility has urged businesses to donate part of their proceeds to good causes. In 2020, corporations allocated $16.88 million to general philanthropy. Local, national, and international businesses have committed to donating part of their proceeds to charity. By buying with intention and careful consideration, you can already help make an impact without cashing out more than you have to.

    Check with your go-to merchants if they are affiliated with any non-profit organization. It feels good to know that your so-called retail therapy is actually helping improve people’s lives in this day and age.

    Provide Your Skills

    Many nonprofits and advocacy groups need people with specialized skill sets but do not have the resources to hire them. If you can lead, write, cook, or mentor, providing your services for free is a practical and admirable way to give back.

    Volunteer and Be Present

    Many non-profit organizations depend on the time and energy of volunteers. Homeless shelters, soup kitchens, home care facilities, and animal rescues can stay operational because people help out. Since you are physically present, it feels more rewarding and tangible.

    Donate Your Blood

    An estimate of 29,000 units of red blood cells are needed daily in the U.S. 4.5 million Americans need a blood transfusion every year, yet only less than 10% of eligible blood donors donate. Your blood might just save someone’s life today. Find a local blood drive near you.

    Raise Funds

    If you don’t have that much to give, financially speaking, you can raise funds instead. Try organizing a campaign, seeking donations on social media, or joining a sponsored walk. You can even encourage your friends and loved ones to take part. With your teamwork, you can raise a reasonable amount.

    Donate Credit Card Rewards

    Credit cards are highly likely to have a rewards program. You can donate your rewards points or miles to charities. If that is not an option, you can redeem your rewards for cash back and reallocate those funds after they get credited to your account.

    Giving in Ways You Can

    As someone who has experienced seemingly insurmountable challenges in life, I have personally witnessed how every good deed goes a long way in transforming someone else’s life. I have always been passionate about helping families and children rise above poverty. I pursue this passion in the best ways I know how: volunteering, fundraising, and sponsorship.

    My acts of charity mainly revolve around offering my time and skills to the L.A. Food Bank, a non-profit organization that gives food to those in need. I help pack, restock, and distribute food packs and maintain crowd control and social distancing.

    Having met many volunteers such as myself, I realized that one does not need to be well-off to pay it forward. I would like to share this mindset with everyone so we can foster the spirit of giving and uplift more communities, no matter how big or small our charitable actions are.

    Learn more about my experience in volunteering by visiting my homepage.