Free Giving!

While I encourage the giving of money, there are many other ways to give - and in many cases these other ways of giving are even more important than giving money. Also, many people feel that they can't spare their money ... either because they genuinely don't have very much or because they don't feel that they have enough, should something unexpected arise.

Here's a list of various other ways to give, which do not cost any money. Enjoy!
  • Volunteer your time at charities, nursing homes, and schools.
  • Improve your vocabulary at the UN World Food Programme's Free Rice website, 
  • Go to The Hunger Site and click to get them to donate food to starving people. You can also perform similar acts on their tabs for breast cancer, child health, literacy, rainforest, and animal rescue.
  • Organize a group to go caroling. While this is usually done during the winter holidays, there's nothing to say that you can't go around singing any day of the year!
  • Use GoodSearch as your search engine. Fifty percent of the revenue from advertising links goes to the charity of your choice. You can set this as your default search method by installing their toolbar into your browser. (If I understand the process correctly, you only actually help the charity if you click on the "Sponsored Results" that come up in the search ... so if they make sense, click on them.)
  • You may also buy from stores using GoodShop, so that portions of the proceeds go to your favorite charity. (Technically not a "free" way to give, but you were going to buy stuff anyway!)
  • Create "Thank You" notes for people who are part of your life. Some ideas: family, friends, co-workers, bosses, employees, clients, librarians, cleaning ladies, doctors, baristas, and so on.
  • For that matter, create a bunch of cheerful little notes and pass them out randomly to people you encounter. It will definitely perk up the day of whoever’s working the drive-thru window at your favorite fast food restaurant.
  • Call a friend who you haven't spoken to in years.
  • Contact anyone you know who is alone, including people whose loved ones are serving in the military, and let them know that you’re there for them. Invite them over for drinks and snacks or a meal. (Okay, there's a slight cost to this one, but suck it up.)
  • The One Year Rule: Clean your closet out of any clothing that you haven't worn in over a year and donate it to a charity. Goodwill always needs donations. You can also clean out other unused objects in your house.