This has been a difficult year for many and charities need help now more than ever. Unfortunately, if you are dealing with your own challenges, it might be harder than ever for you to help. Still, one of the biggest joys comes from being able to give to those who need it even more than you do.  How can you do that at a time like this?  Here are a few ideas that might work for you….

  • Participate in a dollar store toy drive. Some have a surprising number of nice toys for the price.
  • Buy some lotion, soap, slippers or other useful item at the dollar store and give it to a local nursing home to be used for someone who doesn’t get gifts or visitors.
  • An inexpensive warm scarf, hat and/or gloves can make a world of difference to a homeless person.
  • Use coupons and sales to get free things that you can donate to places that need it. has tips for combining sales and coupons to help you donate to women’s shelters, senior facilities, food pantries and more for free.
  • If you can’t afford to do something by yourself, go together with some friends.  Make it special by having cocoa and cookies together before or after.
  • Gather all your change together…empty all your pockets, old purses, couch cushions, junk drawer, etc.  You might be surprised by how much you have there.  You can cash that in at a bank or use a Coinstar machine to give directly to certain charities.
  • Sign up for automatic monthly withdrawals for your favorite charity.  You might wish you could give $50 or $100 in a lump sum but since you can’t right now, you put off giving anything. However, if you sign up for even $10 per month, you’ll have given $120 by the end of the year.  For $25 per month, you’ll have given $300.  In four years, that would be $1,200!  Steady, consistent givers almost always make the biggest impact over time.
  • Even if you have no money to give right now, you can help by volunteering. You could stuff envelopes, make phone calls or do data entry sometimes even from home.  
  • If even that is beyond what you have the strength to do right now, pray for the charity staff and clients who need encouragement and stamina to face every day.