Budgeting Tips

Donate Without Spending Money

April 30, 2016

Donating without spending money

Michael and I love to give back. It’s a way that we can both feel good about helping the community as well as possibly helping to save lives in the process. There is always an opportunity to give back with money, if it’s tithing to your church, donating to your favorite charity, or giving money to someone on the street.

But what are some ways to give back without spending money?

Hair Donation

Since my days in middle school, our school had a club of girls who wanted to give back. The only way I remember us really making an impact was the Locks of Love hair donation. Each of us, 13 at the time, made the decision to cut our long, beautiful hair so we could donate it to patients with hair loss due to long-term medical conditions. Most of the patients have Alopecia but others may have lost their hair from chemo therapy treatments. It’s a way to help patients under age 21, who may not have the means to purchase a real-hair wig, to gain back their self-esteem.

Since 8th grade, I have donated at least 5 ponytails, all at least 10 inches long to Locks of Love.

Clothing Donation

Another way we like to give back is by donating clothes. The same thrift stores I enjoy shopping at, I make sure their shelves are fully stocked! The clothing that we may have purchased off the clearance rack that didn’t fit quite right, but was too good of a bargain to pass up- donated. The slightly used clothing that no longer fits because I’ve put on a few pounds- donated. The clothing that one of the twins doesn’t think is cool from my wardrobe, that just isn’t my style anymore either- donated. And often times if you bring in a bag of donations, the thrift stores cut you a coupon for a percentage off your next purchase!

Save money, while giving back. Usually a portion of the money earned by selling thrift items is given back to charities. You will need to look into each thrift store to see how their profits are being distributed if this is a concern for you. For me- I like knowing that if I’m in the market for thrifted goods- then someone else is too.

Blood Donation

And the third way I give back without spending money: Donating Blood. This is one of my favorite ways to put good karma back into the world. I donate blood. Some others have posted about the incentives to donating blood, like some places will give free movie tickets or t-shirts. Here in the bay area- I’ve never experienced that, and I’m really glad I haven’t experienced that. If the only way we decide to give back is the “what’s in it for me” mentality, then our morals and priorities in life are WAY OFF!

My blood type is always in need of donations. It’s being used as quickly as it’s being donated. The American Red Cross will tell you what the demand is for your blood type and even tells you where your donation has gone to help save a life. My last donation went all the way down to Los Angeles.

Donating blood helps save lives.

There are people, like my fiance Michael, who are squeamish around blood, so you wont find him donating it, or even picking me up from the donation center, but he supports my decision to do it. There are other people who feel like giving their blood isn’t safe, or isn’t right. We’re all entitled to our own opinion, but I hope you find other ways to give back.

And you don’t even have to spend money doing it.

What are your favorite ways to give back without spending money?

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  1. The most rewarding thing I have done was volunteering at a high school to help students with their college essays. I called the school and set it up independently. The students who came for the help were struggling and it was so rewarding seeing their essay transform or helping them pick topics. I actually took PTO days at work because I enjoyed it so much!

    1. It’s the times you can donate without expecting anything in return that feel the best. I keep getting calls and emails from the American Red Cross for blood donations. The stock of my blood type is so low that they need help with more donors. So that’s something that I will be doing coming up here in the next week or so. I need to plan it out with work and days off. I hear they are staying open later in order to encourage more donors to come out

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