I believe in community. I believe that we all have a duty to support and improve community for our children. I also believe it is important for us to teach our children the value of community as well.
I don’t have unlimited resources to give, give, give and I can’t fix all of the ills of the world, but there are many things that I do on a weekly, monthly and annual basis to do my part. Keep this in mind: The power of one leads to the empowerment of many. Empower yourself, empower your kids, empower your community.
Here are five ways that you can give back to your community for FREE:
- Volunteer. Volunteering is free and there are volunteer opportunities for EVERYONE! Every age, every ability and every interest. (See how I volunteer.) If you are good with accounting, volunteer in the background. Good with animals? Volunteer in an animal shelter. Like gardening? Volunteer in a co-op garden or create one. Pick up litter. Shovel your elderly neighbor’s driveway (or have your kids do it). J
- Donate. Clean out your house twice a year and donate your goods. You can donate to the Goodwill, but take it one step further and donate your “stuff” directly to a shelter for homeless or for women and kids. Goodwill is great, but thrift shopping has become so mainstream that I would rather someone that NEEDS my jackets and jeans, dishes and such to get it for free rather than someone with a paycheck looking for a deal. But that’s just my opinion. OR, have a garage sale and donate the proceeds, or a portion of them, to a cause that is near and dear to your heart.
- Coupons. You can often pick up FREE toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, granola bars, tuna and so on with a coupon. If I see something like this I always scrounge up as many coupons as I can to pick up these free or cheap items. Even when it is something we already have or won’t use. This week it is free cream cheese and cheap Nabisco crackers. A few months ago it was cereal. (We will be donating about 25 boxes of cereal to a donation center this year.) One other option for donating food is shopping at a salvage store. Check out my tips on salvage stores here.
- Box Tops for Education. Those cute little “Box Tops for Education” labels you see on MANY products of all shapes and brands might not mean much to you personally, but they mean $$$for schools. All you have to do is clip them and send them to school. If you don’t have a school-ager you can drop them off or mail them, but please don’t throw them away.
- My Coke Rewards. You can help out a participating local school by donating MyCoke Rewards points to them. The school can redeem those points for sports equipment, art supplies and other educational items. Sometimes being a Diet Coke-aholic isn’t such a bad thing. Oh, who am I kidding, it really is bad (and I’m working on that) but at least I can put the points to good use!! Points are also on items like bottled water, Powerade… so please keep your eye out for those.
Baby steps. One small, but good, deed at a time.
Do you help your community? Please share your good deeds!