Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Free, Easy and Fun Ways To Give To Charity

In these challenging economic times, it's not always possible to donate money to charity, as much as we'd like to.  And we don't always know if that money is going to end up in the hands that most need it, or merely line the pockets of those who run the charitable organizations. 
We do know that giving makes us feel better:

A team from the University of British Columbia said spending as little as $5 (£2.52) on others helped.

Staff who got bonuses and spent some of the extra money on others were happier than those who spent their bonuses on themselves, the research found.

A UK psychologist said such charitable giving improved how people saw themselves - and how others saw them.

And $5.00 isn't much for an improved sense of well-being.

If you do have the money to freely give but you want to make sure the charity is worthy of your hard-earned cash, check out Charity Navigator or Charity Watch.  Both websites have rating guides to help you determine which organization you feel most comfortable supporting.

But there are other ways of 'giving' which cost nothing more than your time.

1. Volunteering: There are a zillion different organizations looking for volunteers, all you have to do is narrow down who and how you want to help, whether it's children, military vets, animals, senior citizens, or the homeless.  Check out organizations like United Way, the Humane Society, the Salvation Army, the list is endless.

2. Donate Goods:  If you have old clothes, furniture, knickknacks, kitchen items or anything that you no longer want or need, drop those off at places like Goodwill, the Salvation Army or a slew of other charities.

One of the easiest ways of donating is just a click away:

1. Freerice.com- is a fun way of donating grains of rice and helping to add to  your vocabulary at the same time.

2. Thehungersite.com- also donates food to the needy with just a click.

3. Thebreastcancersite.com- by clicking you can provide a free mammogram to women who can't afford one. You can do this once a day.

4. Care2.com- has a variety of different causes (from violence against women to saving seals) you can click to help.  You can also do this once a day.

And here's a portal website that lists a bunch of different organizations that allow you to click to donate.

Another way is to use those sites that allow you to shop for what you need and at the same time donate for nothing.

1.  shopforcharitynow.com

2.  igive.com

3. goodsearch.com

4. goodshop.com

The easiest and most hassle-free way to give to others is the 'click to give' sites, but give in any way you can. There is always someone needier than we are.

So go on, make yourself and someone in need happy.

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