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Helping others in need is something we all aspire to do. Now that my children are teenagers, I’m always looking for new opportunities to give back and support charities. If you too are curious how to help others without money, check out these 7 ways I’ve discovered.
Helping Others in Need: 10 Ways to Help Without Money
Some of these ways to help others may already be known to you. But it’s my hope that you’ll ever discover a way to be charitable you hadn’t thought of before or perhaps discover a new charity:
1. Donate your hair
One of the sweetest things you can do to give back is to donate your hair to children with hair loss. I’ve hesitated to donate my hair before because I used to color it, but they even accept colored hair! My daughter has also donated to Pantene’s “Beautiful Lengths” program in the past.
Wigs for Kids is another organization where you can donate hair. Many of these organizations also partner with salons to offer free or discounted salon services to people willing to donate their hair. Even if you don’t see a sign like that in your salon, it never hurts to ask your hairdresser if they’d be willing to do the same.
2. Donate your time
One of the first ongoing charity projects we did as a family when we first moved to Nashville was with Hands On Nashville. We served in a soup kitchen in a church every Thursday night. Even though our kids were too young to help prepare the food (they were 3 & 5 at the time), they played in the nursery while we worked. They would then eat with us alongside the people we served and helped clean up at the end.
Another family-friendly service option is Open Table Nashville. They set up temporary shelters in the winter in local schools and churches. You’d be surprised at all the needs they have. For instance, my kids and I went in to help organize their donation closets. They also needed people to drop off breakfast for the men when they woke up in the morning. Don’t hesitate to ask an organization how you can use your unique gifts to help others.
No matter where you live, there are incredible charities that need your help!
3. Give Blood
I’m not a doctor, but I’ve heard that giving blood is as beneficial for you as it is for those who need it. You can give blood every 8 weeks and the process typically takes less than an hour. Plus, you can often find the “Bloodmobile” at local organizations near you, cutting the time commitment even further. Get all your questions answered at the Red Cross FAQ page.
4. Shop at Organizations that Give Back
You already know how much I love gifts that give back! Companies like Thistle Farms, Feed, Kendra Scott, ABLE & Project 615 are just a few we support. I realize this does involve spending money, but if it’s money you’re already spending anyway, why not make your dollar stretch further?
5. Run a Race
Running a charity race or participating in a charity walk as a family is perhaps one of the easiest and most fun ways to help others without money. While there can be an entry fee for such events, it’s minimal and going to a good cause.
There are always a ton of charity races going on in Nashville every weekend. A few our family participate in include the St. Jude Marathon (5K), the ALS Walk and the Sara Walker Foundation Run/Walk. There are also ways to support these races without actually running too.
6. Donate Rewards points
Do you have rewards cards for airlines or gas stations? Sure you do! Did you know you can donate those points to charities you love? For example, I just learned I can use my Mapco Rewards to donate to an organization I love, St. Jude. Look into it today – it’s true!
Many of your favorite restaurants will offer special events where they donate part of their proceeds to charity. Not only that, if your school or organization needs to earn money, approach your favorite restaurant to see if they’re willing to donate money (typically 15-20%) of everything earned when people mention they came from the organization on a specified evening.
Driving to the park the other day, I pulled up next to a truck with MoveForHunger.org painted on it. I looked it up and learned that instead of packing all your food when you’re moving houses, they will pick it up and donate it to local food banks. I love this so much.
9. Organ donor
One of the simplest and most profound methods for helping others in need without money is to become an organ donor. Check it off on the back of your driver’s license or register online. Please consider saving a life in this way.
10. Volunteer with Alumni or Affinity Groups
Several times a year, I get together with fellow alumni to participate in service projects, and my kids are almost always welcome too. Projects range from tutoring to helping in a community garden.
I know there must be so many more, but I hope these ways to help without money get your family thinking today.
Watch my Talk of the Town segment on the same topic: