Spending a few minutes on news sites can be more demoralizing than ever, though with all the tragedy is an even greater call to action for good that helps remind everyone with the darkness there is also light, and you can be a beacon for that.
You’re too busy and short on time. Don’t let that discourage you from giving back; there are small, manageable ways that not only improve the lives of those in need but also can add meaningful value you never imagined to yours.
Listed below are four simple ways to give back that don’t require all of your time and effort, and cost absolutely nothing. A little can go a long way. Be a part of the ripple effect.
1. The Shirt Off Your Back
Release What No Longer Serves You
In the bestselling organizational book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author, Marie Kondo describes her KonMari method of simplifying, organizing and storing. She stresses the importance of letting go of material possessions that no longer serve you.
De-cluttering your surroundings and inadvertently your brain, and increasing your well-being, as well as making room for more – new ideas and identity. If you’re due for a closet cleaning not only can this benefit you – it can greatly improve the life of someone in need with a much less impressive wardrobe.
Re-purpose and Profit
Consignment is always an option and many stores will eliminate the legwork of donating unsold clothing to charities. Many vintage clothing stores offer items that go straight to local causes, taking the worry and effort out – no need to come back and pick up unsold items – they go straight to families in need.
Throw n’ Go areas
If you find some items in the back of your closet you feel aren’t worth consignment or direct donation there is also the Throw n’ Go option – a specific area at the city landfill where you can drop off clothing and textiles for reuse and recycling.
The materials collected from Throw n’ Go are sorted and graded by condition and any reusable clothing is sent for resale to retailers internationally.
The proceeds from the revenues of recycled textiles support the charity, Haiti Arise. If an item isn’t reusable, it can still be recycled into a new product. Textile recyclers transform the old into new, including shredded-down items to upholstery stuffing to fiber recycling.
The Brave Little Toaster
Aside from repurposing clothing, old household items can find a new home through Goodwill and the Salvation Army as well as many local thrift shops and church drives in your community.
Local drop in centres usually accept donations 7 days a week (check local listings.) Donation centres are created to provide former clients of drop in centres and individuals from referral agencies with furniture and household items when they obtain housing.
Typically Drop In Centres accept furniture, small appliances, clothing, recyclable beverage containers, books – any and all items that help individuals succeed in day-to-day life.
There are also group donation drives you can become a part of by downloading the most current “needs list” and posting it to share.
Many local organizations offer free pick-up on donations of clothing, accessories, bed and bath, shoes and housewares/electronics anywhere within specified city limits. They also have drop-off bins at many locations found on their website.
2. True Blood
If your closet is clean and you’re stumped on what you have left in your possession to donate – remember you can always give blood to help someone else who desperately needs it. 400 ml (0.4L) of blood is taken when you donate and it takes about ten minutes.
Visit www.redcrossblood.org or www.blood.ca for information and a location nearest you – they even have an app. You can sign up for more information by email or call their 1-888-2-DONATE hotline for any answers to questions you might have. You can also volunteer or make blood donations for research purposes.
3 Locks of Love
Time for a trim? Donate your hair to the Canadian Cancer Society. Your contribution can help make wigs for women who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment. It takes 8 to 15 ponytails to create 1 real-hair wig. Go to here for more details.
4 Meaningful Movement
Fundraising events can offer a lot of valuable exposure on causes that matter to you in your community. Marathons, galas, and many other events are held often with proceeds going to a specific charity. Research what is going on in your area and follow meaningful causes that matter to you.
You don’t have to be an expert athlete to participate in many run/yoga/walkathons – simply signing up and giving it your all still raises funds and awareness as well as feel-good endorphins you never knew you had.
Doing good doesn’t have to cost you financially; offering time and repurposing resources can pay off immensely. Making a difference and paying it forward rewards you with newfound confidence in yourself and allows you to connect with your community.
Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/old-age-emotions-life-kindness-1147283/ via pixabay.com