There are no excuses anymore. Being charitable has become embedded throughout our everyday lives through shopping, by pursuing our hobbies, at our workplaces, and with our celebrations.
You don't even need money! Just by doing fun things and living your life to the fullest, you and your family can spread good deeds from home to globe.
Here are ten wonderful, and sometimes wacky, ways to give back, support your favorite causes, and simply make things better.
Being frugally organized can help charities you take the time and effort to find places that need the things you no longer use. There's a place for everything, including glasses, cell phones, computers, hearing aids, and ink cartridges.
Sometimes, your stuff is the last thing you should donate. Be sure to keep in mind things that are helpful during a disaster.
From booking the local botanical gardens for your reception to hiring a theater group to stage the entertainment, brides and grooms are finding ways to turn their weddings into opportunities for giving back. You can transform almost every aspect of a wedding, and even the honeymoon, into good deeds.
Turn conspicuous consumption into doing good. There is hardly a product that doesn't somehow benefit charity these days. Cause-related marketing is hot among companies, and there is fierce competition to be the best one out there.
Throw a Children's Party for a Cause
Show your kids how good it feels to give rather than receive by throwing a Halloween, kindergarten graduation, birthday or another type of children's party for a cause.
The kids will love helping people or animals in need, and they'll have fun too. Examples include assembling care packages for the troops to making catnip toys for the local cat shelter.
Another popular birthday idea for kids is to show them how to set up a birthday donation page for a charity. Several charities offer this capability from charity:water to Heifer International to Facebook where you can choose any charity easily.
Dedicate Your Crafting to Charity
Are you a "knit-a-holic?" Maybe you knit so much that you do not know what to do with it all. Knitting for charity is a great outlet for your talents.
If you are into some other form of do-it-yourself project, look for organizations that can use the help of crafters of any type.
If photography is your gig, find out how to turn your photographic eye to charitable causes. If you can't get enough of quilting, learn how to do it for charity; and if you handle a crochet hook with finesse, consider charities needing crochet items.
Run, Walk, or Bicycle for Good
Getting tired of running around the block? Vary the scenery by running, walking, cycling, or even walking your pet for charity. Charitable "thons" are everywhere, happen all year round, and are available for just about any disease or cause. Get healthy and do some good at the same time.
You don't have to wait for an event to make your workout a charitable occasion. Just use your smartphone. With the Charity Miles app, you can make every mile you run walk or shimmy a charitable gift.
Help Out the Dogs, Cats, and Other Furry Creatures
There is a bonanza of opportunities to help out our wet-nosed, four-legged, jumping-for-joy friends of the canine variety. They range from adopting a dog to providing donations to animal aid groups to volunteering to train or walk a doggy friend or two.
And don't limit yourself to dogs! There are lots of ways to help other creatures, from chickens to cats to apes, and more. Let your animal imagination run free.
Bid for Good
Support that favorite charity by doing what you love: buying and selling on eBay. It is all set up through eBay Giving Works.
Many charities also have online auctions that you can explore. Some are ongoing, and others are just for certain dates. Either way, you can score an unusual item for a gift or to spruce up your home right from your computer. Bidding for Good is the place to be, with hundreds of charities posting thousands of items at all price points.
Give Away Your Frequent Flyer Miles
Are you a master of frequent flying? Some people have enough frequent flyer miles to be able to give them away. Look for the airlines that have donation programs and the charities they benefit. Almost all major airlines have a charity program for gifting miles.
Donate Your Stocks or Bonds
Do good and get a tax deduction as well? Donating stocks could allow you to give more than otherwise to your favorite cause. Any appreciated asset can be given, such as stocks, real estate, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate investment trusts.