Make a difference with these volunteer ideas for seniors and other ways to give back to your community.
While financial donations to charities can undoubtedly lift your spirits, money isn’t the only feel-good way to pay it forward. In fact, studies show that volunteering your time can improve your overall mood and may even make you feel physically stronger. With plenty of ways to be charitable, you can make a difference for people, animals, the environment, or other causes that are important to you.
Here are some ways to give to charity:
- Volunteer your skills and talents
- Organize a donation drive
- Join a nonprofit organization
- Give from what you already have
- Donate blood
- Get crafty
- If you have extra, open your wallet
See more below on each of these ways to be charitable in your community.
1. Volunteer your skills and talents
Everyone has something they’re good at, so consider using your skills and talents for a worthy cause. You can donate your time to charities that need help with a variety of different skills including legal work, writing, gardening, accounting, and more. If you have a great speaking voice, consider recording books and readings for people with low vision, or perhaps you know sign language and would consider helping a community service organization for people in the deaf community. The possibilities are endless!
Even if you don’t have any local charities looking for your unique skills and talents, nonprofits need volunteers for all kinds of work. Tutoring, preparing and serving food, or reading to kids are just a few more ways you can give back.
Connect with local nonprofits to find a volunteer opportunity near you.
2. Organize donation drives
Another way to give to charity is to organize donation drives to collect goods like clothes, toiletries, blankets, towels, school or pet supplies, food, or other items to help your community. Start by contacting a local organization you trust to find out which items are in the highest demand, then use these tips for organizing a community charity drive.
3. Join a nonprofit membership organization
Consider joining a group like Rotary International, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis, or another local nonprofit organization to become part of a collective community service effort. Not only will you help others, but you’ll also make connections and build relationships with like-minded neighbors and friends.
Discover research-proven health benefits of friendships.
4. Give from what you already have
When most of us look around in our attics, basements, garages, and even living spaces, we’ll quickly notice things we haven’t used in years. Why not clean house and help others at the same time? Gather any gently used clothes, electronics, books, tools, and other items you no longer need and give them to a local charity. You can also sell your items at a yard or garage sale, then donate the proceeds to a cause of your choice.
5. Donate blood
Hospitals and disaster relief organizations need generous donors to help them save lives, and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny. Donating blood has no upper age restrictions as long as you’re in good health, so consider giving through the American Red Cross or another local organization. Look for local blood, plasma, or platelet drives in your community or call to schedule an appointment that works with your schedule. Even a one-time blood donation could save up to three lives.
6. Get crafty
If you’re good with your hands, you could make much-needed goods for charities. Knitting blankets for those affected by natural disasters or homelessness, sewing clothes for in-need children, or making snuggly beds for shelter animals are all great ways to be charitable while enjoying a favorite hobby – either solo or with a group.
What type of crafter are you? Take our quiz to find out.
7. If you have extra, open your wallet
There are all kinds of ways you can use money to help those in need, if it fits into your budget. Peruse these top-rated charities to choose reputable organizations that can put your contribution to good use or select one of these organizations working on behalf of people with hearing loss. In addition to cash donations, you can also ask your bank about credit cards affiliated with charities. Every time you use the card, a small percentage is donated to the affiliated charity. You may also choose to shop through online programs like AmazonSmile, which will automatically donate a portion of your purchase to a charity of your choice – at no extra cost to you.
There are plenty of ways to give to charity, and it certainly doesn’t have to be through financial donations. Just by choosing a cause you love and getting involved in any way that feels comfortable for you can lend fulfillment and joy to your life.
For more articles for seniors, keep reading our senior living and independence blog. To learn about how CapTel captioned telephones can help you stay in touch with family and friends, head to our website today.