How to give back on a budget

Welcome to our guest post from Mummysaver about how to give back on a budget
Many thanks to Becky for swapping posts with me, it’s fun to read what other creative mums out there are doing!  And so kind of her to lend me a voice to her loyal readers.
My post today is tips for how you can  help others, which cost little to nothing and make you feel fantastic about yourself.
give back when you are on a budget
Tip 1: Donate the deluge of plush toys to sick children.
Anyone quietly suppressing a sigh and saying, “thank you so much that’s really thoughtful” through your strained smile as a family friend turns up with another  plush toy, which unbeknownst to them will be completely ignored in favour of the one ratty favourite, taking up yet more space.  What to do?  Well, you could donate them to the charity shop but would you buy a plush toy in a charity shop?  This is the best idea I’ve seen so far: “http://www.postpals.co.uk” will link you up with a sick child.  You can correspond, send toys and your child’s artwork to cheer them up.  See, everybody wins!
Tip #2:   You can donate £1 to The Children’s Society for free!
All you have to do is http://www.thegoodchildhood.com/pledge/ go to this website, pledge to do something from a list of selfless things.  For example, donate some clothes to charity, fathers take the family outside into fresh air over the weekend (don’t we understand what a huge undertaking that is!!!), organise a fun family activity, or pledge to eat together as a family three times this week.
Tip #3: Donate blood.
I did this yesterday and saw two mums with their (admittedly miles-better-behaved-than-Babysaver) little ones in the buggies.  This would NOT be possible for me with Little Mr. Hyper so I left him with nanny and went by myself.  Takes less than an hour and I asked the nurse whether they ever had to throw donated blood away, she said they use most of it within a week of donation for patients.  Afterward you can have a nice cuppa and as many snacks as you want.  Go to the <a href=”http://www.blood.co.uk”>Blood Services website  to get a donor number and book an appointment near you.
Tip #4: Become a microfinancier
You can open an account at Kiva for as little as USD $25 to invest in microfinance projects.  You could help a lady farmer in Bolivia buy some new machinery, or a mum who runs a corner shop in Africa improve her premises, or a lady shoe merchant in Kazakhstan increase her on-hand inventory.  The partner organisations are very carefully vetted and payback rate is better than 98%!  Although you do not earn interest on your investment, when your investment is paid back by the borrower you can re-lend/recycle your money, and you can withdraw your money at any time!  So the only “cost” to you is the interest you would have earned if that money were in your savings account.  My money really helps someone so much more than just that extra couple of pounds it would have earned in the bank.
Tip #5: Volunteer.
Until I stopped working 70 hours a week I didn’t have the time to volunteer.  Now I do and it’s so wonderful.  You can find any kind of volunteer work to suit your interests and available time at the http://www.do-it.org/”>do-it.org website.  Seriously, I saw all sorts of stuff from turning up ad-hoc on Saturdays to do gardening, working in a charity shop, visiting local housebound people, to being on the Board of Trustees.  Maybe you can find a fun idea to involve the whole family on a regular basis in community service?
BONUS! Tip #6: Click for your favourite cause.
Set your browser homepage to http://www.thehungersite.com The Hunger Site and click at least once a day to donate food from the site’s sponsors.  From this link find similar sites donating to breast cancer, animal rescue, child health, rainforest, and literacy.
There you go, six ways to help others for minimal money cost to yourself.  Have fun and feel great!

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3 Comments

  1. Sharon
    March 24, 2010 / 11:01 am

    I think people are increasingly looking for ways to get more out of their lives, outside of the daily grind and these are really great ideas!

  2. Hayley
    March 24, 2010 / 12:21 pm

    Its great to see someone mention giving blood. I wrote a post about this appealing for blood donors as it saved my life during childbirth and now because of that I’m not allowed to give blood so its so precious when people do!

  3. March 24, 2010 / 8:54 pm

    What a wonderful post.

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