Money isn’t the only way to give back to others. Here are seven alternative donations that can support and inspire members of your community and beyond.
1. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
The only obstacle that keeps some students from mastering an instrument is the lack of money to buy one. If you still have the cello from your days in the middle school orchestra or the guitar that’s been collecting dust since you tried to start a band in college, there are plenty of charities that will put them to good use.
Instead of selling your old books online or letting them sit unopened on your shelf, why not donate them to a reader in need? Connect with your local schools, hospitals, and even prisons to see if they accept used book donations. If you’d like your former reads to get a little more mileage, you can even send them overseas.
3. WEDDING DRESSES
After weeks of bridal store visits and fittings, wedding dresses are typically worn once then stored in an attic. If you choose to donate your gown after your big day, you can give it new life as an affordable option for a bride-to-be. In some cases those positive vibes can spread beyond the new owner—some charities sell pre-owned gowns and use the funds to cover work on their respective missions.
4. AIRLINE MILES
You may not have any use for your spare airline miles, but they can really come in handy for charities that send terminally ill kids on dream vacations. Donated miles can cover the cost of lots of this charitable travel. This opportunity is an especially perfect fit for travelers with a lot of points and little time to spend them.
5. SCIENCE EQUIPMENT
Science education can open a lot of doors, but basic lab equipment like test tubes and petri dishes are hard to come by in many parts of the globe. Fortunately, it’s easy for labs that have old or surplus supplies lying around to get them into the hands of researchers who need them.
6. CRAFT SUPPLIES
Cleaning out your craft drawer can be beneficial for local organizations. Get in touch with schools, libraries, and hospitals that offer art therapy for kids to see if they’ll take your art supplies. Your surplus markers or beads could be the key to unlocking some youngster’s talent!
Time, even if it’s just a few hours out of your month, is one of the most valuable resources you can give. Your service can be as simple as helping supply people with basic resources by volunteering at a soup kitchen or home-construction charity. Another way to give your time is by teaching. Get in contact with your library to see if they provide any career counseling or English language classes in need of instructors.