5 FREE Ways to Give

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A few years ago, my family’s finances were in such disarray that giving even a small amount seemed like an impossible stretch. Thankfully we made it through that difficult time with a lot of discipline and God’s grace, but that is a whole other post.

Perhaps you are finding it tough right now to be generous in this precarious economy. With a little creativity, determination and perhaps a mouse, you can find ways to give that will cost you nothing but your time.

Here are 5 FREE ways you can start giving today:

1. Give Blood. In times of crisis, it is an important reminder of the need to give blood. If you are eligible to give blood or have questions about donating, you can call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (800-448-3543) or visit givelife.org.

2. Visit “click to donate” websites. Here are a few I recommend:

3. Be a coupon fairy. While you are out shopping, leave an extra coupon or 2 on the shelf near the corresponding item. It is always a blessing to find an unexpected coupon for something you were going to buy anyway!

4. Plant a Tree- with Swag Bucks! I wrote about that here.

5. Join Freecycle. Freecycle is a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills. Post items you no longer need on the forums, and watch your clutter shrink while blessing another- no strings attached!

What other tangible ways do you give that don’t cost you a dime? I would love more ideas to inspire those participating in The 30-Day Giving Challenge.

For more frugal ways, visit Life as MOM.

Comments

  1. Abby says

    Great post – just a quick note to say that I’ve really been inspired by your 30-Day Giving Challenge. We’ve decided to make a sizable (for us, anyway) gift to our church. Giving is down and demands on our food pantry, etc. are increasing.

    We’ve been blessed with a pretty good year, and really do need to be more intentional about giving back. It’s scary for me – we’ve struggled in the past and I fear letting go of even part of our nest egg. But you’ve inspired me to take the leap!

    • Alyssa Francis says

      Abby, thank you for sharing your story. Taking that leap is tough, but I know it will bless you! My church is also in this position right now, so it’s important to remain faithful in our tithes and sacrificial giving. Way to go!

  2. says

    I LOVE to be a coupon fairy– in fact, I just did it this morning! (And yes, I was counting that as today’s giving for the challenge!) There are other coupon fairies in my city, because I often find coupons that I can use sitting on store shelves. It’s kind of fun to know that someone left those for me, and hopefuly I have left some that someone else can use. :)

    • Alyssa Francis says

      WOW! Sharon, what a fantastic idea! I know of many bloggers who would love using your talents. 30 is a great goal, let me know how I can help get the word out if you need more participants. Bravo!

  3. Amanda says

    Your time is always free, volunteer in an area you’re passionate about ( for me it’s community gardening). They may only ask a couple hours once a week or even once a month.

  4. says

    I don’t have any money, so the way I give is to save up all the free shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc etc from my CVS shopping, and give it to a women’s shelter and a Church pantry.

    That helps them a lot, because they get food donations, but they don’t get the other stuff, which they desperately need.
    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..Re: Prayer for us =-.

  5. says

    We are in a very, very tight time financially and I was SO blessed to find a $7 off coupon for formula sitting there among the cans one week at the store. I had a store coupon I could stack and was so thrilled! I like to offer coupons to the people in front of me in line if I have one for something they have that I’m not going to use.

    I shared this week about being able to donate a little by doing some mega-couponing: http://www.vanderbiltwife.com/2009/11/when-not-to-go-to-kroger.html
    .-= Vanderbilt Wife´s last blog ..When NOT to Go to Kroger =-.

  6. Jen says

    I love that you mention giving blood. Two of my children have received blood transfusions in the past, and it wasn’t until these experiences that I truly realized how giving blood is such a gift! I am so grateful that someone chose to give their healthy blood in order to help my child return to health! It’s an amazing gift! We now try to give blood on a regular basis–it’s one thing we feel empowered to do.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Grocery Strategy This Week–Roll the Deal on a Budget =-.

  7. Abdullah says

    Thanks for providing a few creative ways one can give and in the same time, get rid of plenty of unwanted items that are only taking up a lot of space. This way I can make room for more important things that I really do need in the future.

  8. says

    I second Vanderbilt Wife – you can do some great things with couponing. It’s helped me give back to a food pantry that has helped us get through a difficult period. On an emotional leve, it helps to “trade” (in a sense) some extra cereal boxes for other things our family needs.
    .-= Robbie´s last blog ..You call this work? =-.

  9. Kimber says

    What about Boxtops for Education? I bet most frugal couponers have many products sitting on their shelves with boxtops on them (I have a ton of almost-free potato mixes and fruit snacks, especially). Even if you don’t have kids in school, save them (I put mine in a clean baby food jar) and give them to a child in your neighborhood. It won’t cost you anything extra, and most schools are struggling right now. Every 10 cents helps! :o)

    • Alyssa Francis says

      Kimber- I am kicking myself right now! Of course, BTFE is a great way to give for free and yes couponers can easily do so with their stockpiles. Thanks so much for mentioning this!

  10. Diane says

    Thank you for the great inspiration and great ideas on how we can give, both big and small. Times are tight in my household, but after reading your blog I am so inspired to help and give in any way I can. I’m so happy that what started as 30 days of giving has spured me to continue past the month mark. I feel so gratified helping others! Thanks!

    • Alyssa Francis says

      Diane-
      I am so happy that I have the ability to share and inspire others. It is truly a gift from God! Thank YOU for taking the time to read and comment.

  11. spagiftbaskets says

    This is really an inspiring post Alyssa. This year we have decided to homemade the gifts like bath frizz, soaps and cookies for family and friends. I also made extra for the shelter and for charity drive. This is a kind of activity where all my family members get involved.
    The other things that we have also started doing is recycling the unwanted items. It is really shocking to see all the things that are dumped in the trash nowadays. I also look fow ways to turn the empty plastic container, shoe boxes and glass bottles into useful item by giving it a new look :)
    .-= spagiftbaskets´s last blog ..Over the Hill 40th Bouquet of Cookies =-.

  12. spagiftbaskets says

    This is really an inspiring post Alyssa. This year we have decided to homemade the gifts like bath frizz, soaps and cookies for family and friends. I also made extra for the shelter and for charity drive. This is a kind of activity where all my family members get involved.
    The other things that we have also started doing is recycling the unwanted items. It is really shocking to see all the things that are dumped in the trash nowadays. I also look for ways to turn the empty plastic container, shoe boxes and glass bottles into useful item by giving it a new look :)
    .-= spagiftbaskets´s last blog ..Over the Hill 40th Bouquet of Cookies =-.

  13. penny says

    Hello I would like to say to you yes it is hard to find ways to give I know because I need help in being able to keep warm in my own home I am disabled I have a spinal cord injury and need help with getting and having someone to put installion in the walls of my home and house board and house warp on my home so that I will not freeze in my home anymore ; I have to replace two entry doors and two screen doors because while i was with my father who was diying in the V.A . hospital someone broke into my home 6 times and after daddy died I came home to find that I now have to replace all 9 argon gas Maintence free windows in my home The insurace does not want to replace them because they said i didn’t maintence the windows and there is no trees up at my home ; I told them that the windows are all maintence free windows you do not have to do anything to them but clean them and take them out in case of a fire in the home ; and then there is not one tree up at the house because the roots will grow under the foundation of the home and to the water supply and there for you say that you will not cover that because now the tree roots are under that house and that ; so there for there is no trees up at the house what so ever . then the state gov. office called the OVO which stands for the Ohio Vally opertunites they do the weatherzion for the elderly ; disabled ; low income and all of that ; but they didn’t do what My daddy and i was lead to believe that they were going to do to my home to help us stay and get warm in the winter months . they broke the craw space door the first time that they were at my home & now this year they broke the frame to the craw space door and now I can’t even get the door into the frame of the craw space area it will not stay in so there for it is a big whole in the bottom of my home and putting cold air into the house that way also ; that means that not only does the cold air come into the whole house from the walls but also from the wide craw space door area that will not close and will not stay closed at all . so there for I freeze even that much more . then there is the lights they go from normal to dim to flickering for now reason at all the light company will not help me . I need help I ask you is there any way that you can get me somone that is lic. in the state of Indiana pertty please ? please help me thank you kindky please email me back and let me know is there any way that you can help me at all???

    I would like to say this to you also . I don’t have any kind of money to pay anyone for help at all . All of my disablilty money goes to pay my house payments each and every month ! I neve see one Penny of my money i am afraid and scared that I am going to freeze to death in my own home . If you can help me it really will be appreciated thank you kindly for listening and for really taking the time to make the time for me .
    Also I didn’t have any thing to donate to a food bank all that i had was a Penny that I had found on the ground and since that is all that I had period I took that Penny and wrote a letter to the food bank in Inidanapoils , Ind . and I explained to the lady that sent it the CEO and Percadent why I was sening only a Penny for I have never heard from her but I sent what I had found and what all I had to give I know that a PENNY isn’t really much at all ; but it is all that I had and I gave it to try to help someone and maybe more than one with that little copper Penny . So you see I give what i have to others I know what it is like to freeze and to be hungery because I can’t get enough food to eat ; so I do what I can to help others at lease i have tried that is all that I can do i have nothing more . thank you kindly once more for listening to & for really hearing me have a nice night I wish you & your family a very Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year .

  14. penny says

    Hello I would like to say to you yes it is hard to find ways to give I know because I need help in being able to keep warm in my own home I am disabled I have a spinal cord injury and need help with getting and having someone to put installion in the walls of my home and house board and house warp on my home so that I will not freeze in my home anymore ; I have to replace two entry doors and two screen doors because while i was with my father who was diying in the V.A . hospital someone broke into my home 6 times and after daddy died I came home to find that I now have to replace all 9 argon gas Maintence free windows in my home The insurace does not want to replace them because they said i didn’t maintence the windows and there is no trees up at my home ; I told them that the windows are all maintence free windows you do not have to do anything to them but clean them and take them out in case of a fire in the home ; and then there is not one tree up at the house because the roots will grow under the foundation of the home and to the water supply and there for you say that you will not cover that because now the tree roots are under that house and that ; so there for there is no trees up at the house what so ever . then the state gov. office called the OVO which stands for the Ohio Vally opertunites they do the weatherzion for the elderly ; disabled ; low income and all of that ; but they didn’t do what My daddy and i was lead to believe that they were going to do to my home to help us stay and get warm in the winter months . they broke the craw space door the first time that they were at my home & now this year they broke the frame to the craw space door and now I can’t even get the door into the frame of the craw space area it will not stay in so there for it is a big whole in the bottom of my home and putting cold air into the house that way also ; that means that not only does the cold air come into the whole house from the walls but also from the wide craw space door area that will not close and will not stay closed at all . so there for I freeze even that much more . then there is the lights they go from normal to dim to flickering for now reason at all the light company will not help me . I need help I ask you is there any way that you can get me somone that is lic. in the state of Indiana pertty please ? please help me thank you kindky please email me back and let me know is there any way that you can help me at all???

    I would like to say this to you also . I don’t have any kind of money to pay anyone for help at all . All of my disablilty money goes to pay my house payments each and every month ! I neve see one Penny of my money i am afraid and scared that I am going to freeze to death in my own home . If you can help me it really will be appreciated thank you kindly for listening and for really taking the time to make the time for me .
    Also I didn’t have any thing to donate to a food bank all that i had was a Penny that I had found on the ground and since that is all that I had period I took that Penny and wrote a letter to the food bank in Inidanapoils , Ind . and I explained to the lady that sent it the CEO and Percadent why I was sening only a Penny for I have never heard from her but I sent what I had found and what all I had to give I know that a PENNY isn’t really much at all ; but it is all that I had and I gave it to try to help someone and maybe more than one with that little copper Penny . So you see I give what i have to others I know what it is like to freeze and to be hungery because I can’t get enough food to eat ; so I do what I can to help others at lease i have tried that is all that I can do i have nothing more . thank you kindly once more for listening to & for really hearing me have a nice night I wish you & your family a very Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year .

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