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Friday, February 25, 2011

One Hundred Simple, Green or Frugal Ways To Make A Difference Part I

By: Notes From The Frugal Trenches

I've been thinking a lot lately about giving back, largely because I ran a little charity program over the holidays where I asked readers of my blog to donate something warm {could be something they made or something they purchased} to a special program I had recently volunteered with {ChinaKidz}, which cared for palliative care & special needs orphans in China. The results were simply incredible, with each child receiving parcel after parcel of warm clothes. If you're interested in viewing the photos they can be viewed here. Many of my readers from my own blog & this co-op wrote to me afterwards and shared that they often find it very hard to find simple or frugal ways to help people in need and participating in this project really was a simple & frugal way for them to give back, but now they need other ideas.

So I thought today I'd begin a new series about the many many ways you can give back and/or support a worthy cause which fit in with our simple, frugal and green lifestyle and choices. And the truth is, I certainly don't have all the answers, so I'd love if readers contributed some ideas too!

One Hundred Simple, Green & Frugal Ways To Give Back: Part One

1. Knit a scarf, hat or a pair of gloves for the homeless
2. Volunteer to teach ESL to newcomers to your country
3. Host international students for the holidays
4. If you have chickens, see if a women's shelter or homeless centre will accept egg donations
5. Teach a knitting class to people with special needs or experiencing hardship {many women's shelters are keen to find volunteer knitting teachers!}
6. Donate your no-longer-needed items to charity shops
7. Take your old books and magazines to shelters, recreation centres or medical clinics
8. Volunteer to paint a shelter
9. Become a block parent
10. Volunteer in your local school - many schools are desperate for people to read with children
11. Make some soup or baked goods for someone who is isolated or sick.
12. Help someone plant their first vegetable garden {many people don't know where to begin with seeds and find it a tad scary!}
13. Buy someone a compost bin!
14. Sponsor a child in the developing world.
15. Host a bake sale and give the proceeds to your favourite charity.
16. Collect blankets from your friends, religious organization or work & take them to a homeless shelter
17. Volunteer to be a Big Brother or Big Sister
18. Volunteer with your local Child Protective Services, they often look for safe adults to become mentors for children in care.
19. Host an alternative baby shower - ask everyone to bring something to donate to shelters or low-income families
20. Donate breast milk to a legal/certified milk bank in your country
21. Send something to a child in an orphanage
22. Volunteer to clean someones house for them
23. Make up a green cleaning hamper and give it to someone (with instructions) who would like to try green cleaning
24. If you have a car, offer to take others with you when you go grocery shopping!
25. Donate some food to food banks in your community!

Now I'd love to hear your suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments!

6 comments:

Carolyn said...

We always send a shoebox to Samaritan's Purse at Christmas and donate a present to our local social services children's department. Its good for my children to realise how blessed they are. Carolyn

The Professor's Wife said...

1) Pick fruit from yours/ your neighbors trees and bring it to a homeless shelter
2) Do a clothes drive for homeless kids
3) Pray to the God of the universe for those in need
4) Sell homemade art or crafts to give to your favorite charity

Mistress Cynica said...

Give blood. I donate blood to the Red Cross every six weeks. It costs you nothing, it isn't painful, and it could save a life.

Sjoerd said...

I support Seeds for Food.

A Belgium professor VAN COTTHEM started the initiative to support selfhelp for families in the Sahara-region growing their own food.

"Seeds for Food is not requesting any financial aid or assistance.

As the purchase of commercial seeds is too expensive, we ask that you send us the seeds from the fruits and the vegetables that you and your family use at home.

Simply follow the five steps listed below;

1.Rinse the seeds with water.
2.Allow the seeds to dry on a plate (not on a piece of paper as paper sticks to the seeds).
3.When dry, sort the seeds by species and place them in an envelope."

Collected seeds can be mailed to mr. VAN COTTHEM and he will distribute with the help of volunteers.

More information:
http://www.seedsforfood.org/

Liz said...

1. Donate unwanted toiletries to a women's refuge
2, Take part in a sponsored event for charity
3. Use Oxfam unwrapped for gifts for those who 'have everyhing'
4. Donate old pairs of specs to Vision Aid Overseas

trashmaster46 said...

I decided to take my city's Master Recycler program. Part of the program is doing 30 hours of 'payback' volunteer time to help educate about reducing/reusing/recycling in our area. Part of my payback effort is my blog, trashingmyreputation.blogspot.com.