It’s the season to be charitable. Of course, we should be charitable all year. Still, many of us don’t think about it until the holidays. By then, we’re strapped with taking care of the less fortunate in our own friends and family circle. Luckily there are ways we can contribute to local charities that won’t cost us anything but a little time and effort. This is especially true after Christmas when we receive new items we can’t use or old items that are being replaced with thoughtful gifts from loved ones. Here’s some ideas to help your favorite charity for free after Christmas.
There are times when it’s OK to re-gift. This is one of them. During the holidays we often receive gifts we have no use for. Rather than letting them sit around collecting dust, why not give them to charity? For instance, I can’t count the number of times I’ve received gift certificates to places that aren’t compatible with my Vegan lifestyle. You know, things like a gift certificate for a free ham. To tell you the truth, for the sake of the planet and my animal friends, I’d rather they not be used at all. However, the purchase has already been made. So, after Christmas, I re-gift them to a charity, someone less fortunate or with a large family to feed.
The gift of employment
If you own a company that’s especially busy during the Christmas season, forgo hiring from temporary service agencies. They keep a large percentage of the money you pay for themselves. Instead, check with local charities. They can often recommend reliable people who are simply down on their luck. When I managed a dry cleaners, I found several short term employees this way. Charities will usually only refer people they have come to trust for this type of position. One Christmas, I was able to give a homeless pregnant women a job that earned her enough to buy a ticket home after Christmas. Sure, she was pregnant and not the fastest worker, but hiring her got us through the holidays and gave her a chance at a better life.
Christmas often brings new clothing and household goods. Maybe you got a new laptop or phone. What are you going to do with the old one? Why not clean up your old tech gadgets, household goods, clothing and such for use as charitable donations? There may be a child who needs a computer for school work or an adult who could use your old suits to go to a job interview. You know there are things you won’t use after Christmas brings you replacements. Why not share the wealth by donating them?
Volunteering after Christmas
Volunteering is very common at Christmas time. What about after the holidays? Poverty doesn’t go away in the off season. Start a new trend. Rather than offering your help during the overstaffed holidays, volunteer when it’s really needed, right after them. Better yet, don’t stop there. Volunteer at your favorite charity all year long. It’s one of the best ways to be charitable, even if you, yourself, have nothing to give but your time and effort.
More from Jaipi:
Teach Kids to Clean Up for Charity
Donate to Charity This Christmas by Helping the Homeless
Five Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Charity