How to Start Making a Difference

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all of the charities, organizations and causes that tug at your heart-strings? Have you ever wondered how to choose which ones to help? Have you ever said, “I’ll help when I have some extra money” or “I can’t help because I can’t afford to give money”?  I can answer YES to all of those questions. I had to stop WANTING to do something and actually DO something!! So, I decided to look for alternatives to monetary donations.

The first step is to write down all of the charities, organizations and causes you would like to help. Just start thinking of all of those you wish you could help. Write down names of specific charities and organizations and causes you believe in.

The second step is to pick your top 3. Yes, start with 3 because it won’t feel so overwhelming. You can always go back to your list and pick 3 different ones in a few months or help specific ones at different times of the year.

My top 3:

  1. Operation Christmas Child 
  2. Fresh Air Fund
  3. Save The Storks 

These are all large organizations that can be helped in many ways. I help each one in a different way.

Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child – I am the coordinator for this event at my church. I plan a packing party, ask church members to donate items for the boxes, ask for box sponsors and deliver the completed boxes to the local distribution site.  I plan on helping the distribution center this year with organzing the boxes and getting them ready to ship to the next location.

www.freshair.org

Fresh Air Fund – My husband and I will be hosting a child starting next summer. We are very excited about this, since we both grew up in New York City (where the kids come from). We are waiting until next year so that our Baby Boy is closer in age to the child we will be hosting.

Save The Storks – I purchase merchandise from their website. It’s not a huge contribution but at least I’m supporting the cause.

Ways you can help an organization, even on a tight budget:

  • Pray – This is the best and easiest way to help. And, it’s FREE!
  • Volunteer – many local charities need help with organizing events, mailing letters, answering or making phone calls, advertising, getting donations (monetary or gifts), etc.
  • Purchase merchandise from the organization. This helps support the cause and many times the proceeds from your purchase go directly to helping the cause. Plus, you get a cute t-shirt, bumper sticker or other item that makes others aware of the organization.
  • Donate items – Women’s shelters, Food pantries and pregnancy centers are always in need of items for the people they help. You can use coupons to purchase items really cheap or pick up an extra item that you already buy for your own family.
  • Sell items you no longer want or need and donate the money. Or, donate your items to a charity tag to be used in a tagsale or other fundraiser.
  • Contact businesses to ask for donations that can be given directly to people in need or to help with a fundraiser.
  • Contact government officials to voice your opinion about a cause. Ask for their support or tell them how and why you either agree or disagree with their stand on the issue.

As you can see, there are many ways to help even if you’re on a tight budget. The most important thing is to decide to DO something and make a plan to follow through.

What organization or charity will you start helping? Tell me in the comments.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” ~ Acts 20:35 ESV

 

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