If you’re feeling the economic pinch right now, just imagine how much tighter the belt is getting for people who didn’t have much to begin with. Most charities are struggling to try and help more people while coping with fewer funds; here are eight ways you can help, by making your money do more than you thought it could:
1.) Buy your last-minute holidays cards (or New Year Cards!) from charities.
2.) Look to local charities for gifts, too. For example: Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter and rehabilitation center in Boston, also helps sells gifts at their Women’s Craft Cooperative.
3.) Donate to individuals to help them start a business. Kiva allows you lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs for whom a little goes a long way.
4.) Give to organizations that encourage independent living. Heifer International is one great option, with gifts at different price points, from $20 to $5,000.
5.) Donate online while you’re doing other things. Click on the buttons at GreaterGood.com and give money without spending a cent.
6.) Support causes that mean the most to you. Here's mine: Tomorrow’s Rainbow, an organization help bereaved children cope with the loss of a loved one by encouraging them to interact with miniature horses and other animals, facilitating therapeutic play and fostering peer support.
7.) Donate time instead of money. You don’t have to do it right around the holidays.
8.) Donate what you no longer need. Clothes you don't wear or presents you can't use can keep someone else warm and happy this winter. Contact organizations like One Warm Coat, Toys for Tots, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army for more information.
Want more details? Surf over to The 36-Hour Day and check out the comments... there are plenty of ways to give more for less.