Have the urge to give but not the dough to support the businesses or charities you’d like to? I get it, many of these sustainable, eco-friendly and charitable-focused businesses can cost more than what you might find at Target or Walmart. And sometimes we just can’t afford to spend more, even if our hearts are in the right place.
But there are always ways we can help, large and small.
Here are a couple of great options for you to make a real difference, without having to spend a dime:
1. Donate Blood
Giving blood is truly a low commitment, no cost action so many of us can take–it only takes about an hour our of your day every six or so weeks. If you don’t have issues with needles and meet the basic health and lifestyle conditions, this is an opportunity to truly save a life.
Growing up, my brother had Type 1 Diabetes so shots and blood were totally normalized for me; actually I weirdly enjoy the process (I know, totally not normal!). I realize not everyone is as unfazed by the idea of having your blood taken, but it’s really not that bad–the people are generally super friendly and accommodating, you can book an appointment to fit right into your schedule, and you get a free juice and trail mix or cookies at the end 🙂
I usually book mine through the Red Cross app, but if there’s nothing close to you, your community might have it’s own blood bank that you can contact. The app even gamifies it a bit by tracking your donations and giving you fun updates about where your blood is in the process and when it has been used!
For those who find themselves in a situation requiring a bone marrow transplant, the last thing they want to worry about is how long it might take to find a donor that is a match. Yet that is the position many without a family match find themselves in during this difficult time.
Be The Match helps find patients life-saving marrow donors by creating a registry of samples from willing donors. By signing up to be a donor is no small commitment–there is a painful procedure involved along with recovery time required–but it seems nothing compared to the act of saving a life.
Signing up is super easy: you simply fill out a form online, receive a packet and send your cheek swab in. And then you just hope that one day you can be of service to a “match”. About 1 in 40 donors will actually be called for additional testing, and only 1 in 430 members will actually donate–so the odds are minimal. Meanwhile, a patient’s likelihood of finding a donor match on Be The Match Registry® however, ranges from 23% to 77%–that impact is priceless.
3. Shop from Charitable Brands
The good news is there really are so many incredible non-profits out there doing amazing work and making a real difference. Its just hard for any one person to give each the support they deserve, and sometimes its hard to know who is more deserving, because there are just so many just causes. So at minimum, when you are going to make a purchase, if you can focus in on brands that contribute proceeds to worthy non-profits, than you are doing more than many.
Have a suggestion I missed? Please share in the comments below and I’ll be sure to update this post!