Three Ways to Give to Charities Even If You Don’t Have Money

In the story Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, a young girl and her parents live in Oklahoma during the Dustbowl.  They barely have food to eat, and the mother, who is pregnant, prepares for the new baby by sewing feedsack nighties for him.  Yet, when people in the community come to ask for donations for the needy, the narrator’s mother does not hesitate to give away some of her few remaining canned goods.

The desire to help others is powerful.  Yet, how can you continue to donate to charity if you don’t have enough money yourself, or if you have enough, but nothing extra to spare?

There are three excellent ways you can help those in need, even when you don’t have much yourself.

Use Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an Internet search engine that you use just like Yahoo or Bing.  Sign up by using your e-mail and creating a password.  Then, search the Internet as usually using Swagbucks.  Occasionally you will be rewarded with Swagbucks, which you can allow to accrue.  When you have enough, you can cash them out for a gift card or prize.

You can use your Swagbucks for charity in a variety of ways.  If you earn 2,699 Swagbucks, you can redeem it for a $25 Lands End gift card, for example.  Use that gift card combined with sales to buy some new clothes to give to a needy family.  Or, donate to a family at Christmas.  Redeem your points for an Amazon gift card and buy a toy for a child from a family in need.

Alternatively, if you don’t have enough points for a gift card, you can donate to Swagbucks’ monthly charity.  This month they are donating to the Humane Society.  Every Swagbuck you donate translates to .01 cents, so if you donate 100 Swagbucks, you are essentially donating $10.00.

Use Huggies Enjoy the Rides

Do you have a child in diapers?  If you use Huggies, you can enter the code on each package of diapers and wipes into Huggies’ Enjoy the Rides program.  (Most small packages of diapers earn about 6 to 9 points.)  Rather than saving the points for yourself, you can donate them through Huggies’ Every Little Bottom program.  Over 5% of American moms are struggling financially and have rinsed out and reused soiled diapers on their child, according to Huggies’ website.  You can prevent this by donating your points.  One point equals one diaper.  Sixteen points is enough to diaper a child for a day.

You can do even more to donate and help the environment.  Huggies now has a TerraCycle program.  Sign up and send in your Huggies’ diaper packaging and earn points.  You can do this as an individual and have the money donated to the charity of your choice, or you can sign up and organize this with your child’s school, and the school will get the money.

Even if you don’t have a child in diapers, you can use this alternative by searching the web for free codes.  Freebies4Mom is a great site to get free codes to use in the Huggies program.

Donate Your Time

If neither of these options works for you, you can always donate your time.  Charities are always in need of those who can donate money or time.  Check with a local charity to see if they are accepting volunteers.  My aunt and uncle never had a lot of money to donate to their church, but every weekend they volunteered to help set up for weddings or clean up after them in the church hall.  Your time can make a difference to a charity just as much as your money.

While you may feel that you don’t have anything to donate to a charity, you can use free programs such as Swagbucks or Huggies to donate things like clothing, toys and diapers.  In addition, you can always volunteer your time.

So, how do you give to charities?

Guest Post Author Bio: Melissa is a freelance writer and blogger.  She blogs at Mom’s Plans where she shares her family’s progress getting out of debt and saving money.  She also loves to cook with organic, locally grown food, and details how to make organic food affordable.


Three Ways to Give to Charities Even If You Don’t Have Money — 15 Comments

  1. Good ideas, I like to donate my time to charity but there were a few scandals about charities using donation money to live a lavish lifestyle in poor countries and I tend to be wary of donating money. Some credit card rewards can be turned into donations, and many company now offer to give a % of what you buy to charity, although the product is often sold at a premium. We had a thing at work were they recycled bottle caps and every cap was an amount of potable water for kids in Africa.

  2. Good points, I like the creativity of different ways you can give to a charity. Having two kids in diapers, I can relate to the cost of diapers and it was eye opening to read the stat from Huggies. I think time is a great way to help out a charity. Anyone who has money to give can just write a check, but I think time can be more appreciated than money.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have a million Huggies points I have been saving to give someone. Now I can just use them to donate instead. I had no idea.

    • And it is such a good cause. I was shocked to read how many people reuse disposable diapers out of economic necessity. That can cause some serious skin damage to baby.

  4. I absolutely love this! Will definitely start using the Huggies thing…we don’t use their diapers too often, but we use the wipes pretty consistently. Will have to start typing in their codes! I think there’s something like this going on right now with Yogurt cups where if you mail in pink labels the company will donate to find a cure for breast cancer (Susan Komen Foundation).

  5. Good tips. I think too many people forget that you don’t always have to donate with money. Your time is just as good as sometimes even more valuable.

  6. I usually give to various charities through the church I belong to. We regularly conduct feeding programs to poor communities and we also set up a charity to send deserving students through college.

  7. I give to animal rescues. I sometimes give cash,or I use my swag bucks to purchase the items on their want list. In the future, I will be volunteering at a rescue.

    I am currently packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

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