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6 Ways to Give Back on a Budget

2020 has left a lot of people with tighter budgets and fewer in-person volunteer opportunities, so how can you make a difference without breaking the bank? Hannah Donnelly shares some ideas.

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‘Tis the season to give back. We know the pandemic has left a lot of people with tighter budgets and fewer in-person volunteer opportunities. Here are 6 ways you can give back in a meaningful way:

Write a Thank You Note to a Frontline Worker

Frontline workers have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for nine months and continue to face it head-on.  Many people won’t get to spend the holidays with family to keep people safe. So,  write a thank you note, a holiday card, anything to show them how much they are appreciated.

Shop from Companies that Give Back

For any last-minute shoppers, consider buying from companies that give back. Some businesses use a portion of proceeds from specific items to donate to a cause, while others commit to a larger overall donation.  Either way, you will know that you are supporting a something bigger.

Buy Coffee for Someone in Line

It sounds cliché but buying coffee for someone else can change their whole day.  And think about the chain reaction of kindness you can start.

Volunteer Virtually

If your looking to lend your time, check out all the options online.  Many organizations have pivoted their operations online, including volunteer work.  Whether you mentor, teach or use your skills to help on the backend, it’s all necessary to keep these non-profits going and they need the help.

Participate in the Bundle Up Drive

The closet cleanout was one of the more popular quarantine activities. What did you do with the clothes that “didn’t bring you joy”?  If they’re still sitting at home and can help people stay warm, donate them to the annual Bundle Up Drive.  Bring your like-new clothes to one of the approved Cradles to Crayon drop-off locations. 

Donate to a Food Pantry

This requires a little money, but not much: donate to a food pantry.

A recent report from Feeding America anticipates that by the end of 2020 Massachusetts will have the highest percent increase in food insecurity since 2018: fifty-nine percent. This means that approximately 14 percent of our community doesn’t have reliable access to the food they need.

So, check with your local food pantry to see what items they’re accepting. Or, make a donation online to the Greater Boston Food Bank; one dollar provides three healthy meals for someone.

At the end of the day, the smallest act of kindness will go a long way. So be intentional with whatever means you have this year to spread some joy.

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