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8 ways to donate and give back

box full of food items labeled for donation

Whether it’s giving during times of emergencies or to improve the quality of life for local families, donations can have a far-reaching impact. Simply put, any donation you make to local charities will help make your community a better place, benefit the lives of others, and circle back to enhance your own emotional well-being. The next time you’re on a mission to do some good, consider these eight ways to spread the love:


  1. Food – Hunger and food insecurity can impact anyone, especially among underserved communities. Donations of dry, canned, shelf-stable, and non-expired food goods are often welcome. To help, ask your local food bank about how and where to contribute.


  1. Clothing – Donating clothing and linens helps in a lot of ways, whether it’s to keep those experiencing houselessness warm during cold months, or to support low-income families with wardrobe essentials. Ensure that clothes are clean, undamaged, and devoid of odors and stains before donating.


  1. Hygiene and toiletry products – During times of emergency or financial hardship, household items such as toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, soap, and dental care items are typically in high demand. Find out which local organizations welcome your unused or unopened toiletries.


  1. Furniture – Gently used chairs, tables, lamps, and beds can make a world of difference in making someone’s permanent or temporary housing feel more comfy. If you have furniture you can part with, call a nearby charity to ask about how you can arrange for a donation.


  1. Toys, games, and books – Items used for childhood fun can be taken for granted; for many, they’re a luxury. As your children outgrow toys, games, and books, consider passing along the joy to others in need.


  1. Blood – No donation, big or small, is unworthy of gratitude, but those who take the time to give blood can say their effort is saving lives. The American Red Cross is among the world’s most trusted charitable organizations. To find out when and where you can give blood, contact your local chapter.


  1. Time – Volunteering is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to give back to the communities where we live, work, and play. Donating your time to a local charity will undoubtedly help those in need—and the gratification we feel adds a nice bump to our emotional well-being, too.


  1. Monetary – Financial support is the world’s most common form of philanthropy, and an effective way to make a difference to the causes and communities important to you. Any credible charity of choice you’re passionate about can put your contribution to good use.



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