Donate NOW, When It Matters the Most
Charitable donations tend to dip in the summer time – folks are thinking about their vacations, not charity, per see. However, summer months are when many local charities need your help the most. Here’s how you can make your donations count, without breaking the bank.
1. Food-shelves. Most people think of donating to food shelves around the major holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. However, in the summer, when kids are out of school and are NOT receiving government-funded school lunches, food-shelves need your help more than ever.
How you can help: Organize a month-long food drive at your office or place of work. The Emergency Foodshelf Network makes setting up a food drive easy. Just log on to their website, www.emergencyfoodshelf.org, for step-by-step directions, along with their Healthy Food Donations guidelines, and you are guaranteed to run a successful food drive. Remember, when you pool your resources, no one person has to bear the brunt of the cost of the donation.
If you want to donate on an individual basis, check out this cool opportunity from Davanni’s Pizza – bring in 3 non-perishable food items to your local Davanni’s and receive a free solo pizza. This offer is good for today, Tuesday July 24th.
2. Blood. Think about all the opportunities you have to injure yourself during the summer months. Now multiply that by the number of people in the US. Is there any wonder that blood donations are absolutely critical in the summer months? Your local Memorial Blood Center is desperate for your donation. As one staff member told me, it’s not like doctors can substitute something else for blood.
Donating at Memorial Blood Centers couldn’t be any easier, and it’s FREE, too. Simply schedule an appointment online – www.mbc.org – at one of their 7 Twin Cities locations. When you arrive, you’ll answer some basic questions about your health and lifestyle, and then one of their HIGHLY TRAINED techs will draw your blood. Trust me, this is as painless as needles get. And they reward you at the end with free cookies and juice.
3. Other ways to donate:
Your unwanted stuff. Clean out your house, bag up the items you aren’t using, and donate them to Saver’s, ARC Value Village or the Goodwill. Remember, they sell your stuff at their stores and use that income to fund the charities they support.
Your furniture. If you have perfectly decent furniture you want to get rid of, and selling it on Craigslist seems to be too much of a bother, why not donate it to an organization like Bridging? For a list of acceptable donations, log on to www.bridging.org, and help a family in need while cleaning out your home. Also – if you are moving, save on moving costs and donate all those items you don’t want to bring with you.
Your car. If you can afford to take a tax deduction instead of using it as a trade in, donate your car to a local charity like the Courage Center. Cars for Courage accept donations of cars, trucks, ATVs, Jet Skis, boats, and even snow mobiles. They’ll even tow your vehicle for free.