The Top Ways To Give Back In Little Time With Little Money
With the holidays just around the corner, we’re all tightening our belts a little more now that summer is winding down. Our budgets need some extra room for gift buying, visiting family, and last-minute holiday fun.
We love giving, it’s what we live for here at Rowdy. But with all of this budget talk, we're wondering how to give to charity on a budget, or how to lend a helping hand without breaking the bank.
There’s no need to worry your kind self—if you’re on a budget, you can still give.
Huge and small, Rowdy is big on giving and lending what we can when we can to help out anyone we come across. The way we look at it, you never know what someone else is going through at a given time. None of us are perfect, none of us are perfectly happy all of the time. No matter how wonderful our days are and how grateful we feel, we’re all fighting some sort of internal battle. Some of us have big battles, while others have minor, but we could all use a little love. That's where giving can help anyone out.
Giving is all about spreading the love, not the money. Yes, sometimes spreading the love involves money, but sometimes it just involves time, energy, maybe some words of wisdom. We’ve found some of the top ways to give and it feels great to help in the ways that we can.
So let’s share the love. Rowdy Bars is giving out our secrets on the creative ways we give back and where to volunteer your time, money, energy, and heart, even if you’re on a budget.
You know the old saying, “Time is money”? Time is money only because time is valuable—it means something to the people and things you put your time towards. One of our favorite ways to give is to donate our time.
Donating an hour (or two) per week, month, or even every day is one of the best ways to give back to your community. There are plenty of charities, groups, and organizations that you can make a difference in with just a bit of time.
Here are some ideas:
- Volunteer at a local school and read and interact with the students in your community.
- Head down to a shelter and serve meals to your community’s families in need.
- Donate your time to your area’s hospital, serving lunches and putting smiles on patients’ faces.
Pay It Forward With Radical Acts of Kindness
Surprises are the best, and it’s even better when someone receives something kind out of nowhere. Performing a radical act of kindness can surprise someone in the perfect way.
An act of kindness can be something so small but make such a big impact on someone else’s day. And these acts cost you next to nothing in money and in time.
Here are some ideas:
- Tell a manager if an employee at the store has been especially helpful.
- Leave a surprise note in your kid’s (or your partner’s) lunchbox.
- Pop a few coins into a stranger’s parking meter if you see it’s about to expire.
- Let someone with only a few items go in front of you at the grocery store.
- Write 5 positive comments on 5 different social media posts.
Read To Kids Or The Elderly
Think back to when you were in elementary school. Do you remember going to the library with your classmates and sitting down on the carpet for a story? The librarian would read a story with excitement and emotion and show the pictures beautifully illustrated on each page. What a great time that was.
Everyone loves a good story, and everyone loves good company too. Show your kindness by donating your time toward reading to someone and giving them some company for a small part of the day. Children and the elderly love the companionship and social time that comes along with reading a story.
Visit a nearby senior center or volunteer at your local school district or preschool centers and bring your storytelling voice with you.
Donate Your Items
The next time you decide it’s time to throw out something old and pick up something new, reconsider what you do with the things you’re getting rid of. Just because something isn’t right for you anymore doesn’t mean someone else can’t use and love what you have to hand over to them.
Go through your old items and decide what you’re ready to get rid of. Make a pile and instead of tossing those items in the trash or storing them away for months until your next garage sale, consider finding groups that you could donate to. We look for some of the best charities to donate to in our area and find out if they’re in need of recycled items.
Donate items like shoes, t-shirts, old jackets, retired sports gear, and household objects.
Lend A Book To A Friend
You probably have piles of books that you haven’t gotten to reading yet. Or piles of books that you read 5 years ago and haven’t touched since. If you’re not using them, someone else can for the time being.
Lend a beautiful book to a friend. Sharing pieces of art like books, podcasts, and playlists lets you share the love that you have for something with someone else who could use the magic it brings too.
You can even build friendships through lending pieces of art to someone else. Kindly lend your favorite book to an acquaintance and once they’ve read it too, ask your new friend what they thought of it. Talk all about what you both loved and discuss topics that you wouldn’t have otherwise found yourselves bonding over if it hadn’t been for the book.
Compliment A Stranger
Have you ever been having a downer day and get to the drive-thru window at the coffee shop to be greeted by the barista with a “That color looks great on you”? It probably turned your day (or at least your hour) around—what a kind stranger.
You never know what type of day or struggles someone is going through. Who knows, simply saying “I like your shoes” to the woman in line ahead of you at the bank could make her whole week.
The small amount of effort you have to make to say one nice thing to someone you don’t know can make the biggest difference to their day, their week, or their life. It’s worth paying it forward.
Perform A Favor As A Gift
Not all gifts have to cost money or come in material form. Yes, a new candle is a gift, but so is taking your friend’s kids to soccer practice just to help them out. Performing a kind favor for someone else is a great gift that costs little to nothing and can certainly help someone out (probably even more than a candle will).
Does your friend need a bike tune-up? Maybe your neighbor needs their dog walked? Could a coworker use a free lunch and some company after the long week they’ve had? Doing a friend a favor is a way to brighten their spirits, make their day a little bit easier, and never make them feel that they owe you anything in return.
These favors can be simple and small or something more along the lines of lending a family member a guest bedroom for the weekend. The point is, think of where you can perform a favor without expecting anything in return and offer it up.
Pay It Forward
When someone does something nice for you, doesn’t it make you want to do something nice too? Who knows, that someone could have done that nice thing for you because someone else did that same nice thing for them. Kind gestures are contagious, so pay it forward.
Here are some ideas:
- Next time you buy a coffee, pay for the person behind you too. Who knows, they might even buy the person behind them their coffee too.
- Use the spare change you carry around to toss into parking meters, toll booths, vending machines, and change machines for someone else to use.
- When you’ve finished reading a great book, leave it behind in an airport or coffee shop for someone else to enjoy.
- If your office is hosting a blood drive, participate. Or find some time during your week to visit your local blood bank, you could potentially save someone’s life.
- Next time you’re on local transportation, give up your seat for someone else. Offer your seat to someone who could use it more than you do, they’ll appreciate your kindness.
Participate In Passive Giving
Passive giving means donating or giving back in a way that doesn’t require you to deviate from your regular activities and help out on your own terms. This kind of giving is one of the top ways business owners or busy people can give because it doesn’t require any extra (or alternative) efforts in order to give back.
For example, as a small business owner, you could send the proceeds from a certain day to a charity that aligns with your brand’s values. As a children’s clothing company, you could donate all proceeds made this next weekend to a charity that helps children in need. Doing so doesn’t require you to do anything differently and you’re still able to give to something you believe in.
Volunteer At An Animal Shelter
Here’s where to volunteer if you’re an animal lover or just love puppy kisses and kitty snuggles. With animal shelters overflowing with adorable pets, the organizations could always use some extra help. Lend a hand.
Find a local animal shelter that could use some volunteers. The Human Society in your area could be a great place to start. Volunteer to help out your local animals in need by offering to do some of the following tasks:
- Walk pets around the block to get them out of their cages
- Hangout in a play pin area and have some fun with new furry friends
- Clean out pet cages so these animals have a nice, clean, warm place to stay until they find a new home
- Adopt a pet of your own and give it the loving home it needs
Organize A Little Sweep
Think of all the spare 10-minute time periods you have throughout your day. Maybe there’s one during your lunch. Or one right before you leave the office for the day. What about 10 minutes right after dinner? You can get a lot done in 10 minutes when you have a plan and stick to it.
Use tomorrow's 10-minute break to lend a hand to something that needs your help. Organize a litter sweep during your lunch break. Invite a few coworkers and set out into your surrounding neighborhood with some gloves and a few trash bags. Pick up all the trash in sight for 10 minutes and see how much you can get. Then, try the other side of the street tomorrow and see how you can help there. In a week, take a look around to see the great impact that you’ve made in just 10 minutes per day.
Invest In The Kids In Your Community
One of the best ways to give back to your community is to look at the ones who are growing. The kids in our local communities are the people of our future, they’re the ones who will grow up to be awesome humans and make great impact on the local area (and maybe even the world). Invest your time in them and work hard to better their lives so they can work hard in the future to better others’.
This is why we love the Courage Project. The Courage Project was founded in our local Reno/Tahoe area. Their goal is to help children who suffer from anxiety and depression enhance their lives through mindful engagement and outdoor activities. They’re one of a kind and are doing great things for our kids. Go check them out and see how you can help these children live their very best lives.
Sign Up For A Local Race
We’re Rowdy about outdoor adventures. Swimming, cycling, yoga, hiking, running, you name it. We love getting outside, exploring, and helping the people around us do the same.
There are tons of local races happening every season, every holiday, every month. From 5Ks, half-marathons, and sprints to ultramarathons and triathlons, most of the local races being put on support a local need in the community.
Sign up for the next local race in your area. Many of Active’s events donate a portion of their proceeds back to the community—local parks, school districts, non-profits, and youth organizations. Look for an upcoming event that gets you outside and moving and supports something that you’d like to give back to.
The Rowdy Olympics
We mentioned helping local children and participating in outdoor activities, what if you could do both? Here’s our very favorite creative way to give back: the Rowdy Olympics!
Rowdy Bars, the Courage Project, and Brewing Up Business are putting on the first-ever Rowdy Olympics this fall. This inaugural event has one awesome purpose: to help local children push their expectations, get outside, and live their lives to their fullest.
It’s going to be a blast and you can be a part of it! Tickets are still available. Come out and play some games, support some kids, and have some fun.