Helping your community has been shown to improve your mental health and social skills. It creates strong bonds between you and others. It can make you feel like you’re a part of something special.

Many people want to give to organizations but may not have enough money to do so. However, there are tons of ways you can help a charity, foundation, or just a neighbor in need. If you’re looking for non-monetary ways to help, read on.

Donate unused household goods

The first way you can contribute to your community is by donating unused or lightly-used household goods. This can be any number of things, from blankets and medical supplies to toys and books. If you have excess items in your home, here are the steps you can take to donate.

  • Inventory everything you want to donate and set it aside. This will ensure that nothing else happens to these items, and you know what exactly you’re planning to get rid of.
  • Research local charities and find out if they take these items. If you are unsure, reach out to a volunteer for guidance. There should be charities in your area for nearly anything you would think to donate.
  • If you have a lot to donate, or substantial items, schedule a time where a representative can meet you and take in everything you have.
  • Be prepared for some things to be turned away if they are too damaged or old. Charities do have standards for what they can accept, to maintain legitimacy.

Offer your skills

Maybe you don’t have many things to give away, but you’re capable of physical work. There are almost always situations where you can help someone with household chores, including cooking, cleaning, and yard work. You might not outwardly see the need for this kind of service, but this can be particularly helpful for people recovering from surgery, families with a new baby, or the elderly. Even if it seems less beneficial to the community, on the whole, it is still helpful for those who are most in need.

Fundraise for a charity

If you don’t have the money to donate to a good cause, brainstorm some options you have to fundraise for a charity. Of course, it’s always a good idea to partner with the foundation you’re helping to set the fundraiser up (and get better publicity for it), but you can also do this without their help. Sites like GoFundMe are great for getting donations from people all over the internet. If your campaign becomes popular, you could even set up a separate bank account to put the money in.

Likewise, there are also smaller fundraisers you can run. Bake sales, car washes, and even yard sales are a few things you can do to raise money. Check out local eateries and ask if they would be willing to partner up one night to donate a portion of their earnings to the charity. If the cause is worthy enough, there is a good chance they will at least consider it.

You don’t have to be a billionaire to make a big difference in your community. Performing small acts of kindness or donating things you don’t use can impact many lives. The best part is, when you’ve made one person’s day better, it can cause a ripple effect, and the happiness can continue to spread. So don’t worry about writing a big fat check; help your community today.