Thursday, October 16, 2008

Giving Generously During Tough Times

Sarah Mae of the "Like a Warm Cup of Coffee" blog is hosting a Mr. Linky today requesting ideas for "Giving Generously During Tough Times"

As you know, times are tough right not for most people, so just think how things are for the less fortunate all over the world. I've read that donations are down dramatically to food pantries, thrift stores and other needy organizations.

I would like to be more generous and a big giver and am working on that.

Here are a few ways to give even if you don't have a lot of surplus.

1. Use coupons and sales to buy food for food pantries. My church has a food pantry for the poor and there is often a desperate plea in our church bulletin to help by donating food. Lately, the pantry is pretty bare. I try to donate some things every week. Some examples are: Cheerios are often buy one get one free at Food Lion and there are almost always coupons available for that. When giving to a food pantry I think we need to give foods that can be eaten without having to buy additional ingredients. The needy person who gets the food may not even have a way of cooking. Sometimes I buy 5 bags of rice, but what if that person doesn't have a pot, water or a stove, not to mention salt. So I am going to start buying things like tuna, canned soup, beenie weenies, vienna sausages, crackers, etc.

2. Pay Pal. When I sell something in my Etsy Shop or on Ebay and a person pays with PayPal, the money goes into my paypal account and I have a PayPal Debit Card. Most charitable organizations accept Debit Cards and Credit Cards on line. Just go to their website and use the paypal debit card or your credit card. So if you could sell something on line, whether it be Ebay, Etsy or some other way, a portion of your sales could easily be donated with the click of a computer key.

One organization that I like to donate to is "Food For The Poor". $12.00 will feed a family in Haiti for a month", or that's what they tell me. $12.00 will hardly feed a family here for a couple of days!

It just hit me that I could also use the PayPal debit card to buy groceries for the food pantry, with coupons and on sale of course! A Home Run!!!

3. Donate to Thrift Stores that help the needy. In my area we have a Crisis Center that will help anyone in a crisis situation. Clean out your closets and attics and you can help the needy without spending any money out of pocket, and declutter your home at the same time.

Do you have ideas for giving during tough times?


Mary Ann said...

This has been on my heart as well. I try to buy one or two extra food items every time I grocery shop. Usually canned soup, beans, meat or fruit. Something that's easy to prepare. It doesn't cost much but takes thought to be sure you allow a couple of dollars for a few extra things.

I had never thought about what you said about the person maybe not having a stove or pot to cook with. I've read a lot of posts where people don't want to give prepared foods to the food pantry because they aren't good for them. I agree to a point but realize that it has to be food that they are familiar with and are able to fix.

A food drive that we are participating in requested "chunky" soups. The neighborhood that the food is going to is extremely poor and so they're focusing on more hearty food.

Great post and a good reminder that it's not all about me.:-)

Denise said...

Hey Debbie,
Got a question for you-I went to the Food For The Poor website after reading this post, especially to find out more info on the $12/month donation that you were talking about. Couldn't really find a $12/month actual donation, but there is a $36 donation(that of course would break down to $12/month)is that what you were talking about? We also have a monthly food drive at our church that is then taken to our local food pantry here in town that we try to always donate to. Do enjoy your blog and the many ideas & tips! You & others have given me inspiration to try my hand at it too with my blog of BlessingsandSavings. Of Course I'm new at this and then I have some health things that I deal with myself, and then we have been dealing also with some health issues with our youngest going for many different tests, etc so this has not helped me in trying to "get really going" with the blog, but that's how it goes sometimes!
Thanks again for your blog!

Sarah Mae said...

This is GREAT, thank you so much!!!

The linky is up and working! :)

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Good ideas! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
I use my coupons also to buy for our church food pantry.This week I decluttered and things I will never use I sent off to good homes. Watch your mail you have a box coming.:)

Susan said...

Great ideas here, Debbie! While I don't have any to add, I do want to stress that giving sacrificially is a biblical principle, and we are blessed when we give - especially when we don't have so much to give ourselves! The poor widow that gave her two mites was giving her all, and Jesus said she had given more than the rich did because she gave all. God honors His Word, and He will abundantly bless those who give - Luke 6:38.

Thanks for the reminder to look for ways to give in these hard times!

Anonymous said...

Debbie, I appreciate your thoughts. Sometimes I think it's easy to forget about giving in such a way when you are trying to make ends meet very tightly.

Every little bit does help though - and it doesn't have to be much to help make a difference.

Thank you for your great ideas.

Melinda said...

Great post!

Alexandra said...

Nice list, and thanks for the reminder about Feed the Children. I got a Mary key chain in the mail from them, and I wanted to send the $12.00.

I've been taking my freebies to church to put in the food and homeless boxes. Anytime I see a freebie I fill out the form for it.

We don't eat cereal, and I always see good coupons for them. That's an easy thing to pick up for the food pantry. Save-A-Lot is now carrying more name brand cereals, so I may be able to get a few free ones this week.

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