Three Ways You Can Help Needy Families (That Don’t Cost a Cent)

Donate clothes

Research has shown that nearly 70% of Americans will donate to charity at least once a year. The reasons aren’t entirely cryptic — plenty of organizations offer tax-deductible donation options, and on top of all that, it just feels good to be altruistic while helping families in need. And one of the biggest groups that depends quite heavily on donations is perhaps also the most tragic: the large contingent of military veterans who are currently suffering through their postwar experiences.

Indeed, the available data for the plight of vets who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan and even stretching as far back as Vietnam is harrowing. One in four homeless people in the U.S. are veterans, and nearly one in three soldiers who return home from combat today will develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Medical bills, especially meetings with psychiatrists, are expensive, which is why donations for veterans play such an integral role.

It’s not about politics. It’s about helping families in need. For that reason, it’s not hard to donate to groups that benefit vets all over the country, and the value of charitable donations goes a long way, even when you’re not donating money at all. Instead of writing a check, why not…

Donate food.

Canned and dry food is best because it goes farther and can feed more people. Homeless vets need food of course, but for those that are struggling with crippling physical and psychological disorders as a result of war, the food can help them not worry about meals while they spend a bulk of their earnings on medical and insurance bills.

Donate clothes.

You probably have a closet full of old shirts, pants and sweaters that you’ve either grown out of or grown tired of. Instead of tossing them in the trash (and adding to already heaping landfills), donate them to a wounded vet charity organization and clothe a soldier in need. Got something that’s ripped or frayed? Donate it anyway and let the volunteers decide the best path for it. Some textiles can often be sold overseas or used as raw materials for other creations.

Donate your time.

Have you ever visited a VA hospital? Written a letter to someone who’s currently fighting to get better? Joined a Facebook group to help celebrate the memory of a fallen soldier whose family is having a hard time coping with the loss? These are donations of your time and though they’re not tax-deductible, they can end up becoming some of the most cherished memories for you as well as those in need.

And of course, if you feel compelled to, you can always donate money to local charities and organizations. But don’t do it for yourself or for your taxes. Do it so you can be a part of helping families in need. Great references here.

Leave a Reply