Okay: embarrassing fact about me: when I used to picture people “supporting charities” I thought the only real way to do it was to write big, fat checks.
I attended an event once where the speaker was taking up money. I’d brought some with me planning to spend it, and I put all of it in the collection plate. I thought that being generous meant giving everything you had to give. And that mentality kept me from many opportunities to be generous for large parts of my adult life when I was strapped for cash.
Really, it was a money block for me. The story that played in my head was, “If I can’t give a lot of money, then there’s no point in me giving anything.” When I’d hear people say things like ‘Every little bit helps!’ I figures they were telling a lie to get people to open their wallets, so they could convince people to give everything they had, even when they couldn’t afford it.
Yeah, I’m working on that now by learning how to be generous in other ways that have a lot of impact. I’m sharing this here with the hopes that if someone else is struggling with a similar issue, this post will inspire you to do more for others when you felt like you couldn’t before.
While we aren’t struggling right now, we’re putting our money to work for us this year working on big goals that will have an impact on our financial wellness for the rest of our lives. Our cash just isn’t as available as it will be later, but we still wanted to take the opportunity to be as generous with other as we can in the present.
Decluttering and donations
In the past, I’ve used Goodwill for donating my items because it was quick and convenient. While we still use them on occasion, now most of the time I save my nice items to donate to homeless shelters, or organizations that help domestic violence victims create a new life for themselves.
Helping fight food insecurity
Gardening isn’t free, but growing an extra few plants with the intention of donating them to local food banks or soup kitchens costs basically nothing in the scheme of the garden I’m already growing this year.
Our intention is to grow some things that store well, like winter squash, that can be stored and handed out to people who need them. Canned goods are great, but organic produce isn’t something I would expect someone in an emergency situation to be able to afford if they don’t have their own garden. We can contribute a lot of volume, simply by working hard.
Create resources for free (as well as paid ones)
I don’t make it a secret that this website is a big source of our family’s income, but we’re also about helping people. I have a mix of paid and free content in the areas where I have knowledge and experience so that everyone can learn from us no matter what their budget is.
One of my biggest passions is helping women create transformation in their lives, but there are lots of ways to do that. Coaching and my courses are some of the paid ways I do that, but I also have a website and a Facebook group where I can be present and share what I’m learning along the way also provides a lot of value to people. You can do the same thing!
Give your time
I’ll never forget when my family spent time volunteering in a soup kitchen when I was a kid. A woman, the wife of the pastor who was giving a sermon of sorts, talked with me for several hours that day. To be honest, I can’t remember much of what she said. I remember thinking she seemed lonely and needed someone to talk to, so I chatted with her.
She told my parents that she knew she’d kept me from doing what they’d brought me there to do, but that me just listening meant the world to her. She needed someone to be a listening ear that day, and I’d been there.
Years later, I still think about that woman and what that afternoon taught me. I’ve always loved changing lives, even from a young age.
The amount of money you have doesn’t enable you to be generous. Being human enables you to be generous!
What are some of the ways your family has supported causes without spending lots of money?