5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Help Others

Recent natural disasters in the United States and abroad have prompted many people to wonder how they can help. When you live on a tight budget, donating money isn’t always an option but when your heart breaks for people who are suffering and need help, it’s difficult when you can’t help. Here are a few ideas for helping others even when your budget won’t allow it.


Many relief agencies are always desperate for able bodies to help. You can volunteer time to do anything from stamping envelopes to filing papers to handing out food. Perhaps you have special experience or skills such as carpentry, secretarial, child care or the like. Social service agencies can always use your experience and your assistance.

Organize a Food Drive

You may not have much money to donate to a service organization or to help victims of a crisis, but you can rouse the troops and hold a food drive. Ask neighbors, friends and family members to donate non-perishable food items then take them yourself to the local charity of service organization.

Collect Items for Donation

Perhaps relief agencies in your area need more than just food donations. Find out what their specific needs are and collect items to meet that need.

In my area, specific items such as towels, Diabetic snacks, coloring books and socks were requested for people who had been displaced by flooding in a local town. While I might not have the funds to go out and buy such items, I knew of several friends and family members who would be willing to donate at least one item on the request list. Even if I don’t have extra money, I can use my time and energy to collect needed items and make sure they get where they are needed.

Hold a Yard Sale

Take the donation collection one step further and hold a yard sale then donate the funds raised to a local charity. Sell your own items or collect items from friends and family and host the sale.

Raise Awareness

Sometimes one of the best ways to help a local organization is to simply spread the word. Use Facebook, Twitter, local newspapers and public bulletin boards to share information about charities and relief efforts. Raising awareness about a cause or a need is one thing many organizations struggle with and don’t have the budget to do.

Even if you don’t have money to put toward helping others in need, you can use your time and energy to make a difference. Check with agencies in your local area and find out how you can fulfill a need.