Many of us want to change the world, but few of us can afford to donate large sums of money. Here are 10 ways that people on a tight budget can still make a huge impact. Each option has a hyperlink to the organization’s website to learn more about the cause and to donate.
Children who have experienced natural disasters can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, or depression. A teddy bear or stuffed animal can bring much-needed comfort to a child struggling to process traumatic events.
Gleaning for the World provides emergency life-saving supplies to victims of natural disasters and of extreme poverty. They also give out new or gently used stuffed animals to the youngest victims. Donate a stuffed animal (or a few dollars) to the Teddy Bear Brigade to provide a fuzzy friend to a child in need.
Malaria, a disease spread by infected tsetse flies, is the third largest killer of children worldwide. Mosquito nets are an extremely effective way to vulnerable families from malaria. Families put the mosquito nets treated with insect repellent around their beds, which protects them when the flies are most active during evening and night. Samaritan’s Purse provides mosquito nets for $10.
Children around the world love playing sports — especially “football” (America’s “soccer”). Sports are a healthy way for children to play, exercise, and build friendships. However, many children around the world do not have access to sports equipment. This past summer, my brother had the opportunity to go to Zambia. While there, he watched kids playing football with balls of trash. For $8, Samaritan’s Purse can provide children in poverty-stricken areas with soccer balls or other sports gear.
Liberia is consistently ranked in the “bottom five poorest countries” and the “top five most miserable countries.” That’s why The Last Well has committed to providing the entire nation of Liberia with clean water sources by 2020. Tens of thousands of people die yearly from drinking water and sanitation problems. Share in the cost with a $10 donation and help create a better future for children in Liberia.
World Help has ministered to Middle Eastern refugees since 2011. One of their newest outreaches is providing storybook Bibles to refugee children. These Bibles are written and illustrated to communicate the Good News to Middle Eastern children within their cultural context.
Does someone you know love coffee? Or creative jewelry? Or cool accessories like handmade clutch purses? Shop at World Help online and buy your friends unique and purpose-driven Christmas gifts. Proceeds benefit World Help’s ministries. (See #5 above as an example of one of their ministries.) Note: some items on the merchandise page exceed $10.
Save the Storks partners with local pregnancy centers across the nation, helping them reach abortion-vulnerable women with love and respect. Among other projects, the Stork Buses offer free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests. According to their website, four out of five women who visit a Stork Bus decide to keep their baby. You can donate directly to the cause, or you can shop for cool t-shirts and accessories on their website. Note: some items on the merchandise page will exceed $10.
A blanket is a practical way to protect a refugee or victim of natural disaster from the cold. It also provides emotional comfort. Give a warm blanket through Samaritan’s Purse for $6.
The need for blood never goes away. According to the Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every 2 seconds. Those who undergo chemotherapy may need blood transfusions daily. Giving blood requires a little bit of time and about one pint of blood, but it can save a life.
10. Volunteer Your Time ($0)
If you do not have the money to support a cause you believe in, consider donating some of your time — whether for a couple hours once on a Saturday or on a more regular basis. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, tutor children in an after-school program, or spend time with the elderly at a nursing home. You will come away exhausted, encouraged, and knowing that you have made a difference.
Comment below if any of this has been helpful! Or, let me know the different ways you change the world!