Helpng a charity on a daily basis?
May 8, 2011 3:57 AM   Subscribe

What quick and free things can I do on a daily basis to help charities/those in need?

I play on Freerice several times a week. I click on TheHungerSite once a day. I'm considering running one of the apps from Worldcommunitygrid in the background.

What other similar things can I do to help? Caveats: it must be free, as in money. I don't have cash to spare right now to make any kind of donation (sponsoring a child/sending a goat is out of the question, unfortunately). I'd prefer quick, unless it's something like Freerice that is a win-win situation (I get educated, people get food). A huge bonus is something that I don't actively have to participate in, such as Folding@Home.

Non-caveats: it needn't be limited to being done online, nor for a charity, as long as someone somewhere gets helped by it (not just GreedyMegaCorp).
posted by Solomon to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I was just thinking about this yesterday, as I was sitting around watching TV and feeling like I should be doing something more productive with my time. In fact, that's what led me to register for MeFi and to start answering questions on AskMe. So, there's one answer for you: provide thoughtful answers to questions people are asking here or on other Q&A sites.

Another thing is to identify and follow organizations that fight for causes (or candidates) you believe in. Often these organizations will be looking for their constituents to take action to influence public opinion or public policy. These actions may be as simple as sending an email, writing a letter to the editor, posting a link on Facebook, etc.
posted by maxim0512 at 4:45 AM on May 8, 2011

How many grains of rice can you do in an hour? How much money could you earn in an hour that you could then donate? Non-profits (and the like) are in need of your valuable time directly.

The most efficient way to make a non-cash donation is to volunteer your time. Go find your favorite group and make them a small part of your life. I'm sure they'd be delighted to give you tasks that you don't have to actively participate in, such as pulling weeds for a local CSA farm, sorting parts at your local bike collective, etc.
posted by aniola at 4:48 AM on May 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Donating physical effort and time isn't really something I can do right now. I don't have the physical resources to go pulling weeds, sadly.
posted by Solomon at 4:59 AM on May 8, 2011

If the charity in question has a phone line, they probably have someone on the other end of it who isn't getting paid. That person could be you, instead.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:01 AM on May 8, 2011

Be an advocate. Write to your legislators in support of social justice.
posted by theora55 at 5:57 AM on May 8, 2011

Aniola makes a good point. Even all non-profit organizations could use monetary help, and even some have enough physical help. But there are many jobs within the organization that not everyone wants to do, which you may find enjoyable and can offer your time.
For example, there is a local organization I go to that cooks meals to feed the homeless. They usually have enough people to prepare and cook the food, as well as distribute. But no one likes to do the dishes. I prefer doing the dishes over any of the other jobs that needs to be done.
posted by udon at 7:25 AM on May 8, 2011

Not sure if you're already doing this, but while on the Hunger Site, click over to their associate, The Animal Rescue Site.
posted by arishaun at 7:33 AM on May 8, 2011

You can give blood every six weeks and donate platelets every two weeks. They even give you free soda and cookies.
posted by decathecting at 7:33 AM on May 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Can you do office work? I have showed up regularly at a school and hospital before and helped with office work. They weren't used to having a volunteer, but happily got used to giving me things to do.
posted by aniola at 7:52 AM on May 8, 2011

Best answer: Another online quiz site: this one provides vaccines to poor countries.
posted by lakeroon at 8:28 PM on May 8, 2011

Best answer: If you work in an office or similar, you could be the one who sets out a little canister to collect box tops, soup labels, etc. from coworkers and periodically deliver them to a school that needs help. Of course you can just start collecting your own, but they don't stack up very fast on the consumption of just one household.
posted by lakeroon at 8:32 PM on May 8, 2011

Best answer: At Sparked you can "micro-volunteer" in tiny amounts of free time via your phone or computer. There are tons of ways to help, and the system matches opportunities with your particular skills and interests. It's supposed to be stuff you can do if you have a few minutes in line a the post office or whatever.
posted by cushie at 10:10 PM on May 8, 2011

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