November 27, 2017

10 Ways to Give Back for Giving Tuesday

10 ways to give on #givingtuesday and make a difference in your community and be a good person. 10 cheap and easy good deeds to do today. 10 random acts of kindness to do for Giving Tuesday. Creative ways to give back to others. Best ways to give back to community. Inexpensive ways to give back. |

I know Christmas shopping season is now in full-on swing and everyone's in a buy, buy, buy mode, but I wanted to write a short post about something else for you to think of— give. I know you're like well duh I'm going to give people presents on Christmas day, but that's not what I'm talking about. Tomorrow is a day called Giving Tuesday and is something I knew nothing about until last year, which I'll get to later. And I know you're probably very busy with wrapping up the semester and surviving finals (shameless finals prep tips posts plug here), but taking the time to do a little good is a great little study break that I'm sure will give you some feel-good endorphins to help with the pre-finals stress that's bubbling up. Here's 10 ideas for you to get in on #givingtuesday and #dogood (lol sorry I can't help being a DG).

Donate your hair

I actually did this last year! The way I see it is that I'm fortunate enough to be able to grow as much hair as I want but there's lots of little girls and women who can't for various medical reasons. And all it takes is one really bad haircut for you to understand just how much having the hair that you envision for yourself can really influence your self-confidence. 

Everyone's heard of Locks of Love but I personally prefer Pantene Beautiful Lengths because Locks sells the wigs and Beautiful Lengths gives their wigs for free. This is relatively cheap and easy to do because all you do is make a hair appointment and tell them you're donating your hair so they can keep it all together (or you could even do it yourself), then mail off your donation! 

Donate pet food

Animal shelters always could use more cat and dog food! Pet food isn't very expensive and the animals really, really need it. You can drop it off one day after class and then stay a little bit and hang out with the dogs and cats and feel better about yourself. Here's more on how you can help.

Another unexpected place to donate pet food is to a Meals on Wheels location because I've actually found out that a lot of people who receive meals actually portion out their own food to share with their pet because they don't always have help getting food for their friend. This way, the dog or cat gets their own meal and their owner gets a full meal. 

Sign up to be an organ donor

Here's a fact of life: when you die, you no longer need any of your organs. But one of the thousands of people on an organ wait list will literally have their life saved by one of yours. Signing up to donate your organs is free ridiculously easy on your iPhone- here's how

You can also sign up for Be The Match bone marrow registry! I signed up like 2 years ago I think and all you have to do is swab your cheeks for your DNA and you're all done. I know this seems like a long way off but just wait until you take Wills&Trusts and you'll be like oh shit I can die at any time I need to have my whole end-of-life plans put together. 

This brings me to how I know about Giving Tuesday... exactly a year ago tomorrow will be my sister's one year anniversary of having only one kidney. She donated hers to a family friend of ours and I literally couldn't be more proud or happy for her that she changed this man's life in a just a few hours (here's her story). If you're a kind soul willing to be a living kidney donor, you can learn more here.

Donate blood

Another bodily part (kinda) that you can give is your blood. I recently donated blood through my law school's blood drive with United Blood Services and it was really easy! Just make sure you have a full stomach and you've been drinking water and then you lay in a chair squeezing a stress ball for a little bit. It's something so small and easy to do that again can literally save a life!

Buy someone's drink

This is more small scale than the others, but still can make someone's day. All you have to do is just buy the coffee of the person behind you, whether that's at Starbucks or your on-campus dining area. Finals are rough and we're all needing a little extra push so make someone's day just a little bit easier for them and pay the extra few dollars for their drink!

Give out care kits

This one could get a little pricey so it'd probably be easiest if you and a friend or two shared this (or side note if you're in a student org this would be great for y'all to do). Go to a place like Sam's Club or Costco and buy in bulk: toothbrush/toothpaste (I also learned while studying abroad the Colgate whisps work really well), baby wipes, socks, deodorant, band-aids, tampons, non-perishable snacks/food (think tuna/granola), and ziploc bags. Then give out as many as you can to any homeless person you see!

In the future, when you travel you can take the freebie toiletries that are given out at hotels and then regift them to someone who needs them. This is a free way that you can give back even if you have like no money! If you have a bunch of trips coming up in your life, then you can do a lot of good by doing this. And if you don't feel comfortable going up to homeless people, just drop these off at a local shelter or church that help out homeless people.

Collect Box Tops

This one will take a little more time but is something completely free that you can do year-round. You probably forgot about it, but when we were in elementary school it was like the thing to cut Box Tops off cereal boxes and soup labels and then bring them in for your school so your school could buy a new computer or something. Well, I never really stopped because as a DG we had to do this for DG's school for the blind. You probably already have tons of these lying around your house so you might as well cut them out and drive over to the nearest school and give them some.

Donate old glasses

Another thing I've become aware of because of DG is that you can donate your glasses to Lions Club! Your eyesight probably has become worse thanks to law school and although your old glasses aren't enough for you anymore, they could be just the right prescription to someone else who can't afford new glasses. You can also ask around to your parents, grandparents, and siblings and I'm sure you'll get a few more pairs to donate!

Be someone's eyes

Speaking of people with vision impairments, another free thing for you to do is download the Be My Eyes app and you can help someone who is blind! This app puts you in a queue to provide 24/7 service to someone who can't see for themselves so they always have eyes on hand. All you have to do is basically FaceTime them and answer their question based off what you can see (so like they FaceTime you their milk carton and you read them the expiration date). Easy peasy do-a-good-deed lemon squeezy.

Use Amazon Smile

The easiest way to give (and again can do all-year) is through because all you have to do is use this version of Amazon and it will donate up to 10% of your purchase to whichever charity you choose. Think of how much you could donate just while doing Christmas shopping now and back-to-school shopping next year! 

Run for charity

Not necessarily one of those run-for-a-cause events. Download the Charity Miles app on your phone and then just have it going in the background while you walk or jog around a park and you're helping out! It's a system kind of like Amazon smile where you pick a charity and then they'll donate a quarter for every mile you run. 

It doesn't sound like much but if you just run 2 miles a day, you're donating $3.50 a week/$14 a month/$168 a year! And it's a great little incentive when you want to stop exercising and then you tell yourself okay I'll just walk one more mile to get another 25 centers and then bam you're also burning an extra 100 calories. Win-win!

Go plogging

This is also an exercise give back. Plogging is basically where you go jogging (use the app I just talked about) with a trash bag and pick up trash you see on the ground as you go. On a little 30 minute walk (because yes you don't have to run) you can easily fill up your bag with litter and then throw away/recycle what you've picked up. Just wear some gloves for sanitary reasons. If exercise gives you endorphins and makes you happy, imagine how you'll feel from endorphins + the feel feeling you get by giving back!

Click for a cause

This is literally free and so easy!! Just go to The Greater Good and click on the big button that says "Click to Give — It's Free" and a sponsor business will donate to the featured cause on your behalf. They have websites for you to do the same click for a sponsor donation for Hunger, Veterans, Diabetes, Breast Cancer, Autism, Literacy, Animals, Alzheimer's, and the Rainforest. Click on all of them and then get 3 friends to visit the sites and to click/get sponsors to donate too.

Shop through partner brands

What do PopSockets, J. Crew, Corkcicle and Madewell have in common? If you shop their sites through this link, a portion of the money you spend goes towards a charity called charity: water. This is a great charity spends 100% of its donations on providing clean water to communities without access to it. Like Amazon Smile, all you have to do is shop through a special link and you'll be helping communities have clean water.

let's be friends!


  1. Mary-Michael McClureNovember 27, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    I love all of the Service for Sight ideas. LITB!