A 9-year-old favors helping others over birthday presents, a holiday drive kicks off to support the troops, and Karmatastic names its go-to charities for year-round giving. Volunteer at Holidays_Small

No-Cost, Low-Cost Ways to Lend a Hand

There are many things you can do this time of year to help others that don’t cost much, if anything:

 Use your VTO—if you’re fortunate enough to work for a company that offers volunteer time off, or VTO, be sure to use up those hours. Better yet, pool hours with coworkers and tackle a larger project together.

  • Volunteer to decorate an assisted-living facility for the holidays.
  • Drive homebound people to run errands.
  • Retailers like Big Lots or craft stores like AC Moore and Michael’s have low-cost, but nice, gifts. It’s an easy way to make the most of a limited budget and give a thoughtful present. My fave gifts for kids are art supplies.
  • Ring that bell and toss your spare change in the Salvation Army Santa’s kettle

9-Year-Old Gets Her Birthday Wish: Help Others

Emma Garthwaite challenged other kids to help her, and raised $2,000 toward flood-related charities. It was her 9th birthday wish, and the birthday girl spent her day making repairs to a flood-damaged South Carolina home.

Holiday Drive Kicks Off to Support Deployed Troops

Delray Beach, FL, has launched its 10th annual Project Holiday Drive. Through December 4, the city and “You Are Not Alone” and “One Soldier at a Time” are collecting socks, snacks, and other goods plus letters of encouragement to send to military troops. Visit mydelraybeach.com for dropoff locations and items to donate. Volunteers will also be needed to pack boxes. Monetary donations are also being accepted to cover postage and prepaid calling cards.

“Puppy Up” Walks Are Raising Funds for Cancer Research

Cancer happens to animals, too, and the mission of the Puppy Up Foundation is to find the common links between canine and human cancers and their causes. Visit http://www.2milliondogs.org/ to learn of a walk in your area, how to volunteer or raise awareness, early warning signs of cancer, and how to donate, as well as make a donation in the name of a person or a dog.

Sun Sentinel Children’s Fund Holiday Campaign Begins

The 25th annual Children’s Fund 2015 Holiday Campaign begins November 15. In partnership with McCormick Foundation Fund (which matches your donation at 50 cents on the dollar!), the Holiday Campaign raises money for nonprofits that support children and families. Efforts support youth education, provide food for the hungry, offer shelter to the homeless, and help ensure the safety of children and adults facing domestic abuse. Donations go directly to assisting the selected nonprofit organizations. Visit SunSentinelChildrensFund.org/Donate to learn more.

As the Year Closes, It’s Time to Donate

Everyone knows the tax benefits of charitable donations. Select Karmatastic organizations include:

  • Heifer.org: Donate livestock, water irrigation, and more to a village. Recipients of livestock have food as well as a means to make a living through selling eggs or wool. You can purchase an entire bunch o’bunnies or a share of an oxen, among other livestock.
  • Kiva.org: Your $25 donation goes to the person of your choice, who will use it to further their business, become self-sufficient, and free themselves from poverty. The full amount is repaid to you, and you can choose to reinvest in another individual. (Check out my personal donation story at http://www.karmatastic.com/my-31-roi-strategy/.)
  • Women in Distress and Kids in Distress: It’s a great time to clean out your closet. Donate good-quality clothes, bags, and shoes to help women and children who have been victims of domestic violence. Women in Distress runs a thrift shop, too, where you can find never-before-worn items. Learn more at https://www.womenindistress.org/.



photo credit: GMVC 11 via photopin (license)

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