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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Charity on a budget...how to give when you can't afford to!


Having just covered tuition and the benefits of volunteering yesterday, I thought I'd tag today's topic on to the charitable aspect of the volunteering. Face it, in these trying times, not everyone can afford to donate money or even to get out to do in-person volunteer work. So today's blog is short and sweet and helps you give back to your community without hitting your wallet or taking too much time away from your own family.

My favorite way to donate is eScrip. Below is an explanation from their site at
www.escrip.com:

"eScrip is proven to be a fantastic resource for fundraising where participating business partners contribute a percentage of your grocery loyalty cards, credit card, and debit/ATM card purchases to the school, group or organization of your choice. Visit our family of merchants for a complete list of participants in the program.

Here's How it Works

• You register any one or all of your existing grocery loyalty, debit and credit cards for use in the program.

• Participating merchants will make contributions to your chosen group, based on purchases made by you, just by using the cards you have registered.

• Your purchases are tracked and available to you online, allowing you to see just how much you are earning on your child's behalf!


About ESI
Electronic Scrip Incorporated (ESI) is a California-based corporation dedicated to establishing relationships between commerce and community -- to provide resources to organizations and projects that support children. ESI introduced the eScrip program in 1999 and has distributed over $120 million to schools and youth organizations across the country."

In addition to selecting where your money goes, you can also register your own non-profit organization to be included on their list. For instance, the music groups my kids were active in in high school are on the list and we got all of the parents, their friends and relatives to pick those organizations for donations. The more people that sign-up, the more funds come in. It is a win-win situation, donors are shopping as they would normally, but a % goes to charity, and the kids win by more money supporting these organizations!

If you want to donate time but can't get out or go too far away or you have a tough schedule, check for ways to give from home! One time I worked on making baby blankets for AIDS babies. Another option is reading books onto tapes for distribution to shut-ins. Again, check with local organizations and also www.volunteermatch.org to see how you can help to the best of your abilities.

Please post your suggestions and ideas as well! Thanks!

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