Last night when I was reading through the e-mails of the various blogs that I subscribe to, a post from Dana over at Frugal in Virginia inspired me. Just yesterday I had posted about a “$5 Charity challenge” on my Kroger post here. Couponing has been such a blessing in my life and has helped our family to save so much money, and I have been trying to think of ways that I could “give back.” This challenge came at a perfect time! I also love that it coincides with Thanksgiving!
The premise is that you will give in some fashion every day in November. Quoting Alyssa, “It can be large, small, simple, or extravagant.” It does not have to be something tangible or monetary. It could be giving your time or talents, too!
I am excited to involve my family in this challenge and I’m hoping you will be excited to join the challenge, too! Let me know if you are up for the challenge and share some of your ideas by commenting on this post.
Here are a few ideas that I have come up with that might work for your family, too (some were inspired by posts on other blogs):
*Adopt a soldier – Show your appreciation for the military by adopting a soldier and sending a care package. There are suggestions along with a comprehensive list of participating organizations in this post here. If you’ve been couponing for long, you probably have plenty of items in your stockpile right now that you could use for this!
*Babysit – Volunteer to help a friend or neighbor by watching their kids so they have some time to themselves or some time for a night out with their spouse!
*Be a coupon fairy – I can’t tell you how many times I have been out shopping and been looking for a specific item and there was a coupon sitting there on top for the item that I needed! Several other times, I have been out shopping, run into a fellow couponer, and they have SHARED their coupons with me! These were complete strangers. I didn’t know their names, and in some cases I have never seen them again, but it was a huge boost to my day. So, be a coupon fairy and make someone’s day by sharing your coupons with someone else!
*Become a friend of the library – Many libraries have a “friends of the library” program where you can donate books, movies, CDs, etc. to help support the library.
*Check out Freecycle – On Freecycle, people sometimes post items that they are in need of. See if you can fulfill someone’s wishlist with items that are just collecting dust around your house anyway. Or, post a list yourself of items that you have to donate! Click here to find a Freecycle group near you.
*Donate blood glucose monitors – If you have been couponing for long, you probably have accumulated a few blood glucose monitors along the way. Clean out your “stash” and donate them to someone in need! You can find a comprehensive list of places that could benefit from your donation here.
*Donate expired coupons to Coupons for Troops – Did you know that military families stationed overseas can use expired coupons up to six months past the expiration date? They can use both manufacturer and internet printed coupons. Store specific coupons cannot be used. You can read more about this here and here.
*Donate old cell phones for soldiers – I just read about this in Family Circle magazine yesterday and thought it was fantastic. Brittany Bergquist is a teenager who founded this program! You send in your old cell phones, they are sent to a company that pays Cell Phones for Soldiers and the money is used to purchase phone cards for US troops stationed overseas. You can read more about this program here (some of these “military related” ideas would be great to use for Veteran’s Day!)
*Donate to Toys for Tots – Take your kids “Christmas shopping” and let them pick out a toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Find out more about this program and find a drop off location in your area here.
*Donate, donate, donate – Go through your closets and your children’s closets. Donate clothing that you are no longer using to a local charity or to a larger program such as Goodwill. Donate health and beauty items to a local shelter. Donate non-perishable food items to a local food bank.
*Fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child – I read about this on Frugal in Virginia and thought it sounded like a great idea and something my kids could get involved in! National Collection week is November 16-23 and there are drop off locations all over the country! Click here to learn more about this program and here to see if there is a drop-off location near you.
*Make a blanket to donate to Project Linus – If you’re crafty, you can make a blanket to donate to Project Linus. Project Linus donates blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need of gifts through new blankets created by others. You can find out more about this project and get patterns for the blankets here.
*Make someone’s day – Write a note to a friend or family member expressing your appreciation for them. Take a meal to a new mom, a neighbor who is ill, or someone who could just use a break. Make a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies or pick up a flower bouquet and drop them off for someone “just because.”
*Read – If you have a school-aged child, they often are looking for parent volunteers to come in and read to students. Give your time and read to students!
*Volunteer at your child’s school – Check with the PTA at your child’s school. They often have a variety of projects (from counting/sorting Box Tops to copying/laminating/collating things for teachers) for parents to help out with!
*Wish upon a hero – Wish Upon a Hero is an online community of people helping people. People post their wishes, and you can grant their wish! Find out more about this here.