Giving Tuesday: 7 Ways to Help That Don’t Require Money

Little boy and his pregnant mother planting in springtime or summer.
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Giving Tuesday, “a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world,” was founded in 2012. Since, it has grown into an annual global event in which brands, organizations and people participate, match donations or raise funds.

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This year, Giving Tuesday is on Nov 29, and while one can always donate money, there are other ways to give back.

Give Time

The gift of time is priceless, and you can do so by volunteering at a charity or an organization.

Charity Navigator recommends to first find a charity that matches your interest, then determine what you can offer in terms of time, talent and skills, and then later, expand your reach by bringing others to volunteer.

Give Blood

The American Red Cross – which provides 40% of the country’s blood and blood components-  says that every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

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“It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation,” it says on its website.

You can find a location and make an appointment to donate blood on the Red Cross’ website.

Donate Your Skills and Talents

Whatever your talent or special skill is, you can help others by sharing it.

The Giving Tuesday’s website has a “Giving Talents” section which can help you  “Spread 1 hour of generosity on November 29th from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (your time zone).”

You can pick your talent — whether it’s haircutting, yoga, problem-solving or counseling — and sign up to share it.

Give Back to the Earth

This could entail organizing a beach cleanup, planting a tree or picking up trash.

“On Tuesday, November 29th Tuesdays for Trash in partnership with Giving Tuesday is encourage everyone around the world to give back to our Earth to help create a cleaner, healthier and more liveable home on this planet–by mobilizing our communities to cleanup litter!” according to Giving Tuesday’s website.

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Give Items to an Animal Shelter

Some useful items include pet food or litter, towels and blankets for any and all dog grooming needs, scraps of fabric like t-shirts, heating pads for sick/injured animals and gently used pet carriers, leashes, collars and bowls.

Charity Navigator recommends checking with your local shelter before donating.

Donate Your Credit Card Points or Miles

An unconventional yet very useful way to give back is by donating your credit card rewards.

CNBC reports that some card issuers allow you to redeem your rewards as donations to partner charities and nonprofit organizations, “typically by logging into your card’s online rewards account and navigating to charity redemptions.”

For example, American Express, Discover, Chase and Citi credit cards allow these redemptions, CNBC added.

Give Thanks

This can be done in a million ways, big or small. You could send a food gift card to your local firefighter station, or add books to your local Little Free Library.

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Giving Tuesday also suggests writing a letter to someone who helped you, sending a thank you note to a teacher, healthcare working, or a mentor, or leaving a basket of food for delivery and postal workers.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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