In this time of economic uncertainty it’s sometimes tough to make ends meet, much less donate to charity, but money isn’t the only way you can help. My mother always says, “I don’t give because I have, I have because I give.” This was also the way her own mother lived her life. This week’s Five for Friday is a tribute to them and recognizes five important non-profit organizations/volunteer opportunities where your time is just as valuable as your money.
1. Baby Cuddling – Early cuddling is vital to a child’s emotional well-being. Studies show that children who have been deprived of close physical contact have lower levels of social-bonding hormones. As a volunteer baby cuddler, you’d be trained to handle, hold, rock, and pat hospitalized infants. Call your local hospital or long-term childcare facility and ask the volunteer coordinator about baby cuddling programs at their facility.
2. Each month, PBS reaches more than 120 million people through television and nearly 21 million people online. But before there was a PBS.org, there was Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and Mr. Rogers. Now there’s Elmo, PBSKids and a father’s touching tribute to his daughter’s hair. As a child, PBS was my window onto the world. It has ushered generations of kids into adulthood without political agenda and while representing all the colors of the rainbow. Show PBS they’re appreciated by becoming a member of your local station, providing In-Kind Services through your company, or simply by volunteering. Visit PBS.org’s support page to learn how.
3. A recipe for lasting change – Heifer International is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help end world hunger and poverty through self-reliance & sustainability. I’ve been a Heifer International Supporter for years and here’s why. By giving a gift of livestock, Heifer helps a family which helps build a business which helps build a community. Watch a short video about Heifer here. Visit their Give page to learn more about volunteer opportunities, helping schools around the globe, hosting a Heifer fund-raising event and more.
4. Reading is Fundamental (RIF) – Remember the RIF PSA? RIF was founded on the premise that one person can make a difference in the life of one child and one community. Its mission is to motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members. It accomplishes this through monetary donations, book donations and volunteer efforts across the country. Visit RIF’s volunteer page to find volunteer opportunities in your area or to make a tax-deductible donation of $25 click here.
5. Volunteer on Demand – Want a way to search for other volunteer efforts by type and location? Visit Charityguide.org for hundreds of ways to volunteer your time – 15 minutes at a time. Make volunteering a family event and help spread the giving nature to the next generation.