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50 ways to be charitable every day

  • 50 ways to be charitable every day

    These days, there are more ways to help others than ever before, with 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the U.S. alone. Many of these organizations provide opportunities to give with just the click of the mouse, so perhaps it’s no surprise that Americans gave $410 billion to charity in 2017, or that in 2018, 77.4 million Americans volunteered to help those less fortunate, logging 6.9 billion volunteer hours.

    With so many choices available to get involved and give back, busy individuals might have a hard time narrowing down their options. With that in mind, Stacker has put together a list highlighting some everyday options for being charitable.

    To compile this list, Stacker set out to find causes that are possible to support on a day-to-day basis, are widely accessible to readers across the U.S., and manageable for all income levels. Stacker has highlighted the simple, the convenient, the creative, and the most unique opportunities to pay it forward.

    Check your schedule and maybe even grab your wallet, there’s something to inspire nearly everyone in the slideshow ahead.

    ALSO: 82 top-rated charities for supporting the military, veterans, and their families

  • Pick up litter, with a twist

    Those interested in helping the environment and tending to their overall health may be interested in plogging, a new trend originally developed by Sweden's Erik Ahlström. It's easy enough; while jogging, keep an eye out for trash and litter, and pick it up as you go.

  • Pay for someone else at the drive-thru

    It's sometimes dubbed “paying it forward,” although participants technically pay for the person behind them. The phenomenon of buying coffee or treats for the person after you in the drive-thru is a relatively new trend that's picked up steam in recent years.

  • Overtip

    Like paying it forward at a drive-thru, overtipping is a one-time, semi-anonymous gesture made to brighten the day—or week—of the recipient. Those looking for inspiration, or even some contagious cheer, may want to search #tipthebillchallenge for examples.

  • Keep those hotel giveaways

    Savvy travelers may want to leave a little extra room in their suitcases. The travel-sized toiletries offered by hotels can be useful to a number of organizations, including many local shelters. Even major hotel chains are hopping on the bandwagon and donating extra toiletries.

  • Shop secondhand

    Shoppers should be prepared to keep their minds open and their eyes peeled when shopping secondhand. There's less packaging and less expense, so it helps both the environment and the wallet. In many—but not all—cases, proceeds go towards local charities, so be sure to do your research.

  • Try One Today

    One of many apps designed to make giving easier, One Today urges users to “make it your very own generosity app.” One dollar can be donated each day to the giver's charity of choice.

  • Put your gift cards to good use

    Unused gift cards can do more than simply take up wallet space. A number of services allow you to donate your balance to a charity of choice, and others will accept the card directly via mail. Regional organizations can likely benefit too, just be sure to check in first and make sure they accept gift cards.

  • Share The Meal

    ShareTheMeal is yet another simple app that allows users to send a $0.50 a donation to feed a child for a day. The app comes from the United Nations' World Food Programme, and has shared over 31 million meals to date.

  • Explore fandom

    Fans of popular entertainment can find opportunities to give back in the spirit of their favorite book or movie, if they know where to look. Examples of organizations directly tied to iconic cultural properties include the 501st Legion ("Star Wars") and Lumos (founded by "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling). Those who want to dig a little deeper may find just the collector's item they're looking for at Charitybuzz.  

  • Get crafty

    Those with supplies at the ready may be pleased to know that their favorite hobby can easily do some good for others. A variety of organizations are ready and willing to accept crafts that only cost a few dollars to make, and are often simple enough for kids to pitch in and help.

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