Giving More Than Time or Money


I think that it’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways of giving something back to the community at large. Plenty of people give their time in the form of volunteer work. Plenty of people give their money and, indirectly, their time in the form of donations. However, plenty of people have a lot of spare goods lying around the house, and these are the sorts of things that people can give to charity just as surely.

Many people have certain food products that they aren’t planning on eating any time soon. People buy things on a whim, or they receive food products that they didn’t want from well-meaning friends, relatives or acquaintances. Lots of canned food drives will accept anything that hasn’t expired yet. Lots of food pantries will accept these sorts of donations as well. People should never simply throw their old food away. Even the stuff that is legitimately no longer fit to eat can at least be useful for the sake of composting.

Lots of the people who might be thinking about donating goods will tend to think small as opposed to big. Really, there are all sorts of organizations that will accept almost any sort of household goods that people can possible name and then some. For one thing, food pantries will often accept donations of toiletries and cleaning products. They’re called food pantries, but they more or less specialize in anything that is essential for the running of a house and a home.

Still though, the people who want to look even further than that are encouraged to donate household appliances, furniture, and many of the other larger household items if they have them available. Far too many people like to spread the idea that furniture, household appliances, and similar items are luxury items. The same people who will argue in favor of income inequality and the right for rich people to own several houses will often say that poor people do not have the right to a donated microwave.

People who are the least bit sympathetic to that worldview should remember that it is very difficult to keep a wide range of inexpensive or healthy food in the house without access to a refrigerator or a microwave. Poor people are very limited in terms of the selection of food that they can choose, and they are even more limited in terms of the amount of time that they have to shop for groceries. Poor people will often need to rely on canned food and processed food, and living off of that without a microwave is tough. Having no refrigerator means no milk, no fruits and vegetables, and no inexpensive meat. Poor people with certain dietary needs may have a very difficult time even getting by without access to a refrigerator.

Life without furniture is very difficult as well. People without furniture have a difficult time resting and recuperating after a long day of difficult work. They often have a hard time staying organized, since they are reduced to just throwing a lot of stuff on the floor. The consumer goods that a good portion of people take for granted actually are part of a healthy and functioning living environment. Fortunate middle class people and wealthy people are encouraged to share their unneeded items with the people who would love to have them.

Goodwill has been a great charity aimed at supplying people with goods for a long time. Habitat for Humanity will take a lot of the goods that people might want to donate as well. Big Brothers and Big Sisters will often accept these kinds of donations.