(StatePoint) Want to give back to your community during the holidays, but itâ€™s just not in the budget? With total holiday sales forecasted to hit over $1 trillion this season, itâ€™s good to know that there are plenty of ways to give back without spending another dime.
Sometimes, the items you already own and donâ€™t need anymore can make a big impact for others. Here are three charitable ideas that will help you clean house while making someone elseâ€™s holiday season much brighter.
Give the Shelves a Shake
Whether itâ€™s that box full of novels in your garage that you havenâ€™t touched since you moved last, or a stack of Dr. Seuss your kids have outgrown, you likely own a bunch of books that are simply gathering dust. Give the gift of literacy and entertainment this season! Make a pile of books your household no longer wants and donate it to a local library or shelter where your books can be enjoyed by others in the community. You can also do an internet search for your city and â€˜holiday book driveâ€™ to find other worthy causes close to home.
Tidy-up Your Tech Drawer
Double your giving impact by recycling your old smartphones and tablets at a local T-Mobile store through its #GivingTWOgether Phone Drive. Through December, the recycled value of your device, after costs, will be matched and donated to Feeding America and Team Rubicon. Whatâ€™s more, T-Mobile is pledging a minimum matching donation of $1,000,000 to be split equally between the two charities. Thatâ€™s enough to buy at least 5,000,000 meals for hungry families and deploy 5,000 veterans to serve communities affected by disasters.
According to recent EPA estimates, more than 135 million cell phones are trashed each year. Donâ€™t toss it! Even old flip phones could net more than 600 meals to people in need or buy critical equipment for a disaster relief strike team member. Plus, anyone can participate, even non-T-Mobile customers. To see learn more about the T-Mobile #GivingTWOgether Phone Drive, visit www.t-mobile.com/ways-to-give.
Gift Your Glasses for Good
Anyone who wears glasses knows just how easy it is to accumulate old pairs of frames and lenses that no longer fit your style or meet your prescription needs. Nowâ€™s the time to fish those frames out of your drawers: many optometrists and local organizations like Lions Clubs collect prescription glasses and donate them to charities that work within your community. You can also donate online through organizations like New Eyes who send your glasses to those in need, worldwide (www.new-eyes.org/recycle.) The gift of good vision can completely transform someoneâ€™s life and expand their educational and professional opportunities.
This holiday season, itâ€™s easier than ever to make a difference without an impact to your budget.
Photo Credit: (c) Lubos Chlubny/stock.Adobe.com