The holiday season is here, and many people are looking for the best charities to donate to without breaking the bank. Whether you want the best charities for animals, the best charities to donate clothes to, or simply just the best charities to give to, we've rounded up our favorite organizations that you can help without donating money.
Donate Pet Supplies to the Humane Society
The Humane Society is one of the largest animal charities in the country. According to its website, they provide care to more than 100,000 animals every year. They also partner with local organizations to provide training and education for animals. SSure, you can donate to the national organization with a monetary gift, but you can also donate to your local chapter with different items for animals. Many shelters need pet food, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, and office supplies. Check your local chapter for their wish list.
Knit for Charity With Knots of Love
If crafting is your thing, Knots of Love is your charity. Founded in 2007, Knots of Love has provided more than 374,050 hats to veterans, children, and adults going through chemotherapy, and they process more than 1,000 creations every week. "We are definitely a unique, family-oriented charity, and that is how I run it and always will," says Christine M. Fabiani, the group's founder. The organization is partnered with more than 550 cancer treatment centers in the country. In 2013, Knots of Love also started donating tiny blankets to neonatal babies. To submit a cap or blanket, first visit the Knots of Love website and download the donation guidelines. Once you send in your gift, the charity will let you know which treatment center received your donation.
Donate Clothes to Dress for Success
For the past 20 years, Dress for Success has helped almost one million women become self-sufficient. Dress for Success accepts new or gently used suits, business clothes, shoes, accessories, purses, and new cosmetics and jewelry. You can donate yourself or host a donation drive to bring in even more items for women in need. They even have a Donor Bill of Rights so you know exactly where your donation is going and can stay up-to-date on the charity's work.
Play a Game for Free Rice
Help conquer world hunger and have fun! Freerice.com donates 10 grains of rice for every answer you answer correctly on their website. The organization has donated more than 97 billion (yes, billion!) grains of rice so far. The group is non-profit and owned by the United Nations World Food Programme. The program assists people in more than 80 countries and is in the world’s largest organization that addresses world hunger.
Donate Your Time to MENTOR
We've seen 137 #ThankYourMentor messages this month, which = $137 for @mentornmp! Are you feeling inspired by these amazing stories and photos? Share your own before November 30--each use of the hashtag means a $1 donation in support of the mentoring movement! Or consider making a larger gift online (www.mentoring.org) Don't forget to tag your mentor!
All of us have learned a thing or two from someone older and wiser. MENTOR is the only national program that connects volunteer mentors to youth mentoring programs. There are many different kinds of mentoring programs the charity partners with, so it’s easy to find something that’s right for you. You can go to their website and search for the types of mentoring available in your area, and how you can get involved mentoring young people.
Remember: There are many people, animals, and charities that need all of our help to do their good work. While you’re giving gifts this holiday season, remember to also give back to those in need — any way you can.