The Christmas season can be an expensive time of year, especially for families. But it’s also a season of blessings, generosity and thinking of others. Perhaps you have a heart for those living in extreme poverty and want to give more but are restricted by a tight budget. Here are five ways to help those living in extreme poverty without breaking the bank:

Sell items you no longer want or need – Whether it be clothes, jewelry, kids’ toys you no longer use or even furniture, you can declutter your house for the new year and help those in need by selling items online or at local consignment shop, or holding a good old-fashioned garage sale. Bright Hope also participates in a technology recycling program called ReUp as well where you can mail in items (with free shipping) and donate some or all of the proceeds.

Keep a spare change jar – Those who pay often in cash, can keep a spare change charity jar in your car or house. If you’re not someone who often uses cash, you can set up a bank account to put a designated amount into each paycheck or month to give to causes you are passionate about.

Donate rewards – Some credit cards offer cash back for money spent. Consider donating a portion or all of the cash back towards those in great need. Another reward option that won’t cost you anything is selecting Bright Hope as your designated nonprofit when using Amazon Smile. If you do, 0.5% of every dollar you spend is donated to Bright Hope.

Ask for a gift that keeps on giving – If your family or friends ask you what you would like for a birthday or holiday gift, consider asking them to donate to a nonprofit in your name instead. I had a friend who donated to her favorite charity in lieu of wedding favors in honor of each guest who attended her special day.

Harness your talent – Bright Hope offers Asset-Based workshops in communities we partner with so participants can discover ways to use talents and skills they already have to impact their church and community to break the chains of poverty. We can do the same. If you are crafty or a gifted artist, sell your creations. If you’re a talented chef, seamstress or musician, give lessons. If you have a specific skill like carpentry, babysitting, tutoring or gardening, provide a service and donate the proceeds.

No matter your budget or skill set, we all have the potential to make an impact in the lives of those in great need. Get creative, have fun and please email us here at Bright Hope to tell us your stories—we’d love to hear how you are making a difference!

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