How to Help When You Don’t Have Much

Its been a hard year for many of us.  Even so, many of us look around at those worse off and wonder how we can eke out something to help.  If we can’t give money because we don’t have it, we may have something quite valuable tucked away in the house.  I have resolved to start the new year by going through my things and giving away when I don’t use/need.  My favorite charity is the Salvation Army, because I really believe they make the most out of whatever they are given.  There is a Salvation Army thrift store near me, and I take my contributions there.

Some things to consider are:  clothing in good condition (especially winter clothing right now); bedding (those extra blankets or sheets you never really use, extra towels and washcloths); games, puzzles and other toys (people will buy these for their kids to use when the weather is bad); unused kitchen items (you probably have several you haven’t used in the last year or so); books (if you haven’t read them yet, you aren’t going to); magazines (current only); and other things in the miscellaneous category.

The Salvation Army benefits from the profits on their thrift shop sales, and people in need benefit by being able to buy things at a very good price.  You can no longer get a tax deduction for used items (there may be the occasional exception), but think of it this way, you are helping someone else and simplifying your life.  All that unused stuff keeps your garage and closets messy, and it takes time to take care of  “stuff”.  My mother always taught me its a sin to “sit on” things when someone else can use them.   Now if I can just persuade myself to get rid of some more books…. they are my weakness when it comes to hoarding.

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