When you say the term philanthropist, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a very rich person signing a check. Giving money to charity is a noble thing to do, but is that the only way to be a philanthropist? No indeed, there is plenty you can do without being rich! Here are a few suggestions…
First, consider the idea of donating your time. Time is the most precious asset we as humans have. We each only get a set amount of time for life on this planet, and the total is unknown to us. One of the best thing you can do for another is to volunteer a little bit of your time to benefit others. There are plenty of ways you can do this. Find a charity that needs volunteers. Help at a homeless shelter, do a “walk for a cure” to help raise funds. You can also bring some cheer by visiting a nursing home and spending some time with its residents. Being a time philanthropist will give you back much more in return, in good feelings, happy experiences, and worth; so much, so that you will be happy you didn’t just write a check in haste.
What if you are a busy person with very little time and funds? There are still a number of things you can do that would fall under the term “philanthropist”. Evaluate your life and see what it is you can offer. Do you have used items you no longer need that can be donated? Don’t stop at just clothes and knickknacks. Do you have a car that is getting no use? Even ones that are broken down can be donated to places that fix them and resell them. Do you have some really long hair? Get a short cut for the summer and donate your hair to places that make wigs for those suffering from cancer and other illnesses. You can also donate to food banks, donate sporting goods to local after school clubs.
If you do want to donate money, but find the funds are low, there are plenty of creative ideas out there. Hold a car wash, bake sale, or other event with all proceeds going to your charity of choice. You can also look at all the “luxuries” you spend your money on each month and choose one to give up. Give up your cable TV, expensive coffee, or cell phone (gasp! I know) for a month and donate that money to a charity. You might be amazed at how good you will feel, not to mention the fact that you might even enjoy some stress relief from the lack of constant electronic bothers.
If you really want to be a philanthropist, you simply need to check on what resources you have that can benefit others and enhance their lives. Everyone has something that they can volunteer, and no big rich bank account is required!