No-Excuse Ways to Donate

by Kara Daniels

I’m always trying to find ways to give back, but at first, for years, I felt like it was always just this line on my to-do list that never got done. I only ever got as far as the application process required by my local Humane Society to be a regular volunteer that would help clean cages and walk dogs. Even after applying and being accepted, I was only successful in volunteering for one adoption event and after that, nothing.

Honestly, I have a dog of my own that I feel I barely get to spend enough time with. I’ve consistently worked 2-3 jobs at a time and usually put more than 50 hours a week in, which pales in comparison to some other people’s jobs but yet I still cannot seem to find the time to volunteer.

This truly bothers me.

So, overtime I’ve discovered simple and easy ways to donate that work with my busy schedule. Tasks that we have no excuse for not doing because they require little to no time at all to complete.

Here are some simple ways you can give back:

Do you shop on Amazon? Of course, you do. You buy and Amazon will donate. Click on this link here to connect your Amazon account to a charity of your choice. Then the next time you shop, type smile.amazon.com instead of just amazon.com and they will automatically donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases. My browser now remembers the link and it’s easy to get used to. Even if you forget, Amazon will recognize you’re signed up for Amazon Smile and will have a pop-up ask if you want to switch to the Amazon Smile site.

Do you shop at Kroger? If so, you can link your Kroger Card to an available charity/organization of your choice and each time you shop using your rewards card, Kroger will donate. Go to their website here, create an online account that links to your rewards card, then choose your organization of choice by going to your account settings by clicking on “Welcome, your name” at the top right-hand corner. Under “Account Summary” scroll to the bottom where you’ll find “Community Rewards”. Here you can select from a list of local organizations in which Kroger will donate to when you use your Kroger card to shop.

Do you shop at Nordstrom? Follow this link and you can donate your clothing by mail with Give Back Box. Nordstrom has partnered with Give Back Box so you can reuse the box from your recent Nordstrom order to donate to local charities. When you order from Nordstrom, save the box your order came in. Fill the box with any gently used clothing, accessories and shoes you’d like to donate. Print a prepaid shipping label from GiveBackBox.com then close up your box, attach the prepaid label and drop it off at a UPS or USPS location. That’s it! Give Back Box partners with various charities—and your donation heads to the nearest one in need.

Do you have old towels and/or blankets you no longer use? For whatever reason, we never throw away old bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths because we often keep them in a separate cabinet for when we bathe our dogs or wash our cars. This cabinet was overflowing, so I needed to get rid of a lot of towels but they were still in such good condition that I couldn’t imagine throwing them away. I called my local Humane Society because I had heard that animal shelters use old towels and blankets for the animals as well as for cleaning up the kennels. They confirmed they DO accept them and even thanked me for thinking of them. So, don’t throw those old things away! Drop them off at your local shelter to help the animals in need.

Do you have old prescription glasses you can no longer use? I’ve had prescription glasses since middle school, unfortunately. As I was cleaning out my bedroom, I came across two old pairs that I figured I would end up throwing away because what else do you do with them? So, I Googled it and found out several organizations that put them to good use, including your local Lion’s Club. Follow this link to choose the organization you’d like to donate to.

Please comment any other ways to donate that others might not know about. I’m always looking for more!