3 Fun & Easy Ways To Help Charities - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

Empowerment

3 Fun & Easy Ways To Help Charities

…without reaching into your pockets.

By 

After moving from Toronto to Manhattan and then trying out life in France, we’ve decided to relocate to Monte Carlo, which is a very international (and English-speaking!) city on the Mediterranean (aka. the French Riviera / Côte d’Azur). If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I put a lot of work into my apartment in France — but hey, onward and upward, right!? The fact that our apartment in France is 250m2 (about 2700 square feet of space) and we’re downsizing to a more reasonable 100m2 in Monte Carlo, meant that we needed to quickly offload a lot of our furniture.

3 Fun & Easy Ways To Help Charities

Me, in my apartment in France

When we moved from NYC we donated everything, but I didn’t know of a charity in France that would pick everything up, so I listed our furniture for sale. Then I got an email from a fellow expat named Barbara who, along with 25 friends, started a charity called ActForRef to help refugees. They assigned each person in their new charity with a task, and committed to spending at least eight hours per week doing that task. Her task was to find people who are moving and ask if they have things to donate. She then picks them up and stores them until she can find a refugee who needs that particular type of item.

Listening to her talk was inspiring. She told me how she was dismayed about how the USA is treating refugees, and so she wanted to do her part to try to balance out the negative with some positive, and show that there are plenty of Americans who will be a friend to refugees. When a refugee came to pick up my refrigerator, he shook my hand and looked truly touched. I’ll never forget that moment.

3 Fun & Easy Ways To Help Charities

Me, in Uganda, volunteering to help a charity

My hubby and I have always seen the value in helping charities. When I was a kid, my parents encouraged me to volunteer and I spent my allowance money buying up small pieces of the rainforest and adopting elephants. I even had a pen-pal in Africa (yes, we wrote to each other on — get this — paper!) and I helped pay for her schooling. You may think you need to spend thousands to help a charity, but in reality every dollar makes an impact.

I’m a firm believer that it’s everyone’s duty to give in whatever way they can manage. That’s why we’re gifting everything we have to charities when we croak (since we’re not having kids). But we also look for ways to give back that go beyond just reaching into our pockets. For example, in high school I volunteered at the local animal shelter. It was sad to see all the animals in cages, but worth it because I knew that the time I spent with them made a big difference to these sweet furry beings. In NYC, my hubby and I kept the trend going by volunteering to drive cats from a shelter to a pet store each weekend for adoption day.

If you’re interested in getting involved in charity too, here are a few other ideas that I love (that don’t involve digging into your wallet):

 

BECOME A SUPERHERO

By signing up for Radius’ new Superhero Checking, your interest will be matched by Radius (Earn 0.50% APY on balances of $2,500 or more — yes, you’ll make money, too) in the form of a donation to March of Dimes every month. 1% of your total purchases each month made using your Radius debit card will also be donated to March of Dimes. That, combined with the fact that I can use any ATM in the world for free, there are no monthly maintenance fees, it works with mobile wallets, and their app is IMHO the best out there, is just part of the reason why Radius is my favorite bank. Signing up takes less than 5 minutes and you can fund your account with as little as $100. After that, there’s no minimum balance required.

3 Fun & Easy Ways To Help Charities

In case you’re not familiar with March of Dimes, they’re a wonderful charitable organization that leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies by:

  1. Supporting research toward solutions that ensure every baby is born healthy
  2. Advocating for policies that prioritize the health of moms and babies
  3. Providing resources and programs to help moms before, during and after pregnancy
  4. Educating medical professionals on known solutions to improve the care that moms and babies receive
  5. Uniting local communities across the nation through events and collaboratives
  6. Partnering with organizations and companies committed to helping moms and their families

 

MAKE A NEW FRIEND

If you spend much time on Facebook, then you probably already know that there are lots of cats and dogs who desperately need a forever home. Right now, animal shelters are filled to the brim with wonderful animals who would make great pets. But these shelters only have so many cages, and since they’re pretty much always full, the cats and dogs that have been there the longest get killed because there’s no longer space for them. So tragic! But that’s where you come in…

3 Fun & Easy Ways To Help Charities

You can do something called ‘fostering’, and save lives. It’s as simple as picking out a cat or dog (or several) that you agree to keep in your home until they get adopted. You’ll be getting these furry little balls of love out of cages and giving them a chance at a great life via adoption. It’s also a great lesson for kids, and a great way to add some warmth and life to your apartment if you’re single. Here’s more about how to get hooked up with a foster.

 

MAKE YOUR BIRTHDAY CHARITABLE

Once a year you have a unique opportunity to get all your friends to care about something. You! Now, why not take advantage of this chance to convert all that enthusiasm into action. You don’t need to run a marathon to ask for donations, you just need to be on Facebook. Here’s how the platform works: Two weeks before your birthday, Facebook shows a prompt in your news feed that gives you the option to create a fundraiser for one of 750,000 available nonprofit organizations. You can set a goal amount and create a custom message and, on your birthday, your friends receive a notification inviting them to donate to your chosen cause. After someone donates, they receive a receipt via email. Their name and the amount of their contribution will be shared with the charity as well as with the creator of the fundraiser.

Now how easy is that?!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me in partnership with Radius Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 106 Comments

  1. Rosie Jenkins

    Sell if you need money, but if you don’t, you can donate them. Or, have you heard the Bermuda triangle on HIMYM? Place your item outside your apartment, and a few minutes it’s gone. Someone in need might get it. 😉

  2. Gayle Cannon

    Whoa. The superhero checking is lit! I want to have that kind of checking. I always travel, and it’s an advantage to use you ATM all over the world for free.

    • Jenny G

      I just checked my bill from Bank of America and my ATM fees were $45 last month!! OMG I hadn’t looked at this before! 🙁 I’m 100% going to look into Radius and see which banks don’t charge ATM fees. Crazy!

  3. Marguerite Poole

    When I was a child, I used to donate my old toys to a charity. We move to CA and lost track to that charity. I want to give them more, now that I am a grown man, I want to give them more so I can help more children.

  4. Mamie Alvarado

    Where can I foster? Any suggestions? My wife would love to have a pet at home, and for the meantime we would love to try fostering before we can adopt.

    • Mary Nell

      Where do you exactly live? My friend knows where you can foster a dog or cat. 😊

  5. Chelsea COSSEY

    You are absolutely right. Is it time for a charity boxing match? I want to start this charity to help people who want to learn boxing but aren’t capable of paying for the instructors.

  6. I have a fundraising online, where all the money that I get will be given to all the children who have autism. My brother has autism, and it’s not easy to raise him, not because we don’t love him, but financially, all his therapies and medication is expensive. We are lucky that we are capable of giving him his needs, but what about other people?

    • Kimberly Wood

      It’s nice to know that there are still people who want to help other people. You don’t have to get money from your own pocket, a simple effort will do.

  7. If you have the extra, you can save it, but you can give them to someone who needs it. I am not saying that it’s all about the money.

  8. I always value charities too. They are helping people who need help. That is why my family is always giving our desired charity for almost a decade now. My father started this, and we are repeating his tradition, and promise to pass it in the next generations as possible.

  9. Diane Simon

    I want to make new friends. I want to adopt, but how about you’re too attached to the pet, and you want to adopt them? Is that okay?

    • Ece Maria

      Maybe you can? You can ask them if can adopt them I think yes, it’s nice to adopt. 😊

  10. Lula Burton

    Now that giving is I know not that is easy, I will not hesitate to help. Look, there are many ways to help. All you need is to be open-hearted about donating.

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