Just because someone is frugal, it doesn’t mean they are cheap or that they lack generosity when it comes to those who need our assistance in society. Christian money management requires us to be frugal and use our imagination and creativity to make donations to those less fortunate then ourselves. The following examples are just the tip of the iceberg:
- Clothing donationsMany charities will come and pickup clothing at your home during their community clothing drives. As well, there are many clothing donation boxes in public parking lots where you can drop clothing off at your convenience. Consider also donating clothing to women’s shelters. Older t-shirts and towels in good shape can be given to animal shelters as well.
- Bottle returnsInstead of putting bottles into recycling, our region encourages people to take their wine, liquor and beer bottles to The Beer Stores for recycling. You get money in return. Roundup and give the bottles to someone in need or to the person in the return line in front of you. You could also save up this money and at the end of the year donate it to your favorite charity.
- Empty Printer cartridgesIf you are wondering what to do with empty printer cartridges, check with some local charities to see it they take them, have them recycled and earn cash for them. Some schools are doing this as well to earn extra funds in these challenging times for special activities.
- Old cell phones and electronicsEver wonder what to do with all those computers, monitors and keyboards piling up at your house? Where I live the Diabetes Association takes them and sells them to a company that strips them apart for components. The Association is paid for the gadgets by weight and in some areas they will even come pickup your stash.
- Food BanksConsider giving your free product to a food bank when you make the buy one get one free purchase at your local grocery store. Sometimes you don’t need both of the products so this lets you take advantage of the sale items and donate the extra product to a place where it will be put to good use. You can save up and collect 5 or 6 items and deliver the group of them at once to your local food bank.
- Gardening surplusI’m not a seasoned gardener so when first planting something like zucchini or green beans, I overdue it and we end up having a surplus which feeds the neighborhood. You might be able to give some of it to your local soup kitchen to help them keep down their costs. They may even be able to give some of it to their clientele to take home with them. This will depend on the food regulations in your area so I encourage you to check this out before taking the food to the kitchen.
- Perennial and flower sharingI love hostas. They are hardy link geraniums and seem to be able to weather any storm. I’m sure you have some hardy plants which you can put into a pretty paper container and share with a neighbor or friend with a smile. Plants with flowers make a welcome offering to shut-ins, teachers or your secretary’s desk. Share a plant growing wild in your garden and you will undoubtedly make someone else’s day.
- Coin rollingThrow your extra change in a bottle or jar on the kitchen counter as you come home each day from work. At the end of a month or whatever time period you choose, roll the coins and donate the money to your favorite charity or give the money to a homeless person so they can buy a coffee and a meal.
As Christians we are called to be good stewards of our resources. I look forward to hearing what you have to share on this topic.