- Roll Spare Change. Collect all of your spare change and roll it up. You can take half of what you gathered to a favorite charity or an animal shelter. You'll be surprised by how much you find and you won't even miss it when it's gone.
- Coupons. You might get coupon inserts in your Sunday paper or in the mail. Maybe you use them and maybe you don't. There might even be many that you don't have a need for such as ones for pet food or diapers. Many grocery stores have coupon exchange bins at the entrance where you can drop off your unwanted coupons or you can give them to families that you know of that use products that you don't. I also leave coupons tucked beside the product they are for around the store.
- Time. Giving your time doing a bit of yard work for an elderly neighbor, or watching a friend's small children while she runs errands are very valuable gestures. Volunteer groups are always looking for additional help.
- Food Pantry. Food pantries need contributions year-round. The next time you see grocery items at rock-bottom sale prices or a buy one get one free promotion, just toss a few extras in the cart. Every time you've collected a small amount, simply swing by a food bank and make you donation. I do this all of the time, usually to friends/family/neighbors. I clean out my pantry and freezer every time I know someone I know is having a hard time. I appear on their front porch with several bags of groceries and a smile. It makes me feel so good to see them smile!
- Clothing Drive. While donating your old clothes to clothing drives, women's shelters, and the Salvation Army is charitable in itself, why not take it a step further and throw some new items into the mix. Snagging heavily discounted toys after the holidays or hitting up end-of-season clearance sales will offset your out-of-pocket expense. Recently, Wal-Mart had T-shirts and shorts marked down to a buck!! I stocked up on various sizes and brought them to school. SEVERAL kids truly needed a few new items.
What are some other ideas do you have for PAYING IT FORWARD? What are some things you have done?? After all, we are in this thing called LIFE together!