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Giving from the Heart Without Devastating Your Wallet

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With the price of gas, food, and other amenities on the rise we all have been cutting back on the things we normally spend on. Unfortunately one thing we cut back on first is our donations to charities. It is hard to be charitable when we ourselves feel like victims.

I have been searching for ways to remain charitable without taking a hit myself. This can be accomplished by donating your time and used or like-new clothing and furnishings, which other people less fortunate will find useful.

But there is another underused way in which we can give big without spending at all. Here it goes. Please pay attention:

Step One: All major drug chains have a system in place to get shoppers into their stores. At Rite Aid it is called the “Single Check Rebate” program. How it works is that you pick up their weekly or monthly flyers. Find items that are available with a rebate. Purchase them. Enter your receipts into your computer and get a rebate check at the end of each month.
Step Two: Many of the items are FREE. Meaning you buy the item on sale for say $2.99 and receive a rebate of $2.99. Unfortunately, many of the items are not things that I need, (i.e., tampons, beauty products, feminine hygiene stuff, etc.), or are brands I do not use. But still they are free. It occurred to me that just because I don’t use or need these items doesn’t mean that they are not of value to others.
Step Three: Buy everything that is free up to the rebate limit each month at the participating stores. You’re going to get your money back before the credit card bill becomes due anyway. Put all the stuff you don’t need into a bin and donate it to a charity. Local charities in my area are an AIDS crisis center, a center for victims of violence, a church with a food, and clothing bank.

Remember: Rite Aid, CVS, Eckard’s, and most major drug stores have these programs. It’s not going to cost you anything (except tax in most cases). You can get more because they allow you to use coupons as well. Check the rules because there is a limit on how much of each item you can purchase each month from each retailer.
I’ve only been doing this for a short while and only from Rite Aid, and I am donating between fifty to one hundred dollars a month in merchandise without any cost to me. Just imagine if I expanded this to more than one retail chain. But even if I don’t, I am donating between 600 to 1,200 dollars to charities a year at practically no cost to me.
Try it and I guarantee it will make you feel good. In fact, the next time I drop off goods, I am going to put a few copies of this in with the products and spread the word.

Note: I have just been informed that in most cases your donations are tax deductible for their value. So this will actually make you money come tax time.

I just keep in mind the woman who has to flea a dangerous situation with only her children and the clothing on her back receiving soaps, toothbrushes, mouthwash, cleaning supplies, crayons and paper for the kids, feminine products, and beauty stuff. If you are reading this on your computer or Blackberry, you are so much more well off than her.


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