- November 19, 2014

5 Ways to Put the Giving in Thanksgiving


Need a new project to occupy the kids while instilling some good values? The following opportunities require no cash, and you’ll feel great in return. Make each activity a treasure hunt, or a contest for the kids, to up the fun factor.

5 Ways to Put the Giving in Thanksgiving Without Spending a Dime:

1. Donate Old Electronics to Safe Place– Dig out those old iPods, cell phones and tablets and get rid of them for a good cause. It doesn’t even matter what condition the items are in and your donation is tax-deductible. SafePlace recycles these relics for revenue that goes towards their programs.

2. Give Toiletries and Blankets to Foundation for the Homeless– Foundation for the Homeless is always in need of travel-size toiletries, so clear out that stash you’ve been hoarding from your hotel visits and put them to good use. Gently used blankets are important coming into the winter months so make some room in your linen closet while helping others.

3. Recycle Clothes and Household Items for The Arc of the Capital Area– We can all de-clutter a bit and not miss a thing. Arc will send out those orange postcards when they are about to come to your neighborhood but if you have a lot to donate all at once, you can arrange a pick-up time. These items are sold in a thrift store and the proceeds help the Arc centers in Texas. Also tax-deductible.

4. Give Old Books to Austin Public Library– As you your children grow older and have less need for Curious George or Goodnight Moon, you can give your books to any branch location or to the Recycled Reads store. Proceeds then benefit the libraries themselves.

5. Donate Unneeded Diapers and Used Baby Food Pouches to Austin Diaper Bank– The diapers your little one has outgrown can be passed on to those in need. But baby food pouches? Keep them out the landfill and provide some revenue to purchase even more diapers for Central Texas babies and toddlers. Eight drop-off locations around town make it an easy win for all.

You may also be interested in 5 Fun Ways to Volunteer with Kids in Austin.

Instead of administering university programs, Beverly Hamilton now spends her days finding puzzle pieces under the couch and convincing her toddler, Barrett, that eating really is good for him. Since 2013, her other gig has been working as the founder and executive director of Austin Diaper Bank. A recovering Ph.D., she’d rather write grants and blog posts than grade papers any day.