Never underestimate the unique power of giving.
For when we help to lighten the load or brighten the path of another,
We may find ourselves benefiting as well (possibly in unexpected ways).
Surprised, perhaps, to find a post here about helping others? Sure, we know that lending a hand where needed/wanted is thoughtful and humane, but does such behavior in any way relate to "mellow" aging?
suggest that it does, at least for the many who find that generous and
helpful words/deeds sometimes cheer themselves a bit, as well. True, the main point of helping others is not to make ourselves feel better, but this kind of "win-win" can be pretty hard to resist, no? ;-)
Although many ways to help others seem to present themselves (if we're paying attention), one simple way to lend a hand is by clicking a mouse...while spending little, if any, money. In so doing, we follow the wise counsel of Teddy Roosevelt, when he suggested that we simply do what we can right where we are and with whatever we have at hand.
If your computer (rather than your cell phone) brought you here, one thing you likely do have "at hand" is a mouse. With that hairless/squeakless version, you
can—perhaps already do—help provide food and other assistance to people and/or animals in need. If you're clicking only, as opposed to clicking and occasionally purchasing/donating, that assistance won’t cost you a dime. It will, however, cost the minutes you choose to give.
And time may be a precious and diminishing commodity for some of us. But another diminishing commodity for all too many is food—as supply chains become increasingly mangled by wars, natural disasters, and the complexities and inequities of post-harvest storage, transport, and distribution. Here are a few ways we can help...
Already, you may be helping individuals/groups address hunger, shelter, and other pressing needs. For that, the World thanks you. As an "encore," you might consider clicking daily at the Greater Good sites, where you'll find the Hunger Site, the Animal Rescue Site, the Breast Cancer Site, the Veterans Site, the Alzheimer's Site, and the Autism Site, among others.
To do such clicking takes little time (and no funds), yet can pay off wonderfully when thousands or even millions of us choose to contribute that small amount of time.
Here's another way to give that also costs nothing. Use your mouse-hand and your head/heart to play a game at Free Rice.
The free-rice game questions you in your choice of several areas: for each correct answer, the game “pays” you 10 grains of rice. So, if you answer a mere 30 questions, for example, your winnings total 300 grains. When cooked they look like the rice in the small bowl to the left—one heaping tablespoon, plus slight overage. (Guess how I know this.)
If you ramp-up the number of questions, you can make an even greater difference to people living in challenging and sometimes heart-rending circumstances.
The Free Rice site even keeps a running tally if you revisit during the day, and you may play as often and as long as you wish.
You can also set up and/or join a team, if that appeals to you.
To do shelter animals a similar favor, hop on over to Freekibble.com, where a single answer (all you’re allowed) to each of two questions earns 10 pieces of kibble whether your answer be correct or false. Answer the third question to "give" kitty litter to shelters.
Still here? Then, perhaps you'd allow me a quick plug for Kiva, an innovative micro-lending program. Although Kiva isn't completely free, in the sense that you do lend money at a certain risk, my own longish experience as a lender suggests that most borrowers fully repay their loans.
If you like the idea of giving a boost to a small-scale entrepreneur (just one example) overseas or in the USA, perhaps you might lend 25 bucks now and then to a Kiva borrower.
Another site to consider is Benevolent.net, which uses a form of crowd-funding to provide grants to people (mainly in the USA) for verified purposes, such as education, work clothing, small-scale business startups, and so on. When many of us give, even as few as 10 or 20 dollars can help people trying to build better lives for themselves and (frequently) their families.
So, there they are, only a few of the easy and/or free or inexpensive ways we can help others. But they work best when many of us pitch in. Although we can't "save the world" on our own, together we can sometimes help individuals and groups in life-changing ways. What say we do it!
*I will receive a small commission for products you purchase from Amazon as a result of clicking the link just above.