Helping Others with Your Mouse...
Sometimes Without Spending a Dime

"Never underestimate the power of giving. It shines like a beacon throughout humanity.
It spans the oceans that divide us and brightens the lives of all it touches.
One of life's fundamental laws is that the torch you raise to light the path of another brightens your own as well. 
—Anonymous


Surprised, perhaps, to find a page here about helping others? I've included it because so many people find that lending a hand makes them feel good...and that often, the more "helps" they do, the better they feel. (Speaking of win-win scenarios.)

More good news? We can now help others with the humble mouse. Sometimes, we can even do so without spending any money—thereby following 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.


Helping Others with Your "Mouse"

If your computer (rather than your cell phone) brought you here, you likely have a mouse under your hand. 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 yes, time is a precious and diminishing commodity for many 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...

  Clicking Sites at Greater Good

Perhaps you already give money and/or time to groups addressing hunger, shelter, and other pressing issues. For that, the World thanks you. As an "encore," perhaps 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 of us choose to contribute that small amount of time.  

  Playing the Free-Rice Game

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.

  Chipping in on Micro-Loans and/or Grants

Before you leave, 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 long-term experience as a lender suggests that most borrowers fully repay their loans.

If you like the idea of helping to give a small-scale entrepreneur in the USA or a developing country a boost, perhaps consider lending 25 bucks now and then through Kiva. 

Another site to consider is Benevolent, which uses a form of crowd-funding to provide grants to people for verified purposes (for example, education or small-scale business startups). When many of us give, even as little as 10 or 20 dollars can help people trying to build better lives for themselves and (frequently) their families.

So, there they are: just a few of the easy and either 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 genuinely life-changing ways.

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Copyright 2014-2019. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.