As a college student, it can be difficult to find the time and money to support charitable causes. Classes, jobs, and extracurricular activities keep us busy, limiting our time to volunteer or give back to the community. Likewise, with student loan debts looming over our heads, we have to budget our money. So, donating large sums to non-profit organizations is usually out of the question.
But what if I told you that I knew a variety of ways to donate to worthy causes FOR FREE using as much or as little time as you wanted? You’d shout for joy and immediately begin supporting as many charities as possible, right? If that’s not the case, then appeal to the altruistic side of yourself and take a few minutes to read through these amazingly easy ways to help others.
1. Tab For A Cause
How often do you open multiple tabs on your laptop when browsing the Internet? I know I usually have at least three open at once. By downloading Tab For A Cause, you can browse the Internet or do research for essays, and every time you open a new tab, money will be donated to the cause of your choice! You can choose from eight different organizations, including Save The Children and Water.org. The browser extension is free, and donations come from Tab For A Cause’s sponsors, meaning all you have to do is use the Internet as usual.
2. Donate a Photo
If you’re a Millennial, you probably document your life on social media, updating your Instagram with artsy photos or adding pictures to your Snapchat story on a daily basis. With Donate A Photo, you can put those pics to use by supporting a variety of causes. The free app allows you submit one photo a day to the cause of your choice, and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 per photo. It’s a fun, easy way to help others, and you can simply snap a photo on your way to class each morning!
3. Charity Miles
For the more athletic among us, Charity Miles is the way to go. Download this free app, and it will donate $.25 per mile you walk or run and $.10 per mile you bike to the cause of your choice. Whether you’re heading out for your morning jog or walking around campus to get to classes, simply click on the app and let it track your activity that day! If nothing else, it’s certainly good motivation to exercise.
Looking for a way to procrastinate? Be productive while putting off that essay you need to write by visiting Freerice.com. This site lets you answer trivia-style questions to earn rice for people in need. For each right answer you submit, you donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.
5. Kroger rewards
If you shop at Kroger and have a Kroger Plus card, enroll in the Community Rewards program! Every time you buy something at the store, Kroger will donate a portion of the profits to an organization you select from its list of member organizations. A broad range of non-profits participates in this rewards program, so search for the local cause you want to support and keep shopping!
6. Amazon Smile
Next time you need to buy or rent textbooks from Amazon, create an Amazon Smile account. While it may not be the most lucrative way to give back, Amazon does donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to charitable causes you choose. If you’re already buying a product on the site, it’s a nice way to ensure that a portion of the money you spend goes to a worthwhile organization.
7. UNICEF Tap Project
For those times when you REALLY need to study but can’t seem to resist the pull of Facebook, visit UNICEF’s Tap Project to give you the extra motivation you need to put your phone down. For every 15 minutes you don’t use your device, UNICEF’s sponsors will donate one day of clean water to a child in need.
8. Feeding Forward
While its program is still developing, Feeding Forward is a very promising organization! Whenever you have excess food, you can notify the organization, and a driver will be sent to pick up your surplus and donate it to a shelter close by. It’s a great way to prevent wasting food and help those in need within your community. Currently, it is only active in a select few cities in California, so make sure to check the list of areas they serve. However, Feeding Forward is working on expanding, and you can place a request for the program to come to your city!
Whether you take advantage of all of these opportunities or just one, your effort will make an impact. For example, if every student at Kenyon (approximately 1,662 of us) took one photo using Donate A Photo every day for a year, we would raise over $606,000 for worthwhile causes. I think that’s worth a minute a day. Don’t you?
Image Credit: Humans are Free, Charity Miles on Twitter, College Candy