FREE And Inexpensive Ways To Give To Your Community And Charity!
This page was last updated: November 16, 2013
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Want to volunteer as an individual OR a family and don't know where to start?  There are 2 excellent 
websites to get started on!  Volunteer Match will ask you questions about your interests & location,
and then give you appropriate suggestions.  Go to  Also one to try is  

The 17th District Court Mentors Program is seeking veteran mentors to volunteer for Veterans Court. 
The Veterans Court, located in Redford, meets once a month. More information and application is available 
at the website below:

The Get-Well Gamers Foundation believes that playing Madden NFL 13 can help hospitalized children 
forget their pain. Send new and used games to its California headquarters. 

Americans can also donate a year to national service, to improve education, disaster relief, the environment 
and other areas.  To learn more, visit

Have spare medical equipment at home that is cluttering up the garage and you'd like to see it go to a good 
cause? Many, many churches, community centers, senior centers, and charities accept any type of medical 
equipment in good shape and YOU get a tax deduction!   Look under the "Disabled Resources" page on this 
site for many places where you can donate these items!   Some charities will even come to your home to pick 
up the equipment.  Look below at World Medical Relief that also collects these items!

Offer up leftover supplies from knitting, painting, and sewing projects through
which sells them to artists and crafters and donates proceeds to Doctors Without Borders. 

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is recruiting seniors age 55+ and older to volunteer for the Gleaners Community Food Bank & DTE Energy Gardens in Allen Park, Plymouth and Westland.  
Volunteers transplant,water, weed and harvest the gardens.  Whether you are an experienced or a 
novice gardener--ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE WELCOME!   
To volunteer call Kathy Moore at 313-278-8455 or email  

SERVICE WITH LOVE is a program of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Catholic Social 
Services of Wayne County.  Volunteers call seniors who are 55 or older  on a daily basis to provide 
dependable telephone contact to check on their well-being.  Calls are made Monday-Friday between 
9 a.m. and 11 a.m..  To sign up for this volunteer opportunity, Call:
Kathy Moore 313-278-7796 OR email  

Through Music & Memory, iPods in working condition--as well as donated iTunes gift cards-help 
lift the spirits of elderly patients with Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, and cancer 

One World Running promotes health in the United States and the developing world by sending 
new or nearly new athletic shoes to American shelters as well as Africa, Central America, and Haiti.  
If your shoes aren't quite "nearly new", they'll be recycled into material for tracks playgrounds.

If your kid's rooms are filled with practically new stuffed animals, consider donating them to Loving 
Hugs, which offers children in war zones, refugee camps, and orphanages a cuddly new friend. 

Have old eyeglasses in your drawers?  New Eyes for the Needy sends your old eyeglasses abroad, 
bringing the gift of sight to places like Bolivia, Ghana, and Cambodia.  New Eyes for the Needy ALSO 
helps supply glasses in the United States as well (check under "Vision and Hearing Resources" on 
the website)! 

Have a lot of books (both children and adults) at home gathering dust?  Take them to your local library 
to donate (and get a tax receipt!).  They will use what they need to stock their shelves and anything they 
don't need, they will sell to raise money for the library.  They also take children's wood puzzles, DVD's 
and CD's, children's computer games, etc.!

Do you have a well-behaved dog and you're interested in visiting ill children in the hospital with your pet?  Children's Hospital of Michigan's Pet Therapy Program is for you!  Dog/handler teams can visit any day 
at the hospital between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and there is no requirement for how often you must 
visit or for how long.  Please call the Volunteer Office at 313-745-5326 to request an information brochure 
detailing the requirements of the program!  You can also check under the "Disability Resources" of this 
website to find many other helper animal programs that you can volunteer for.
There are 2 other programs at Children's Hospital you may be interested in!  They accept hand-made afghans and quilts for the patients......please call the Volunteer Office at the number above to get the 
correct sizes that are needed.  Also, if you have gently used baby or children's clothes, they also have 
a "clothes closet" where they can outfit patients who come in with very little.   Once again, contact the 
Volunteer Office listed above!

Do you have any bikes sitting around the garage not being used?  Would you like to get them into the hands 
of kids or adults who need them?  The St. Roch and St. Vincent dePaul Conference in Flat Rock collect gently 
used bikes and repair them if necessary to donate to local children and adults.  This particular conference 
donates them to people in Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Brownstown, and Rockwood.  Contact your local St. Vincent 
dePaul for a similar program in your area!  Phone Mike at 734-778-2998 to donate.
If you live in Oakland County, the Oakland County Sheriff's office has a Re-CYCLE for Kids Program which 
refurbishes bikes and gives them to children in need at no cost too.  Bikes can be dropped off at the sheriff's 
office or at any of the 12 substations as well as Lighting Supply Co., 28525 Beck Road in Wixom and /or 1-800 
MINI-STORAGE at 26660 Greenfield in Oak Park.

To celebrate Make-A-Wish Foundation's annual Destination Joy Campaign, which aims to encourage people 
to join in the wish-granting, events and activities are set up across the country every June.  Just visit to see if there's an event near you, and while there, type in your skills-be they bilingualism 
or cake-making, etc.  If a child's wish requires one of your talents, you could be a part of their dream come 
true----and it won't cost you a cent!

The Make-A-Wish Foundation ( can also use your frequent flier miles to help take kids on their 
dream vacations!   Please also look on this website under "Emergency Travel" for even more charities that 
can use these miles!

Ronald McDonald House (www.rmhc.orgwhich provides a home-away-from-home for families with children undergoing treatment, seeks volunteers to host movie nights, help with gardening and more!

Shriner's Hospitals for Children give free health care to children with special conditions.  You can help with 
new toy donations (

Are people always wanting to buy you birthday gifts that you don't need or want?   Celebrating a second 
marriage and don't need wedding gifts?  Well, this site is for you!  Needy kids get birthday gifts via local 
web site!   For a $30 donation, a child receives a package with a personalized birthday card and a classic 
or award-winning book tailored to the child's age and gender.  Younger kids also get a stuffed animal, and 
those ages 13-18 receive a gift card to Target.  Donations are tax deductible and you can choose to give 
the gift to a child who shares your birthday or first name!  The gifts go to underprivileged, seriously ill, 
emotionally or physically challenged children through one of the organization's partners, listed on the web 
site at 

Do you have any of the following laying around your house, basement or garage and want it to go to a worthy 
cause (not to mention a tax deduction!)....medical supplies such as incontinence pads or diapers, some leftover medications and reusable medical supplies, hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc.?  Simply call World Medical Relief in Detroit!  130 developing nations in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Islands, the Middle 
East and Eastern Europe receive containers of recycled medical goods from this organization, not to mention the 
U.S.  The organization has shipped more than $900 million in medical supplies since 1953!  They also need volunteers to help sort and pack supplies, work in the pharmacy, conduct inventories and complete clerical work.  
Call 313-866-5333, email or visit

Do an Internet search on and the site will donate a penny to a charity you choose.  
Go through and all advertising proceeds get funneled to a different user-chosen 
charity each month!

Online stores like and will donate a portion of what you spend to your favorite charity if you enter their sites through the Giveness fundraising website.  Just go to, choose 
the cause you want to support, then pick the store you want to shop at, and every purchase you make will generate 
a donation of up to 8.5% of what you spend!

Donate your frequent flier miles to any number of good causes.  Look on this website under "Emergency Travel" 
and there will be a variety of causes you can donate to! 

Want to help your neighborhood modify or build handicapped-accessible playgrounds?  This organization has helped parents in 24 states to do this for 150 playgrounds!  Go to for more information.

Donate blood!  You can find an American Red Cross site and make an appointment through 1-800-givelife OR at  

Be an Organ & Tissue Donor by registering through, filling out your driver's-license designation, or downloading a donor card at the site.

Consider joining a clinical trial, especially if your age or medical situation is under-represented and in demand among researchers.  Ask your doctor for more information or go to

Join the National Marrow Donor Program Registry and agree to donate your bone marrow if a patient in need turns out to be a match by going to this website at  Registration involves a simple blood test or cheek swab.

Campbell Soup Company has pledged up to $250,000 to help fuel the future of American farming.  To show your support, visit and CLICK on the red barn.  For each click the company is donating $1 
to The National FFA Organization which is dedicated to developing our future leaders through agricultural education.

Gift of Sight ( collects, repairs, classifies and hand-delivers used glasses on national & international optical missions in partnership with Lions Clubs International and thousands of local chariites, to developing countries.  Drop off your used glasses at any LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, BJ's Optical or Sunglass Hut store OR call toll-free at 1-800-541-LENS for the nearest location. 

Help a homeless animal by donating linens to a nearby shelter!  They can always use extra sheets, towels and blankets (and any toys your pet won't play with anymore or treats/food they won't eat anymore!) and you can find one close to you at 
You can also help homeless animals by donating your CDs and DVDs to where they'll be sold and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Erie County SPCA in New York.  They'll even reimburse you for shipping so that you don't have to pay for a thing. 

Have toys to give away such as Barbie dolls, small cars, etc.?  Give them to children in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan through Operation Joys With Toys.  Through a special partnership with FedEx, you don't even have to pay for shipping! For more info, go to

If your New Year's resolution is to lose weight, here's a way to drop those extra pounds and help fight hunger in America.  General Mills, NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and Feeding American have launched the Pound-for-Pound Challenge.  Dieters enter their weight-loss goals to join the challenge at OR  For every pound pledged to be lost, a pound of groceries will be delievered to a local food bank.  Shoppers can collect Pound For Pound lids and seals:  for each sent in, General Mills will donate 10 cents to Feeding America.  "The Biggest Loser" will carry updates on the Challenge!