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If you’re looking for ways to get involved in your community, but you don’t have much money, donating your time may be a better way to contribute. In fact, many causes need volunteers more than they need financial contributions. While you should volunteer to help causes that hold special meaning for you, these suggestions can give you a head start.

Organize a Neighborhood-Wide Yard Sale

You don’t need to join an established organization to help. One effective way of giving back is by managing a yard sale that gets several households involved in your neighborhood. The money you make from the sale can be donated to a local charity or a national organization in need of donations. This will help you do more for a special cause than you could do on your own.

Visit Retirees at Assisted Living Facilities

Nursing homes and similar facilities are occupied by senior residents who have been abandoned by their families. They may get a weekly visit, but seniors, like anyone else, need more social interaction than that. Spending just a few hours per week visiting with nursing home residents will help them feel connected to the outside world and your visits will lift their spirits.

Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelters

If you love animals, volunteering your time at an animal shelter can be a rewarding experience. You’ll care for animals in need and you’ll learn about caring for different kinds of pets. You can also create flyers to pass around town to help at-risk animals get adopted before their time is up.

Pass Out Care Packages to the Homeless

You might be surprised by how inexpensive it is to create small care packages. By visiting a discount dollar store, you can get bottled water, snacks, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, and other essentials at low bulk prices. These types of gifts can help the homeless in your area care for themselves.

Volunteer as a Tutor

Illiteracy is still a big problem in America and many people can read at a level where they can get by in their daily lives. By volunteering to help students or adults learn to read more proficiently, you’ll give them better tools to succeed in life. Alternatively, you can volunteer to tutor students in other subjects as well, such as math or computer science.

There are many more ways you can help those in your community, either individually or by joining organizations. Your goal should be to look for causes that touch your heart because that connection will let you get more out of the experiences. No matter what causes you choose, volunteering your time will be rewarding for you and will have a lasting effect on those in your community.