Top 9 Ways to Be More Charitable

The world is full of suffering, but you can help. Here are just nine ways to give back to the community and make the world a better place.

1. Volunteer Your Time

No charitable organization will turn down a willing volunteer. Whether you're hammering nails or just answering phones, extra hands are always welcome among charity groups. Contact an organization in your area and see how you can help.

2. Donate

If you don't have time to physically support the cause, make a donation instead. You can earmark it for certain people or activities, like refugee relief, or you can simply donate it to the charity as a whole and let them decide how to spend it.

3. Shop from Charitable Stores

The next time you're shopping for candles, jewelry or handbags, don't go to your nearest department store. Check out the online shop of a breast cancer group or literacy initiative instead. They often sell the same things retailers do, but their proceeds go to their charity.

4. Attend Fundraisers

This usually goes hand-in-hand with donating, but you don't always have to give in order to enjoy a charitable fundraiser. You can help in other ways, like hosting, greeting or cleaning up after everyone has gone home.

5. Support Other Charitable Individuals

Shop from the street vendor who's battling lymphoma. Hire the lawyer who supports heart associations and local boy scout troops. For example, Jason Hanold gives to nonprofits that help at-risk youth. When you turn to charitable attorneys for legal advice, a portion of your fee will go towards young people, too.

6. Educate Yourself

Stay aware about the issues surrounding your community. Not only will you be a better-informed citizen, but you'll also be exposed to causes, charities and fundraising efforts that you might never have known or cared about otherwise.

7. Raise Awareness

This is a very simple thing that can be done by anyone with a social media account. Post about the homeless problem in your neighborhood; answer questions about poverty and panda relief; retweet announcements made by your favorite charity. The more you spread the word, the more the information will be out there.

8. Clean Out Your Closet

Never throw anything away. Your clothes, your canned goods and even your electronics can be donated to charitable groups in need of resources. Even if you think an item is worthless, talk to a charity and see if they could use it. You might be surprised by the answer.

9. Click the Right Links

Did you know that you can give to charity by clicking on certain links or typing in specific search engines? Affiliate deals mean that it's easier than ever to support your favorite cause. It's the 21st century way of giving.

These are just a few ways to be more charitable in your everyday life. You don't have to sell all your possessions or travel oversees to do something good; you just have to keep your eyes peeled for opportunities.

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