Want to give back to others but always feel like you don’t have enough time? I want to share 5 easy ways to give back when you have little time, that have great impact!

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“Charity is the gift that you give to yourself.” – I can’t find who said this quote, but it’s beautiful.

Today’s post comes from a really personal place, and I know you guys are always asking me to share more and I figured – what if some of you also have this problem? What if some of you also really really want to find easy ways to give back TO others, when you’re low on time/have little time? If so, I hope this post helps and that you share it with your friends and family too, so that we can all do our part to make the world a bit better every single day. Disclaimer: nothing in this post is about bragging. Sometimes we have to share a lot about our good deeds to share our story, not to brag about it.

I’ve had a really interesting history with giving back and charity work in general. According to my parents, the very first time I gave back was when we were in Canada as children. We passed a lady out in the cold who was homeless and I remember being shocked, stunned and sad about this fact. I asked my mom for some money to give her. My mom gave it to me and my heart lit up when I saw the smile on this lady’s face. I don’t remember this incident perfectly, but I do remember feeling a deep level of empathy for this lady, a feeling that I know would help to influence the person I was to become.

When I was in high school, I gave back. A lot. I have a whole section on my resume for “Volunteer Work & Causes” and I always found anyway I could to volunteer. Whether that was working in soup kitchens, or teaching for free, counselling at camp or in other ways, I’ve spent the last ten years always giving back in some way. Some of my best memories have come  from giving back, in fact. It’s never been for any kind of gain or because it was required, I’ve just always felt a love for people and wanted to help in anyway possible.

Here’s the thing about giving back – you can do it in so many ways. It doesn’t take a lot of money or time to give back. Sometimes hearing about how people have travelled far, or given up months for a charity project can make you feel like you can’t possibly give back. Not true.

I know it can be overwhelming sometimes. Do I need to give my entire day to this project? How can I help in small ways that are truly beneficial? There’s giving back to the homeless, to children, to the elderly, and everything in between. Never let anyone tell you that your way of giving back isn’t impactful, because it is. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to share this post. There are so many incredibly easy ways to give back that are helping real people all over the world, but know that you can also give back in the way that impacts you the most. Right now, we give back mostly via donating clothes and supplies and via my current favourite medium – via the internet. It’s amazing how small the world feels when it’s in your palm and to know you have the power to change it. With that said, here are 5 ways to give back to others when you have little time.

  1. Shopping/Buying Fair Trade Products and Products That specifically give back

    Various logos for ethical companies.
    Giving back in this way is just about picking up a different brand of sugar, coffee, tea, or other products you know and love. If you’re not sure what fair trade (World Fair Trade Day for May 12, 2018) means, let me break it down because once I learned about it, it changed the way I shopped forever. I could spend a week explaining my love for fair trade products, so here’s a video instead.

    Straight from thelittlemarket.com, “Fair Trade is an approach to international trade centered around equitable partnerships, transparency and respect. It seeks to empower marginalized producers by providing them safe working conditions, fair pay, and a means to establish a sustainable business free from exploitation.“. Long story short, when you buy the product, part of the profit actually goes back to the creator, inventor, farmer who or whoever worked to create this product. You can learn more about fair trade here. I hadn’t really explored about fair trade before Christmas of last year, and it changed my whole world. It also broke my heart a bit to learn I was supporting brands that were good for me, but were ripping off/not giving back fairly to those actually prepared that product. After that, I created some basic principles for myself. When buying sugar, tea, coffee and chocolate, I would ensure that it was fair trade.

    When you buy a fair trade product, you are helping a family who really needs it. A real person. I’m not telling you to dump anything and begin from scratch, but to be more mindful of some of your purchases. I started buying props from thelittlemarket.com and other fair trade sites and honestly, it feels good to know that it’s going to a great, great place. I love that The Little Market’s products are absolutely adorable because there’s a stigma that if you’re supporting a charity organisation, the product might be well, not so cute. Not so at all.

    I cried the first time I got my The Little Market products because I realised I was holding exactly where the carpenter was holding on this same ladle, and that a personal connection had been formed.  I highly recommend reading more on thelittlemarket.com about their values and purchasing fair trade products wherever you can. P.S. fair trade products are available EVERYWHERE, in your local supermarkets, not just speciality stores. Remember those posts I did with Wholesome? It’s also because their sugar is Fair Trade and it’s a brand I trust. You can find great and easy to find products here on Fair Trade Certified and look out for the symbol.
    Here are some of my favourites to help – Shea Moisture’s Shea Butter Lotion, Wholesome Sugars, Organic India Tea, Jamaican Coffee FROM Jamaica (not certified, but is grown here in Jamaica ONLY and supports local farmers)

    P.S. If you check out my 2017 Gift Guide, there’s an entire section on gifts that give back.

  2. Be My Eyes

    Screen grab of the app called be my eyes.
    I just heard about this app after it was featured on iTunes App Store, then again highlighted on Twitter. Be My Eyes is an app that you download where you can be a seeing person who volunteers to assist a blind or visually impaired person. It works via video chat and helps the blind/visiually impaired person in several ways using disability friendly settings for them. Something as small as “is this milk expired?” to “what does my pregnancy test say?” and all it takes it to answer the video, help the person, then move on. This reminds me that giving back shouldn’t be a limited term. There are so many other ways to help others out. I’ve signed up for this app and can’t wait to help someone on it.

  3. FreeRice.Com

    My brother told me about this app. Freerice has two goals: Provide education to everyone for free. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

    They have games based on different subject areas – think English Vocabulary, Geography, Math, Sciences etc. and you play them. For every right answer, 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme. What an incredible website. If you have a free hour, you can spend it playing on freerice.com, learn something new, and give back at the same time.

  4. Charity Miles

    Logo for charity called charity miles.

    Do you was, run or bike? Then Charity Miles is for you
    and for me. Their whole mission is “get fit and make an impact.” All you need to do is to download it, chose a charity and get moving. For every mile you log, you help to earn money for your chosen charity. This is an incredible and free way to give back while helping to improve yourself, too.

  5. Using Amazon Smile

    Logo for amazon smile.

    Amazon Smile features the same products, prices and shopping features of Amazon.com. The only difference is that when you shop through smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to the charity of your choice. I love this method because it takes nothing out of you to give back to your charity, and it adds up. I’ve spent a pretty penny on Amazon and to know that it’s going back to the charity of my choice makes it even better. I currently give back to a Partnership Against Domestic Violence – PADV. Since February 2018, All charities on Amazon Smile have received $80,134,317.33 USD. This is the perfect example of how your small step can make a huge difference.

I hope this post helps and that you found one or maybe even more than one amazing way to give back friends! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!