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Unique Things You Can Donate Besides Money

Living an altruistic lifestyle can be difficult on a budget. You want to get involved and help with your favorite causes, but you can’t afford to consistently give out of pocket.

Luckily, there are more ways to give back to nonprofit organizations than just with your checkbook. If you’re interested in living an altruistic lifestyle while still watching your wallet, check out this list of unique things you can donate besides money.

Blood
All of us have blood, but many of us may not realize we can donate. If you’re between the ages of 16-65 and in good health, you have potential to become a blood donor. Blood donations can be made every three to four months at blood drives throughout your area. With each blood donation you give, you can save up to three lives. That’s something money can’t do!

Plasma
Plasma has often been referred to as the “gift of life.” Many patients in critical condition rely on plasma donations to treat rare chronic diseases. Plasma can be donated more often than blood, and some organizations even offer compensation for your time and effort. Plus, each plasma donation you make has the potential to save up to 17 lives. Talk about impactful.

Hair
Donating your hair is as simple as a flick of the scissors, but it has a lasting impact for those in need of wigs. Research local and national hair donation organizations to see which one most suits your intentions, and then start growing! Many organizations have length minimums of eight to twelve inches to make the wigs, so make sure to check beforehand. With just a small effort, you can make a huge difference in the lives of someone struggling.

Stuff
This seems easy, but it has a massive influence on individuals and families in need. Check around your house for any gently used items like clothes, electronics, furniture or shoes you may no longer need. Or, talk to your friends and neighbors to see if any of them have items they’d like to give as well. Then, head down to your local shelter or safe house to donate!

Organs
Do you want to make an impact even after you’re gone? Consider becoming an organ donor. While the need for transplants continues to rise in the United States, roughly only 52% of the adult population are registered as organ donors (Donate Life America). Talk to your friends and family about your intentions, and change someone’s life even when you’re no longer here.

Time
While money is useful, time is even more valuable. If you want to help others but don’t have the resources to do so, give back by giving your time. Volunteers are always needed at nonprofit organizations, so find a cause you’re interested in and contact about getting involved. If you have a special skill or career you’re able to donate, give back by providing a free resource. Or, go the old-fashioned way by helping run events, doing manual chores or working with a group.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, and giving back through financial donations can be a challenge sometimes. However, you can still make a difference by giving through ways that don’t break the bank. Because when you volunteer yourself or your resources, you not only save a penny, you save a life.

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How to Help Save the Earth

Rapidly diminishing resources, severe deforestation, unclean air, water crises and global warming: this is the reality our world currently faces. Pollution and environmental destruction have been growing for as long as the human race has been around, but it’s only been in recent years that we’ve really started to take a closer look at our global impact.

So how can you make a difference in the world? By reducing your carbon footprint. Check out these easy ways you can lessen your environmental impact and help save the earth.

Watch Your Water
When it comes to using water, the little things make a big difference. Pay attention to how and when you’re using water and find new ways to reduce and reuse. Simple steps like turning the water off when brushing your teeth, taking less shower time and using a front-loading washer can go a long way. And those plastic water bottles? Say good riddance! Take advantage of your own personal reusable water bottle for water and plastic conservation.

Walk the Talk
Did you know that according to the EPA, not driving your car for just two days a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 1,590 pounds per year? If all of us made one small step in that direction, we would definitely be looking at a healthier planet. If you can, try biking or walking when on your way to work, class or just out and about. Not only do you get some exercise in, but you’ll make the earth feel better too.

Turn the Lights Off
The burning of substances like coal and natural gas for electrical energy is the most common source of air pollution. You can help change this by reducing dependence on electricity. Take steps like shutting off equipment when not in use, closing air conditioning vents in unused rooms, washing clothes in cold water and turning the lights off whenever you leave a room. Reducing our reliance on electricity also reduces our reliance on unhealthy air pollutants.

Buy Local Goods
Buying locally makes a huge impact globally. It combats air pollution in two ways: you don’t have to travel as far to buy items, and they don’t have to travel as far to you. Staying aware about where to buy products helps make an impact on our environmental health. Try shopping at local farmer’s markets, buying online from nearby areas and checking to see where products were made. Not only do you help the earth, but you support the local community as well.

Go Green and Recycle
Making a conscious effort to produce less trash helps lessen the production of unsustainable products that will end up in landfills. Go green by using reusable grocery bags, glass containers instead of plastic, reusable dinnerware, rechargeable batteries and using online and computer resources rather than printing out paper. And most importantly, use a recyclable container at home to recycle paper, plastic, cardboard and glass.

When it comes to saving the earth, small steps make a big impact. Every person can make an effort toward reducing their carbon footprint and living a more altruistic lifestyle for the world. What kind of earth do you want to leave behind for generations to come? Make steps today and be a force for change in a healthier, happier, world.

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Brain Injury Services launches Monthly Sustainer Program

There is a new way to support Brain Injury Services! The Monthly Sustainer Program is a new way to give financially to Brain Injury Services by making monthly donations of $10 or more through our new website. Monthly giving programs have proven to be beneficial for nonprofit organizations because they add a predictable source of revenue which can be used creatively and effectively.

Brain Injury Services is not able to do the work it does for survivors of brain injury, stroke, and concussion without the generous support of its donors. Consider joining this new initiative today!

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8 Ways Becoming a Mentor Benefits You

Giving your time to help others can be a huge commitment, especially in a mentor/mentee program. Whether you’re mentoring school children, those in need or a young professional in your own organization, mentoring is hard work.

A mentorship program has more in store than just for the mentee. If you’re not sure whether mentoring is right for you, take a look at these eight ways becoming a mentor can benefit you.

1. Give back to the community.
Becoming a mentor in the community is an excellent way to give back in a unique and challenging way. When you mentor fellow community members, you give them the chance to develop and grow, therefore strengthening the community as a whole. Not to mention, you continue to live and grow an altruistic lifestyle.

2. Help a struggling neighbor.
Whether a mentee is a young child or an aging adult, as a mentor you have the opportunity to help guide a struggling member of your community. Provide valuable life advice, work through challenges and encourage mentees to achieve. When you help someone in need, you in turn fill your own life with positivity.

3. Share your knowledge with another.
Mentorship gives you the chance to share your own experiences and life knowledge with a fellow human being. Did you struggle with chemistry homework in high school? Tell your mentee! Do you use a planner to help coordinate and organize your life for school? Tell your mentee that too. As a mentor, you can help spread valuable knowledge to others.

4. Learn from someone else.
Not only does mentorship help mentees learn, but you can learn from mentees as well. Let them share their life stories and experiences with you, and gain valuable knowledge from viewpoints you may never have been exposed to otherwise. Because when two people come together, knowledge is compiled and shared.

5. Build relationships.
Nothing is more valuable than relationships, and mentoring allows you to build a new relationship with someone close. Whether this relationship is peer-based, work-based or familial, you can gain a new life-impacting connection with someone. And when you build a new relationship with one person, you create a web of interlocking relationships with others.

6. Practice active listening.
Active listening is a skill few people have mastered, but by mentoring you can learn just how to do it. Practice your active listening skills with your mentee and learn to focus on the here and now. Not only will this help your personal life, but your professional life will benefit as well from your newly found active listening skills.

7. Develop your resume.
If you’re still not sure whether mentoring is right for you, take this into consideration: being a mentor looks great on a resume. If you have no other reasons to mentor, this is still a strong one. You can demonstrate to future employees your philanthropic work and altruistic attitude towards helping the community, then land the job you’ve always been hoping for.

8. Advance your leadership.
Leadership is an invaluable skill to have both personally and professionally. Becoming a mentor for someone in need gives you just the right chance to develop your leadership skills. If you’re struggling to be organized or responsible, mentorship helps you grow in these leadership roles. You can then become a stronger leader in whatever area you choose.

Mentoring a child, peer or coworker can be a challenge, but the benefits far outweigh the time commitment. If you’re looking to advance your personal and professional life towards a more altruistic lifestyle, consider becoming a mentor. You get to help someone in need while they in turn enhance your life as well.

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Practicing Altruism (With Animals)

Leading an altruistic lifestyle can be a challenging but rewarding experience. While we make sacrifices for others we love, we in turn receive the love we put out into the world tenfold. Still, one such love which often goes overlooked is the love for our fellow creatures, animals.

Altruism doesn’t just end with human beings. It stretches out, encompassing ourselves, others and nature itself. So how can we put this sense of altruism into real-life? By practicing its values with animal creatures around us.

Adopt local.
Interested in getting a furry new friend for your family? Avoid the pet store and head for the shelter. Shelter animals often come from harmful and distressing backgrounds, and spend a long time waiting for the right family to come around and love them. You can be a renewed hope for a furry friend by adopting. If you’re not ready to gain a new family member, you can still help by promoting adoption to those in your life who are looking.

Volunteer at a shelter.
If you have a passion for animals and want to give back, check out local animal shelters in your area and see if any are in need of assistance. Volunteer by raising money, taking care of the animals or even rescuing pets in need. By volunteering, you can make a difference in an animal’s life and be a positive force for good.

Go fur-free.
Fur is fun, but not for the animals it comes from. Make the pledge to go fur-free in your lifestyle and avoid fur and skin clothing items, such as mittens, boots or handbags. Recently, faux fur is making a huge comeback in the fashion world, and it’s all because engaged activists have made a conscious decision to protect animals from harm. You can be a part of this movement by choosing to go fur-free in your daily life.

Watch what you eat.
You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to live a loving lifestyle towards animals. If you’re not ready to make a drastic change in your diet, try taking small steps to ensure the wellbeing of animals for food. Take care and focus on buying meat products that come from cruelty-free environments, local or organic. In this way, you can still live the lifestyle you choose while giving animals more respect and fairness.

Buy cruelty-free.
Across the world, animals of all kinds are blinded, poisoned and burned for the testing of human products such as soap, shampoo and lip balm. If you want to make a difference in animals’ lives, take a stand against these harmful lab testings. Check the packaging on products you buy to make sure they’re cruelty-free.

Encourage spaying and neutering.
Every year, animals are put down in shelters or killed on the streets due to overpopulation. Help reduce this risk by spaying or neutering your pets, and encouraging neighbors and friends to do the same. You can also celebrate World Spay Day on February 28th, 2017, to shine a light on the power of affordable access to spaying and neutering.

When it comes to living an altruistic lifestyle, compassion for others doesn’t have to stop with humans. You can take it a step further and make a difference in the lives of animals we love and care for. Practice altruism, be a force for good and help save an animal today.