Volunteer Your Time

Every Day Activities That Double As A Charitable Boost

April is National Volunteer Month and the Yummy Mummy Club wants to make it easier for families to participate. We know you're busy, but it is possible to make this month count even if you’re short on time and short on cash.

Though the average person may not be aware, there are a myriad of charitable organizations around the world that are finding new and innovative ways to make a difference – in no time at all!

Whether you're surfing the web, playing a game or taking a walk in the park, families can get enjoyment - and a dose of social awareness - from everyday activities that double as a charitable boost.

Computer time
Surf for the earth!  Powered by Google, Ecosearch.org returns the same search results but with an environmental kick: The site donates 100 percent of search revenues to nonprofits, such as Rainforest Alliance. Make it your computer’s default search-engine.

Craft time
Encourage your children to help organizations Hugs and Hope by crafting cheery notes, drawings and cards that bring joy to hospitalized kids.

Kitchen time
Bake cookies for a local fundraiser to support a chosen cause or host a charitable bake sale of your own to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Game time
Play online games for good, such as the vocabulary test game at freerice.org that donates rice to the hungry for every answer you get right. It’s entertaining and you’re helping a great cause.

Any time
Be Someone’s Eyes. Provide a free reading service for the blind and visually impaired through Read This to Me. All you need is a working phone and a fax.

Summer time
Go the website, Alexslemonade.org to find out how the kids can organize a charitable lemonade stand to help raise money for cancer research.

Nicole Bouchard Boles is an expert in no- and low-cost philanthropy who consults with companies, families and individuals on the best ways to incorporate giving into their everyday lives. She has been featured in Ladies Home Journal, the Los Angeles Times and heard on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Disney Kids and CBC Radio.

Nicole is the author of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World - At no Cost! (Workman, 2009). Nicole lives in Alberta with her husband and three children. Visit her at everydayphilanthropistblog.com.