There are lots of ways both big and small to make a positive difference in the world. Donating to charity is probably one that springs to mind, but writing a check or clicking that online donation button can feel a little meaningless. On top of that, you should really investigate a charity’s background before you give money, to make sure the money will go where they say it’s going. Charitable giving can take many shapes, and don’t forget that even a small act can make a big impact in the right place. Here are just a few ways that you can give back without just giving money.

Charity Events

Many causes host events to raise money and awareness, and are well worth investigating. There are a variety of charity events that you can either donate to or buy from or participate in, from anti human trafficking auctions to charity galas to marathons. Look up your favorite cause or ask at a local charity organization to see if they are hosting any events.

Donate Don’t Trash

Remember every time you’re cleaning out your closet or emptying your shelves that those items can be donated instead of trashed. Look up thrift shops in your area, or ask if your favorite charity has a thrift shop to help raise money. In addition to helping a good cause, you’ll be helping the planet by reducing waste.

Volunteer

Soup kitchens are just the beginning of where you can donate your time to make a positive difference in the world and help your community. Volunteering to pick up trash, or teach English to refugees, or even staffing one of the secondhand shops where you’ve donated your spare items are all ways that you can donate time rather than money to help make the world a slightly better place.