Personally, I feel it necessary to tithe each month, it is just something I have always done and something I will continue to do. Also, I feel that it is my duty, as a human being and as a citizen in my community, to help others. Now is probably when helping others is most needed, however during tough financial times, people, logically, want to hold on to what they have as much as possible. This means not donating food to the food banks, not supporting community non-profits, and not helping out those in need. It's kind of a Catch-22. Here's some ways you can help others in your circle of friends, family, and community (and it won't cost you a lot!):
- Offer to babysit if an unemployed neighbor needs to go apply for a job or just needs a bit of stress-relief time.
- Cook a double-sized dinner and bring the other half to a neighbor.
- Look at the loss leaders at your local store and pick up enough to drop off a bag of food to your local food bank.
- Donate blood or platelets--this could save the life of someone you don't even know.
- If you have a group of friends or neighbors with kids (or adults) who are of similar taste and size, organize a clothes swap once a season.
- Volunteer your time at a local non-profit.
- Get together with friends and share tools and other items which will save them (and you) the price of buying hardly used items.
- Research ways to save money and share ideas with friends and family members.
- If someone you know works hard but has fallen on difficult times and needs one-time help, consider giving without expectation of it being returned if you can afford it.
The idea is to get creative and to give back. No matter how hard times are, helping others is a rewarding, valuable experience.