How You Can Donate to Haiti…For Next to Nothing

This blog focuses on fitness and wellness, but I feel the need to write a brief post on donating to Haiti.  Specifically, how you can free up some money no matter how tight your budget is.

There are dozens of organizations by which to contribute to relief in Haiti.  You know of them; I don’t have to list them here.

There are so many people in the U.S. and throughout the world who want to donate money but think they just don’t have the extra money to contribute.  I was in this boat for a brief second.  I’m getting married in May, so my fiancé and I are on a super-tight budget this year so we can save for our wedding and honeymoon.  This is the tightest budget we have ever been on.

But we donated a decent sum to Hope for Haiti this past weekend.  How?  By foregoing discretionary expenditures in our own lives.  We’re on a tight budget, but this is a relative phrase.  We’re not struggling to pay the mortgage or put food on our plates.  So therefore, there are things in our life that we spend money on that are not essential for survival.  To rattle off a few:  going out to dinner, enjoying decent red wine on the weekends, getting our cars washed every couple of weeks, a morning Starbucks here and there.  The list goes on and on.  The point is that, like most people, we spend money on non-essential items on a weekly basis.  By intentionally forgoing a couple of these expenses, we can certainly free up some money to donate to those less fortunate.

Think about the fact that BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE, two-thirds of Haitians lived on less than $3 per day and 80% were unemployed.  Think about the fact that THIS WEEK, Haitians are dying because they lack antibiotics that cost literally pennies.  Think about how many are homeless, without family, shelter, food, and water.  Think you can free up a few bucks?

If you’re still stuck, here’s a short list of ideas to free up cash:

  • Wash certain clothes this week instead of taking them to be dry-cleaned
  • Bring your lunch to work or school
  • Carpool to work with a friend for just one week – you’ll save at least a tank of gas.  That’s at least $30 right there
  • Make your morning coffee at home for a week
  • Read your favorite newspaper online instead of picking one up at the newsstand
  • Take out a book from the library instead of buying one at the store or online
  • Rent a DVD to watch at home instead of going to the theater

The options are endless.  So let me ask, what “sacrifices” have you made to donate to the less fortunate?

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