Simple Ways to Help Others This Holiday Season

With the holidays approaching (Hey, tomorrow is Thanksgiving), you will probably start to see charities and organizations ask for assistance with their holiday campaigns. If you are on a budget, writing a check may not be feasible, but there are other ways to help.

1-Donate to your local food bank food drive: Most food banks see an increase in clients at the end of the year, and need everyday foods. Clean out your cupboard and donate some IN DATE, un-dented cans or boxed items.  

I know most of us have some extra (and unexpired) items in their cupboard they could part with. If you are unsure what kind of items to donate, here are items that the food bank always needs:

  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
  • Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)

2- If your local area doesn’t have a food bank, check to see if there is a  Little Free Pantry in your area.  These are stocked by neighbors in the area, and most of them can always use some extra boxes or cans. Our neighborhood has a Blessing Box located at the nearby church.  Sometimes neighbors are too embarrassed to seek out help. In those cases, Little Free Pantries and Blessing boxes are saving graces.

3-Don’t forget to check out your local Buy Nothing Groups. Within local buy nothing groups, your neighbors are offering up items for free, and you can offer items from your home that you no longer need.

4-Donate! Charities sometimes accept gently used items to sell to raise money for their causes (such as AmVets, and DAV). You can drop off stuff you no longer need/want and help others at the same time!

5-Donate to a Clothing Swap. I’ve written about clothing swaps here before. With the holidays coming up, some local organizations have an increased need for clothing, especially if they offer clothing without requiring a donation from those in need.  If you are in need of clothing, but have nothing to swap, two good free clothing resources in San Diego are The Closet on 54th (Men, women, and children’s clothing) and Naomi’s Closet (only women’s clothing). 

San Diego Area Readers: Donate Canned goods receive a free facial or massage!

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Firefly Wellness is having our seventh annual holiday food drive to support the San Diego Food Bank. Items can be dropped off  through December 20th at their location in North Park.

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 8.44.59 PM.pngThe best part of this offer is that not only are you helping others with your food bank donation, but when you donate ten or more food items off at Firefly Wellness, you’ll receive a certificate for a free 30-minute massage or facial. You can use it yourself or give it as a gift.

I know most Frugalistas have at least ten extra (and unexpired) items in their cupboard they could part with. If you are unsure what kind of items to donate, here are items that the food bank always needs:

  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
  • Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)

(if you are looking for coupons to help you shop for donation, check out the coupons here)

Food Drive Information:
 
When: Now through Dec 20, 2017
Where: Firefly Wellness
How: Drop off items on your next visit, or call 619.249.4323 to schedule a drop-off or pick up or your items.
BONUS: Receive a THANK YOU GIFT CERTIFICATE when you donate ten or more items.  (Limit one per person.)
Please comment if you will be taking advantage of this great deal (and what you’ll be donating). I’ll be donating Oatmeal and Peanut Butter among other things.

What I do with all the free samples I receive….

bright boxesOn Saturday, my mailman asked me, “What’s up with all of the free samples?” She’s not the only one who asks. It’s one of the questions I get a lot when people find out I coupon and we live frugally (the other question I get a lot  is: “Do you have TP under your bed?”

Well, here’s the deal: I donate them. And no, there is no TP under my bed. Just out of season shoes and dust bunnies.

I donate about 90% of the free samples I receive in the mail. The local American Legion post collects small sized toiletries to make into care packages which are distributed to local homeless vets.

Additionally, the other local charity that my coupon club supports (Naomi’s Closet) also collects and distributes small sized toiletries to women’s in need.

If that sounds like something that appeals to you, you can collect travel/sample sized products and donate them to your local charity of choice.

I like MySavings to find top quality freebies. I also sign up for the P&G Brandsaver (it’s a collection of free samples from P&G available once a quarter).  Once the samples arrive, I take them out of their shipping container and I have a small box under my bathroom sink where I store samples and donation goodies.  I donate the contents of the box each month.

I also regularly donate full size products too.  For example, my donation budget is $5.00/month.  That doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but when I match sales with coupons, I am able to save big, and that $5.00 goes pretty far!

So the next time you that I’m posting free sample offers here or on Facebook, know that there will be one headed my way, to help someone in need!

Helping Others: 1st Annual Cinch Sack for Scarlett’s Kids Fundraiser!

This year I have been fortunate enough to meet two really awesome ladies (Candi and Barbara), both of whom have children suffer at the hands of a horrible disease called Necrotizing Enterocolitis (that is a link to wikipedia- warning there are some kinda graphic photos, so it’s NSFW).

They have banded together to help other kids who are sick, and you can help too! Help sponsor a child through Scarlet’s Kids and buy cinch sacks that can be filled with goodies for children hospitalized at Rady’s Children Hospital – San Diego. Candi is partnering with Scarlet’s Kids on a yearly basis and raise funds for as many Thirty-One cinch sacks as possible. Sponsor a local child and receive a picture and their story in return. Order through Candi or online here.

You can learn more by checking out the fundraising flier below! If you have any questions, please contact Candi at cdemarestr@gmail.com.

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I am not affiliated with Thirty-one, or Scarlett’s Kids. I wanted to share an opportunity to help others with you. If you’d like to help Scarlett’s Kids in any other way, please contact Barbara at ScarletsKIDS@gmail.com. They are always looking for donations to help support their mission!

If you have a Non-Profit Project that is near and dear to you and you’d like to get the word out, shoot me an email at hewesfamilyfun@gmail.com.

Helping San Diego, CA area women in need: Naomi’s Closet

If you are a San Diego, Ca area resident, female and in need, I have a great resource for you.

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Naomi’s Closet is run through the Santee United Methodist Church (Located at 8964 N. Magnolia Ave., Santee, CA 92071). They provide up to five items of clothing per month (Your choice from a very good selection in a wide variety of sizes), and 2 toiletries.

Naomi’s Closet is open on the following days and times:

  • Wednesdays 10am-12pm
  • 1st & 3rd Saturdays 9am-1pm

No appointment is needed, just show up during open hours. You do not need to show proof of need.

Donations of women’s clothing and toiletries are gladly accepted. I personally donated about 90% of my former wardrobe when I started losing weight.  My coupon club donates items that we are able to obtain for free (by combining sales and coupons). Recently I have donated hair color, shaving cream, nail polish, and razors.

If you have questions, or you would like more information, you can contact Naomi’s Closet at naomiscloset@cox.net.

The church also has a free pancake breakfast on the 1st Saturday of each month from 8am-10am.

I am not a parishioner, but I support Naomi’s Closet and the good works that the members of the Santee United Methodist Church do.