Are you looking for a way to give back to your local community this holiday season? If you’d like to help, but you don’t have the money to write a big check to your favorite nonprofit organization this year, here are four other ways you can contribute.

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1. Give Your Time

When money is tight, one great way to give back to the community you live in is by volunteering to serve a meal at a holiday community dinner. Homeless shelters, women’s shelters and churches often host holiday dinners for those less fortunate. Whether you prefer to peel vegetables, cook the meal, serve it, clean up afterward or deliver it to a shut-in, consider your time and effort your holiday donation.

The holiday season is often tough on seniors who may not have family to spend time with. Look for opportunities to volunteer at a nursing home or retirement residence. Read holiday stories, sing Christmas carols, do holiday crafts or even just listen to the elderly reminisce about previous holiday seasons. This is a wonderful way to give back to the seniors in your community.

2. Share Your Skills

Today’s nonprofit and charitable organizations often need help that requires a specific skill. If you want to give back to the community but can’t afford to donate money, look for opportunities to share your skills with community organizations. Possibilities include:

  • Writing a newsletter, social media or PR materials for a nonprofit organization
  • Providing a few hours of help over the holidays so regular volunteers can enjoy time with family
  • Offering to clean, organize or even paint a local nonprofit office, shelter or food bank
  • Offering computer/technology help with setting up/fixing laptops, printers or other digital equipment
  • Clearing snow from the sidewalk/driveway of shelters, churches or food banks

3. Donate Your Loyalty Rewards

Many people collect loyalty rewards or points from a variety of airlines, hotels and retail stores. If the loyalty program offers gift cards or vouchers as rewards, consider using your loyalty rewards or points to purchase one or more gift cards or vouchers to donate to toy drives, women’s shelters, homeless shelters or church groups working on Christmas hampers.

4. Donate Your Credit Card Rewards

If you’ve been collecting credit card rewards, why not give back to the community by donating your rewards directly? For example, through several charitable partners, Discover lets card members donate Cashback Bonus® either online through the Account Center or by calling 1-800-DISCOVER. The participating organizations include:

  • American Cancer Society
  • ASPCA
  • American Red Cross
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
  • Junior Achievement
  • JDRF
  • Make-A-Wish
  • Operation Homefront
  • World Wildlife Fund
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Discover contributes an additional $25,000 to the charitable organization that receives the most donations from cardmembers annually. For more information and a full list of participating charitable organizations, visit Discover Charitable Partnerships.

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