This week was incredibly jarring. I woke up on Sunday to a friend asking if I was still here, and news of some of the most soul-crushing variety. I tossed the idea of writing about Pulse around in my head all week, and ultimately I decided it was not going to be the best for me, those struck with grief, or the latino community. But I still felt something.
When I feel something, the not so great somethings, I like to occupy time. And as self-serving and self-righteous as it may sound, I do get satisfaction from occupying that time helping others, And maybe you will too.
Another hard thing for me has been my lack of ability to make large, charitable donations. But, there are ways to lend money, resources, and energy to not-for-profit causes that aim to help others. And of course, you can too!
One of the simplest ways to raise money for charity, Tab for a Cause collects “hearts” on your behalf whenever you open a new tab in your browser. You can accumulate these hearts and donate them to clean water, education, human rights, and other charity causes. You also can get extra hearts for referring friends to use Tab for a Cause.
BOINC takes advantage of your computer’s processing power in order to do calculations for different global projects. This ranges from analyzing weather patterns and researching disease to discovering pulsars. It’s relatively easy and uses your computer in its down time.
3. Free Rice
A classic from the days of middle school, Free Rice reward you with rice for answering questions correctly. This rice is then made real and provided to those in poverty. It’s a great way to sharpen up trivia and language, and send aid to someone in need.
Librivox is an online service that provides public domain books as audiobooks. These audiobooks are free to the public. This is because they fuel their service through volunteers. All one needs to produce these audiobooks is a transcript of the book (which is free in the public domain), and a decent microphone.
While you technically have to spend some money, GoodShop relies on the purchases you would have already made to donate to charity. When you search for what you want to buy on GoodShop, you will be given a selection of the shopping options, alongside a certain percentage or set amount that will be donated to the charity of your choice. It’s a good way to feel a little better about your shopping splurges.
6. Tap ProjectThe Tap Project rewards others when you’re not on your phone. You open up the webpage on your phone, and for every fifteen minutes you don’t pick it up and use it, clean water is given to those who need it most.
Charity Miles is an app that tracks the miles from your run, and then donates money to charity based on that (are you seeing the trend?). It’s great not only for donations, but it’s a great motivation to work harder on your health and push personal running records.
Do you own a smartphone? Then great! With literally no other action other than downloading the app, you raise money for charities. You save up points by having your phone turned on, connecting to social media, and inviting friends. Once they accumulate, they’re donated as real money to one of seven different charities on the app (including The Humane Society, The Red Cross, and Action Against Hunger).