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Can't Spare a Dime? Volunteer Your Time

Volunteer for HabitatMoney is obviously tight this holiday season, which means charities are likely to take a hit. If your holiday traditions usually include a monetary donation that you can't seem to make this year, try volunteering instead (and guess what—you can add that volunteer experience to your resume!).

If you don't have a favorite charity, here are a few sites to get your volunteer wheels rolling:

  • VolunteerMatch.org and Serve.gov are search engines that work like online job boards, finding volunteer opportunities based on your search terms. Just enter your location and keywords and the system matches you up with organizations in your area.
  • The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers to respond to disasters, support blood drives, and connect families displaced by disasters or conflict.
  • Habitat for Humanity is one of my personal favorites and should be easy to find in your area. I don't know how much they do in the snowy winters, but it's worth a look!
  • Idealist.org is like a community of volunteers and a search engine all in one. Straight from their site: "Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives." To start your search, click on Volunteer Opportunities under the Find tab on the left.

And of course, you can't forget your local soup kitchen, food bank, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and other service organizations.

I hope this gives you a few new ideas on giving back this holiday season. If you participate in any opportunities found on these sites, tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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