For those moved by the spirit of giving, it's easy to make a difference at the local, grassroots level.
Of the more than $390 billion in American philanthropic giving in 2016, 72 percent was contributed by individuals, according to data from Giving USA. Needless to say, acts of charity and kindness happen nonstop.
For those moved by the spirit of giving, and who want to make a difference at the local, grassroots level, here are three smart and unexpected ways to pay it forward.
Donate some of what you have
Register with wecount.org, a peer-to-peer online network that lets users request and donate specific resources and supplies, such as personal care items, clothing, home goods and outdoor essentials.
Donors can view and fulfill specific requests from their neighbors in need, and make drop-offs at third-party sites in any of 10 geographic locations around Seattle.
Donate some of what you earn
If you patronize Ocean Greens on North Aurora Avenue, your gratuities for the staff will become Tips for Lives, which has supported the Family Assistance Fund at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center since 2014.
The fund helps qualifying patients and their families with non-medical expenses — everyday items such as grocery money, diapers, child-care costs, bus fares or phone bills.
“We save the tips and write a check and invite all of our customers to say thank you for helping. Tips for Lives has been a major success, it has brought us a lot closer to the community and people love to give back and keep up with the stories of the survivors,” said Ocean Greens’ Shante Puckett.
Donate some of what you know
Want to enrich lives and make an immediate impact? Teach computer literacy to senior citizens at Wallingford Community Senior Center. Computer literacy is one of several areas of instruction at the center, which served about 1,200 people ages 50 and older last year.
The Seattle Public Library also hosts a computer lab at the center. An upcoming workshop focuses on how to spot fake news on the internet.
Ocean Greens supports Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s ongoing efforts to fight cancer and related diseases. We encourage all of our customers to help our efforts through our Tips For Lives program.