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10 Ways to Give Back – Ideas For Everyday Giving

Helping Your Favorite Charity Has Never Been Easier or More Fun

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There really are no excuses any more. Charitable giving has become embedded throughout our everyday lives through shopping, by pursuing our hobbies, at our workplaces, and with our celebrations.

Here are 10 wonderful, and sometimes wacky ways, to give back, support your favorite causes, and simply make things better.

1. Make Your Wedding Charitable

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From making sure that the wedding reception leftovers go to a food pantry to asking wedding guests to give a charitable donation, brides and grooms are finding ways to turn their weddings into opportunities for giving back. You can even honeymoon for good.

2. Give Gifts That Give Back

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Turn conspicuous consumption into doing good. There is hardly a product that doesn't somehow benefit charity these days. Cause-related marketing is hot among companies, and there is fierce competition to be the "goodest" one out there. Find gifts for any occasion, from birthdays to holidays to graduations.

3. Throw a Children's Party for a Cause

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Use this cute Valentine's party as a template for birthday parties, halloween parties, or kindergarten graduation parties. Show your kids how good it feels to give rather than receive. The kids will love helping people or animals in need, and they'll have fun too. Here are ideas from assembling care packages for the troops to making catnip toys for the local cat shelter.

4. Knit for Charity

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Are you a "knit-a-holic?" Maybe you knit so much that you don't know what to do with it all. Sarah White explains how knitting for charity is a great outlet for your talents, and just how to do it.

If you're into some other form of do-it-yourself project, check out these organizations that can use the help of crafters of any type. If photography is your gig, find out how to turn your photographic eye to charitable causes. If you can't get enough of quilting, learn how to do it for charity; and if you handle a crochet hook with finesse, consider this list of charities needing crochet items.

5. Run, Walk, or Ride for Good

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Getting tired of running around the block? Vary the scenery by running, walking, cycling, or even walking your pet for charity. Charitable "thons" are everywhere, happen all year round, and are available for just about any disease or cause. Get healthy and do some good at the same time.

6. Give Through eBay

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Support that favorite charity by doing what you love: buying and selling on eBay. It's all set up through eBay Giving Works, and about.com's guide to eBay explains exactly how to do it.

7. Donate Your Stocks

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Do good and get a tax deduction as well? Donating stocks could allow you to give more than otherwise to your favorite cause. Any appreciated asset can be donated, such as stocks, real estate, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate investment trusts.

8. Give Away Your Frequent Flyer Miles

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Are you the George Clooney of frequent flying? Some people actually have enough frequent flyer miles to be able to give them away. Check out the airlines that have donation programs and the charities they benefit.

9. Help Out the Dogs, Cats, and...

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There is a bonanza of opportunities to help out our wet-nosed, four-legged, jumping-for-joy friends of the canine variety. They range from adopting a dog to providing donations to animal aid groups to volunteering to train, scoop the poop, or walk a doggy friend or two.

Also Celebrate Your Cat's Birthday with a charitable donation, and check out this Vegan Cruelty-Free Gift Guide

10. Give Your Stuff to Charity

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Being frugally organized can help charity when you take the time and effort to find places that need the things you no longer use. There's a place for everything, including glasses, cellphones, computers, hearing aids and ink cartridges. 

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