Thursday, August 11, 2022


    Are you software-savvy? Sign up to teach older adults computer and technology skills through SeniorNet ( Helping our elderly with tech skills is so rewarding. I have seen grandmothers go from never having emailed before to loving the world wide web and contributing their own wisdom, one tweet at a time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Make Furry Friends

    Studies show pets provide both a psychological and physical boost to their owners- so donate to to help a senior get a dog or a cat. The unconditional love of a pet can make a life that much sweeter.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Make Sure Our Elders Are Well Fed

One in six Americans over age 60 faces the threat of hunger, and Meals On Wheels is there to help. A total of 2.5 million seniors in all 50 states, many of whom have chronic health conditions, rely on the service. Go to to make a one-time donation ($35 provides 5 meals), or join the Next Meal Club to donate monthly.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Be an Anonymous Gifter

    Have you ever heard of the Bolinas Free Box? This institution began 30 years ago by accident. As the story goes, a young couple was departing the shores of Bolinas, California, and dumped some boxes of extra belongings behind at the community center as they left. The rather nice assortment of clothes, books, and household utensils drew some interested residents to have a look. By the end of the day, several other people had brought free stuff down to share. The Free Box took up residence in a shed between the health food store and the community center and has been providing all comers with all kinds of free fare ever since. The era of the free box was born.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Open Your Home

    The gift economy is a really helpful concept for the budget-conscious, and it can help you, too. It may be time to reexamine everything you thought you couldn’t do and see if there is another way. Vacationing is a good example- you can trade homes and explore what you could not afford before, while offering the same in return. This free accommodation exchange will give you a really unique and much more personal view of a new place as well as a way to connect with people who live there. The idea is not new; Servas International ( was founded in 1949 and is recognized by the United Nations as a hospitality network. Check out the wildly successful and well organized CouchSurfing ( and Hospitality Club ( And take time to look around the web; there are  many similar, smaller initiatives online catering to the budget traveler or people wanting to take a volunteer vacation in another hemisphere.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

One Man’s Scrap Is Another Man’s Treasure

    Redistributing surplus has been the driving force behind many nonprofit organizations serving local communities. One of my favorite initiatives is the Scrounger’s Center for Reusable Art Parts, otherwise known as SCRAP. SCRAP has been operating in an industrial district in San Francisco since 1976. Donations of paper, paint, and all kinds of arty bits and pieces are the mainstay of SCRAP’s inventory. I’ve seen reams of embossed ribbon, plaster casts, tubes of glitter, and circuit boards. They offer art supplies at very low cost and provide free materials for art projects. Go over there and get inspired to create! Learn more information about SCRAP, a source for the resourceful, at

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Popcorn and a Movie

    Donate movies and toys to the children’s ward at your local hospital. Even better, stay and watch a movie in the social room and bring doctor-approved treats!