Americans are consistently ranked as some of the most giving and helpful people on the planet. Interestingly wealthy Americans give less as a percentage of income than do middle income Americans. American households with incomes between $50,000-$75,000 give on average 7.6 of discretionary income while those with incomes of $100,000 or more contribute somewhat less at 4.2%. While the economic downturn of 2007/2008 has hurt overall charitable giving, Americans gave $2.98 Billion in 2011, up 3.9% from 2010.
Many Americans reduced charitable giving during the economic downturn in an effort to save money. While many charitable organizations depend upon monetary donations, many rely on the skills and labor of volunteers. There are countless ways to help those in need, here are a few:
- Downsize and donate some of your belongings to your favorite charitable cause.
- Help Paint or cleanup a neglected home in your neighborhood.
- Donate your old cell phone to your local crisis center.
- Volunteer at your local food bank.
- Volunteer at your local school.
- Help maintain a trail at your local park
Readers: How do you pay it forward?
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Readers: What ways do you Pay it Forward?