How to be a Philanthropist Without Leaving Your Dorm Room

It’s easy to get lost in our own lives.  It seems every hour of every day is booked for the whole year—and beyond. With so many obligations, volunteering becomes just another task at the end of the to-do list. You don’t have to feel guilty. Here’s a guide on easy ways to give back while accomplishing today’s chores.

When you clean out your closet and sweep this winter’s dirt from under your bed, keep an eye out for old, outgrown running shoes. Nike’s Re-Use a Shoe program re-cycles the shoes with the help of Nike Better World. They turn worn out sneakers into playgrounds, basketball courts and even into sports equipment

If you’re on the market for a comfortable, versatile pair of shoes and a way to change a life, you’re in luck. TOMS Shoes is dedicated to giving back. The company matches every purchase, sending shoes to a child in need worldwide. The shoes average around $50 with a wide selection of styles, so you can proudly wear your good deed.

With the motto “Buy a hat. Change a life,” Krochet Kids empowers women in Northern Uganda and Peru by teaching them how to crochet hats, which ultimately creates economic sustainability in small communities. The hats cost around $30 and every hat is signed by the woman who made it, so you can go onto the site and learn how you directly impacted her life. How could this purchase get any better? They sell more than hats.

While you’re waiting for the water to boil or in line at the store, visit, a non-profit site run by the United Nations World Food Programme. For every question you answer correctly while taking any of their quizzes, they donate 10 grains of rice to help end world hunger. Brush up on your vocabulary, math, geography and other subjects while the rice quickly adds up—and what a great way to get your children actively learning and giving.


Tonya Nelson

About Tonya Nelson

Tonya is a senior at Syracuse University majoring in art history and magazine journalism. She is currently spending the summer studying abroad in Italy. She loves to read, write, paint, and play with her dog in her spare time.

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