Many people, in the spirit of generosity, make charitable contributions to those who are less fortunate. Not everyone, however, can afford such noble aspirations. That is, of course, if you consider monetary donations the only way in which you can contribute. Regardless of what form your generosity takes, the result will be as much appreciated as it is needed.
If you have a few spare hours a week, consider donating your time. Even if you're busy, you can probably afford to give up an hour here or there if you are honest with yourself. We all have little luxuries, like manicure appointments or tickets to a baseball game. If you have time for luxuries, you have time to help those needier than you. Yes, it is a sacrifice, but think of the amount of good you are doing. Think of how much your gift of time can help others. For most of us, it is very possible to volunteer on a weekly or monthly basis without completely disrupting our lives, and it is very rewarding.
If you have talents in a particular area, you might consider "donating" your skills to help those who aren't as gifted in your particular area of expertise. If you love to sew, for instance, perhaps you could offer to take on sewing chores for a neighbor with arthritis. What is difficult and painful for her is easy and enjoyable for you - what better way to show someone else that you care? You can similarly offer to help others as you go about your daily chores, picking up groceries for a neighbor or walking someone else's dog. Senior citizens will often welcome this kind of helpful thoughtfulness.
There are many organizations out there helping those with illiteracy, and they can really stand to benefit from your help. If you know how to read, you can teach others to do the same. The simple act of reading with another person can help them gain independence and greater self-confidence. Think of how much a person's quality of life will improve once he can read signs, instructions, mail, and so on. That is a wonderful - and free - gift that you can give of yourself to others.
Even if you are seriously pressed for time, you can still help out. Consider making a non-monetary donation of objects like cars or computers. If you have an old van in your garage that you just don't use anymore, allow someone else to make good use of it. Many organizations are badly in need of transportation vehicles. Giving them an automobile will save them thousands of dollars that they would otherwise have had to spend. By making non-monetary donations you are making a significant impact on the lives of others, without having to take a penny from your pocket.