Charitable Giving, Giving Options, Planned GiftAre you interested in giving back to your community? You’re not alone. A 2008 study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that over a quarter of Americans volunteered with charity organizations. But what if you don’t have the time in your busy schedule to volunteer? Don’t worry, there are many other giving options for you to consider. Most organizations are happy to accept charitable gifts in lieu of volunteer service, and this article will explain easy ways to make the most of giving to a local charity.

How to Make a Charitable Gift in New Orleans

First you should decide what you can afford to give. Many people donate money if they don’t have time to volunteer, but did you know that there are other planned giving options? Depending on the organization’s mission, a charity might accept anything from canned food to cars. For instance, the Greater New Orleans Volunteers of America, which services thousands of people in need across 16 parishes every day, accepts a variety of charitable gifts. The VOA website lists dozens of ways for people to help, including donating vehicles, giving stocks or mutual funds, making a bequest in a will, giving gifts in honor of a loved one, and donating life insurance policies, among other options.

If you want to give in a different way, why not consider helping out a local food bank or homeless shelter? Both options accept gifts of money and food to help disadvantaged members of the community, and have space for volunteers every day of the year, allowing you the advantage of helping out during holidays or on vacation time. The Second Harvest Food Bank is a wonderful local charity that fights hunger through food distribution. The organization serves roughly 263,000 people throughout Louisiana, and accepts food donations in New Orleans and Lafayette as well as during regularly scheduled food drives organized by volunteer organizations. To find out how to host a food drive to benefit Second Harvest, visit their website.

For animal lovers, creating a little slice of heaven can be as easy as donating pet treats, toys and supplies to your local shelter or animal hospital. For the social media savvy, there are always opportunities to take part in the animal care community by sharing Facebook posts and tweets about missing animals, animals in search of foster homes, and dogs and cats on the upcoming euthanasia list. Those who want to devote more time and energy can also volunteer to become foster parents to dogs, cats, rodents and reptiles in need of a temporary home. Animal Rescue New Orleans is always looking for qualified foster homes for rescued animals, and the ARNO website also provides tips for helping out the New Orleans animal community in other ways.

Looking for a more fast-paced option? There’s always the opportunity to run or walk for charity. If you’re already an active person, take part in a charity race. One great example is the popular Red Dress Run, a 5-mile fun run that raises funds for charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Participants in the race, sponsored by New Orleans Hash House Harriers, wear red dresses and gather for celebratory beers after the run. Talk about having fun while helping the community!

Discover Giving Options with Volunteers of America

If you’re interested in donating time or money to help children, families, the elderly, the disabled, and veterans in need throughout the Gulf Coast region, contact the Greater New Orleans Volunteers of America today. Visit their website at Volunteers of America New Orleans, or contact a representative at (504) 482-2130 to learn more.

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