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6 ways to give back this season (that won’t cost you a thing)

Posted By Andy Murphy | December 9, 2014

Siena students are a lot of things—smart, driven, kind, funny, athletic—okay, okay, you get the idea. But perhaps above everything, if you were to ask any Siena grad to describe the student body here, one word you’d probably hear is “giving.” 


Want to know what it's like to be a Siena student? Since this is the season for giving back, here are some ideas to inspire you (and they don't cost a dime!)

1. Learn some new vocabulary. Over at freerice.com, a non-profit website, you can test your English vocabulary skills in exchange for an excellent cause. For every word you define correctly, Freerice will donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations World Food Programme to help end world hunger. The higher the level you pick, the harder the words get. Challenge yourself! But make sure you get a few right…

2. Click to support literacy. Want to help give a book to a child every day? All you have to do is click the big button that says “Click here – it’s FREE!” on theliteracysite.com. You can click once a day, every day; each click will provide 1% of a book. Using donations from the site’s sponsors, The Literacy Site makes books available to kids around the world. And like we said, it doesn’t cost you anything. (Put it in your Bookmarks Bar so you remember to click daily!)

3. Volunteer your time. Siena students are big on donating their time and a little elbow grease to a good cause. Find volunteer opportunities in your ZIP code based on your interests—everything from animals to sports and beyond—using volunteermatch.org. And remember, around this time of year, churches and shelters are inundated with donations; find out if any in your area could use an extra hand sorting through them. 


4. Go for a run. Download the free app Charity Miles on your iPhone or Android and pick a charity. Then, get moving. The app measures your distance, and as you go, you’ll earn money for the charity you chose. Bikers get 10 cents per mile, and walkers and runners get 25 cents per mile. No catch at all. How’s that for motivation to exercise?

5. Clean out your closets. All those sweaters and jeans that don’t fit you anymore? The ones taking up space in your bedroom closet? Put them to good use! Bag them up and bring them to a clothing donation site in your town or look for your nearest Goodwill. This year alone, donations helped Goodwill get over 229,000 people back to work.

6. Cut your hair. Got enough hair to be able to snip 10 inches off of it? Consider donating your tresses to Locks of Love—a non-profit that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 who have lost their hair due to medical reasons. (You were going to cut it anyway for your big college interview, right?)

Maybe you already knew all of that—and if you do, you’d fit right in at Siena. Or maybe some of these sites and ideas are new to you, and that’s okay, too. Try a few out. Get in the volunteering spirit. If it feels good to be doing good, you’re the kind of person we love having here at Siena College. 

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TOPICS: About Siena, Upstate New York, Student Life

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