How to Help a Family in Need When You Don’t Have Money to Spare


When you want help a family, but you don’t know where to start…

Maybe you heard about a family in need from mutual friends, or your child’s school, or your church. They are a family who worry about paying the heating bill, putting food on the table, or getting proper clothing for the children. Maybe they are dealing with an illness or a job loss. How can you gather support to make a meaningful difference?

Here are four ways you can help a family in need, and it doesn’t require a lot of money to spare.

No Money to Spare? Find Existing Resources

Offer to do some legwork for this family. Identify local nonprofit organizations and support groups in your area. Visit websites and Facebook pages to learn what help is available, who can qualify and how to sign up. Look into national organizations as well. Look for energy assistance, food and clothing resources, child and respite care and more.

Offer the Basics

When a family is in crisis, the first thing people think to give are meals, but often there are basics that are more urgently needed. Bread, milk, paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo and toothpaste are all items that run out often and are hard to get if you don’t have the funds or the time to go to the store. These things are inexpensive and can something be purchased for practically nothing with coupons, or found around the house.

Crowdfunding and Fundraising

Free crowdfunding and fundraising websites and apps are popping up all over the place. Some are best for raising cash, while others let you create a wish list of needs that others can sign up to fill. Share the cause and ask friends and family to do the same. Just remember to ask your family first, if you will be sharing any personal information about them, or better yet, keep it anonymous.

Operation offers a number of options for fundraising to put brand new winter coats on local children in need. You can contact us about partnering for a program in your area, allowing you to give out the coats yourself, or start an easy fundraiser through our Facebook page.

Help Them Take Action

Often, a family in need is so overwhelmed and they just don’t know where to start. Offer to call a creditor, figure out which bill to pay first, make a doctor’s appointment, watch the kids or just listen as they talk through their next steps. This kind of help is free but invaluable, and it is not usually offered.





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