Being a student is a constant compromise of attending classes, working on your projects, doing homework and finding the time to participate in social events. Students are busy individuals, but there is always a bit of downtime that can be used on giving back.  Students are always on a budget, meaning it’s unlikely that they have extra money to donate to charities. Luckily, donating money is not the only way to give back to the community.  Have you ever felt that “feel good” feeling inside when you have helped someone in need? That feeling is one of the many reasons to donate to charity. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing you have made a difference in someone else’s life.  With a struggling economy and your own financial problems, it is always a kind gesture to show generosity and kindness to those who need more than you.   If you are a student who is strapped for cash but is willing to make a difference, follow our article below. Find out about the many affordable ways to give back to your community here: 


Establishing your recycling system is a sustainable way to help the environment. You might not be directly helping those who are in your community, but you will be positively impacting the environment and looking after our planet.  Start by having three labelled bins for cardboard, plastic and glass. Setting up your recycling system means that you will have to put in much effort to support best practices. Be sure to encourage others to join your initiative and grow your recycling network. 

Donate blood 

Across the world, there are many sickly people who are waiting to receive blood and organ donations. Sadly, because these resources are so in demand, they are easily depleted.  Donating your blood is one of the most heroic deeds you can do to help alleviate this problem. We have a shortage of blood, and donating yours might save someone’s life. Blood donor organisations are just one of the many reasons why donating to charities is important, even if it is as distinct as donating your blood. There are many blood donor organisations in South Africa to look into if you are considering donating. 

Tutor a student

Have you ever considered being a tutor? Many people don’t see themselves as people who can teach, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to teach another person a skill you already have. You can tutor in old age homes or even help someone learn another language.  If you are more of an academic, you can tutor a student who is a class lower than yours. Find out what you are comfortable teaching. Is it young children? Adults? Or academic material? Broaden your horizons and challenge yourself to do something out of your norm. You would be surprised by how fulfilling giving back is. 

Do a food drive 

Organising a food drive for the homeless will need to be coordinated and planned amongst you and a group of likeminded individuals. If you are a student on a budget, you could round up a group of friends and have everyone donate a food item for the drive.  Bear in mind that this shouldn't hurt your pocket. A meal including, a sandwich, a piece of fruit and something to drink will do. Identify spots within your area that has a large number of homeless people. Flag those areas down and drop off food parcels for the needy.  You will find that many homeless people go for days without food, and your food drive might be their first meal in days or one they will never forget. 


Consider taking the time to volunteer and give back. Any downtime in your studies will enable you to lend a helping hand; however, you choose to help. For example, if you like being around elderly people, you could volunteer at a senior citizen home. And if you are an animal lover, you could volunteer at a local animal shelter for the day.  Never underestimate the power of presence, whether it is with people or animals. Spare some time and positively impact those who are in your community.

Donate old clothing 

We all have clothing items that we have outgrown or simply do not wear anymore. Instead of throwing those items away, consider donating them to those in need. Having clothing on our backs is one of our basic needs. Sadly, not everyone enjoys that privilege, and this is why giving is important, especially in the communities we live in.  They say charity starts at home, so if you have any family members who need a few clothing items, pass them down. Or, look for a shelter near you; there are always charities who require clothing necessities. 

Final thoughts 

As humans, we should always strive to be compassionate towards each other. In the world we live in, many people are in need of basic necessities and if you have the means to help; by all means, lend a helping hand.  Helping your community will provide you with a sense of fulfilment, and your small acts of kindness will go a long way. Take the time to search for charities near you. Find out what they need the most and use that information to figure out what you can assist with.