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I have spent a lot of my time on this blog writing about ways to save and how spending on useless things will not bring you any closer to where you want to be.

Although I still believe the above is important, I don’t think that I have put enough emphasis on how important it is to use your skills and money to give back to people in need. I think every one of my readers has a unique skill set that can be used to change someone else’s life. I also think that every one of my readers has a little bit of money to give to a greater cause.

Something that many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to have a lot money to donate, nor do you have to wait till you are older and “established.”

You still may be thinking, Pervez, I don’t make very much money. Go to the link here, and see how you much you make compared to the rest of the world.

Reality check- You make more than most of the world.

So because we are only about a week away from Thanksgiving, I think it is an appropriate time to talk about ways to give to people in need.

-Help with the Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving Day meal. The Salvation Army serves a free Thanksgiving meal and needs volunteers to help assist in the preparation, serving, and clean up. This is a great opportunity to help your local Salvation Army with one of their biggest events of the year. Too often do we take turkey and mashed potatoes for granted. Help others have this experience and encourage your friends to join.

-Another great place to help is your local Food Bank. Food Banks collect and distribute food to people in need. They have several holiday initiatives but are always accepting canned goods as well as foods such as peanut butter. You can take items to them or make monetary donations online.

-Run a 5k. Running sucks but running for a good cause is always fun. There are several holiday runs in every city that give a large percentage of registration fees to great causes. You can find a list of races for where you live on Runner’s World.

-Get an Angel, or two. One of my favorite ways to give back is by snatching up some Angels from the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army places trees in big shopping malls with Angel lists. The Angels are people in need that have listed certain things. The first year I did this, I had a 66-year-old Angel that needed a shower grab bar so he could comfortably shower without the fear of falling. This made me realize that it is the little things that can change someone’s quality of life in a big way.

-Do a random act of kindness. This can be anything from paying for someone’s coffee at Starbucks to taking a box of toys to the children’s hospital. You never know whom you will be helping, but more importantly, whom you will be inspiring to pay it forward.

Life is too short to wait to help others. Making a lot of money and saving it is great but giving back is the only way to feel a real sense of accomplishment.