Welcome back, friends!
I realize November literally only just started, but I’ve been thinking that I need to do better to help other people around me that are less fortunate than I am.
I mean, yeah am I broke? Definitely. But, do I ever wonder where my next meal is going to come from? Or how I’m going to stay warm now that winter is approaching? Or the immense struggle of paying for exorbitant hospital bills? These are not daily worries on my mind and I am lucky.
Now, do I have thousands of dollars lying around to give to charity? Also no! Don’t worry, this is still Ballin’ on a Budget. But this week, I’m gonna show you loads of easy ways you can give back to others, ballin’ out on good deeds.
Rutgers Student Food Pantry
Located at 39 Union Street on College Ave, the Rutgers Student Food Pantry provides basic groceries and foods to students on or off campus that are food insecure.
To be “food insecure” is to “have limited or unsecured access to a sufficient quantity food. Unfortunately, this is becoming a more and more common experience for a lot of students in the country.
So, what can we do to help? Well, thanks for asking! On their website, they have a list of items that are sufficiently lacking in the pantry that you can just drop off, easy! Things like pasta, cereal, canned goods, personal care items, etc. are all easily accessible items that we take for granted but sometimes forget that there are people that don’t have the basic necessities.
You could also hold a Food Drive with the help of the people who run the Food Pantry. If you literally can’t imagine yourself giving up any of the food you have or going out and buying some specifically for the cause, that is 100% valid and something that you have to think about. BUT if you’re in an organization, or you have a job, or you just know a lot of people, you can host a food drive that collects foods and goods from others who are fortunate enough to be able to donate but wouldn’t have thought to without your help!
There’s other ways to get involved with them, and their website even lists other pantries in New Brunswick that aren’t student-based that you can also get involved with!
Rutgers University Dance Marathon – FTK (For the Kids)
Every year since 1999, Rutgers hosts a two-day event to help raise money for the Embrace Kids Foundation. This year it will be held in the RAC on April 5 and 6, 2019.
Now, to sign up for this event, you have to pledge $35 to the cause and raise at least $350 before Dance Marathon.
I know, it all seems like a lot. But, if you sign up now solo, with your organization or together with your friend group, you’ll have over 6 months to raise the money. That’s $58 a month which really isn’t impossible to raise.
You can host events with your organization, go canning on the street with friends, or even go door-to-door on your own. 100% of the money goes to Embrace Kids. Last year over 2,000 Rutgers students, staff, and alumni raised over $1 million FTK. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience and a super fun way to spend a solid weekend in April.
Ronald McDonald House
This cause is one of my personal favorites. Ronald McDonald Houses stretch across the country to provide a place to stay for families with children being taken care of at nearby hospitals. These houses are mainly for those families that are too far from their own homes because their child needed the medical attention from a specific facility. Across from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is one of these houses at 145 Somerset St.
Last year, I lived in the University Center Apartments on Easton Ave. down the street from this Ronald McDonald House. With my organization, we took the day to do some team-bonding while giving back to the community. We went all out shopping for groceries to make a nice Italian feast for these families. Being the only “chef,” I made pasta, meatballs, some quick sauce, and garlic bread (it was delicious, yes). The other girls made cupcakes, cookies, some salads, and tried to make some vegan “meatless” balls.
Toward the end of our time in the kitchen, some parents started to filter in and out to pick up food for their trips across the street to the hospital. It was really heartwarming to see how our two hours of fun was actually a huge weight off of some of these families’ shoulders. They already have so much to think about and go through emotionally, it’s amazing that the Ronald McDonald House is there to help with the basics.
Rutgers has a club that meets frequently to set up events with the House and do charity work on a more consistent basis. If you’re interested in seeing what you can do to impact people’s lives firsthand, the Rutgers Ronald McDonald House Club may be something you should check out!
There’s so many other ways to “do better” in your community and to help other people that may need it just a bit more than us. And there’s ways to get involved that don’t break the bank either.
I’m going to make a conscious effort to give back, will you too?
xoxo broke, philanthropic b*tch