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No Cash To Donate? There Are Other Ways To Help Charities

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Salvation Army kettle (CBS)

Salvation Army kettle (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The holiday donation buckets are expected to be a little less-full this Christmas because of contributions-already-made to political campaigns and victims of Hurricane Sandy — also, no doubt, because of the bad economy.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

Susan White is a little strapped for cash this season, but she’s still donating to charity.

White’s taking part in Carson’s Goodwill Sale. She’s getting coupons in exchange for her donation, but her primary goal is giving.

“I did it for the charity,” she says. “You have items you don’t use, you share the wealth. You pass it on.”

Donating clothing is just one of many ways to help the needy this season. Martha Carlos, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, has seen all kinds of non-cash donations, including stocks and bonds, unused gift cards and unused airline miles.

“For Hurricane Sandy, we deployed more than 60 local people,” she says. “Due to donated airline miles, we were able to send a lot of them there at no cost.”

If you have a credit card that earns points or cash back, you can donate the proceeds to charity. Discover is among the many cards that partner with a number of charitable programs. You can also give the gift of your time, which corporations turn into cash.

For example, at Boeing, if an employee volunteers for 25 hours at their favorite charity, the company will donate $250 to that organization.

Other companies have similar programs. The Red Cross converts used cell phones into cash that is used to help those in need during the holidays and all year-round.

Remember, even your non-cash donations give you a tax break.

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