Giving is one of my absolute favorite things to do. In fact, it was one of the biggest driving forces behind why I wanted to pay off debt and get better with money. I wanted to be able to help friends and family whenever they needed it. Whenever I heard about a cause or charity that tugged at my heartstrings, I wanted to be able to give without feeling like I couldn’t. During my journey of working to give more I have tried a lot of unique ways to give anonymously that I want to share with you. Keep in mind, some of these things might cost you $5, some you might want to give hundreds! It’s all up to you and how much you feel compelled to give!
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Pick a car in a parking lot
If you are pulling into a random parking lot, like Target, the grocery store, or your doctor’s office, choose a random car and leave some cash with a small note under their windshield wiper.
It’s important to make it obvious that this isn’t some silly flyer that’s going to be a waste of their time and yet, you want it to stand out enough that they will be able to see it.
Buy coffee for someone behind you
The next time you are going through the drive-thru of your favorite coffee place (you could do this for fast food as well), pay for your order and then tell the cashier you would like to pay for the person behind you.
This can be nerve wracking because you don’t want to accidentally pick up a tab of $50 because the person behind you is ordering for their entire office. However, I would encourage you to open your heart to giving generously no matter what total you might hear.
Pick a table at a restaurant
Walk into a restaurant, you don’t even need to be eating there. (You could eat there and hang out just to enjoy the show.)
Choose a table — preferably one with kids at it — and tell the manager you would like to cover their tab. Chances are a family with kids is struggling anyway, and your generosity would make their entire week.
Tip a musician a whopping tip
You know when you see a musician playing on the side of the road or an artist painting? Consider leaving a massive tip in their tip jar.
I say a massive tip because often times people are just tossing spare change. Artists are often times grossly under-appreciated. As they are playing, there is a good chance they aren’t even going to look at what you shove into their tip jar. However, when they get home and filter through, they are going to be overjoyed to see someone valued them so much.
Donate to a cause you love on Go Fund Me
Our son was in the hospital when he was 4 with a really rare disease. A year or so after it happened, it was on my heart to help another family who was going through the same thing.
I found a family in the UK whose son had been diagnosed with the same disease and left an anonymous donation with a kind note.
This can be such a great way to directly impact someone who is struggling with a disease that you or someone you know may have experienced.
Tip your waitress $100 on a holiday
The next time there is a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, dig into the deepest part of your generosity and get a $100 bill prepped and ready to go.
Head into a restaurant and order something small and simple like a piece of pie or a cup of coffee. Enjoy your meal, chat with your waitress and when you leave, leave a $100 bill.
More than likely someone working on a major holiday is truly in need of the money and will have their holiday spirit lifted in a big way.
Create a care package
If you know someone who is currently down on their luck, consider putting together a care package and leaving it on their doorstep.
This could be some pre-prepped meals, self-care supplies, groceries or even just fun things that you know they would be buying for themselves right now. Things like movie tickets, bath bombs or a restaurant gift card.
Pay off someone’s medical bill
This doesn’t have to be limited to medical bills. Know someone who is behind on their electric bill? Go ahead and pay it for them.
This will definitely take a little more sneakiness and prep work because you will have to get the information on how to pay their bill, but I promise, it can be done.
Buy a store gift card and leave it for the next person in line
Buying stuff for someone behind you is tougher when you’re playing in the big leagues like a clothing or grocery store. That doesn’t mean you can’t still do it!
Buy a gift card as you are checking out and then let the cashier know you are leaving it for the person behind you!
If you don’t want to leave it for someone behind you, find a mom who is struggling with a child and looks like she’s on the verge of tears. Give it to her. It may not be anonymous, but it will be a gift.
Pay in advance at a food truck
We went to a mini donut food truck and something sort of fishy seemed to happen to the people in front of us. I wasn’t sure what it was until I got up in line.
Someone, somewhere ahead of us had decided to pay for multiple people behind them.
That means, you could choose $50 or so and tell the food truck worker that you will cover as many meals as that $50 provides! This way you are treating a string of strangers to a free meal!
Did I miss something? Any other ideas on how to give anonymously? Share in the comments!