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How to Volunteer While In Debt

Volunteering can be a fun and it can be a life-changing experience. Not only are you making a difference in your community (or the world), you’re also gaining experience, and you can feel good about the changes you’re helping to create. But what do you do if you want to volunteer while in debt? Is it possible?

Related: How the Debt Snowball Really Works (Free Tool Included!!)

How to Volunteer While in Debt

This post has been written by Kimberly Studdard, our fabulous staff writer!

Okay, sure. Of course you can volunteer while in debt, but what’s the most effective way to do it without harming your own well-being and helping someone else’s? Check out the suggestions below and go out and make a difference!

volunteer while in debtFind A Program

Did you know that some programs will allow you to volunteer while in debt and they’ll actually help you pay off your debt? Programs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps offer stipends and can even help you pay off your student loans (or can have some of your loans forgiven).

If you have a teaching degree, you can even sign up with programs like Teach For America, where you help teach in under-served communities while making money and paying off your student loans.

Remember, many of these programs can be competitive, so if you’re serious about volunteering as a way to pay off your student loans, make sure your health, mind, and body are all in good shape, and keep your paperwork up to date.

Give Blood or Plasma

Just because you don’t have a lot of money to spare, doesn’t mean you can’t volunteer while in debt. In fact, giving blood is free, you can help save lives, and you do it as long as you meet the qualifications.

Want to take it a step further? Donate plasma! Many places will pay you to donate your plasma, and you can then take the money and apply it to your debt. While it may not be hundreds of dollars coming in, every little bit helps, and you’ll benefit while helping someone else.


A great way to volunteer while in debt is to coupon. Surprised? Don’t be. Look for coupons that include BOGO’s or that allow you to grab more than one thing. Keep one item for yourself (and transfer the savings to a debt payment) and give one away. You can donate your items to just about any shelter, including women’s shelters, homeless shelters, or even places that give gifts for Christmas.

Donate Your Things

Everyone has items they don’t wear, use, or need. Take your older items that are still in good condition and donate them. There are so many shelters and areas that need items like clothing, canned goods, etc, that could use everything they can get.

  • Got some decent clothes lying around that you’ll never wear? Package them up and donate them to a shelter.
  • Got toiletries that you’ve bought that you never even opened? Take them to a church that serves the community or an organization that helps with housing the disabled.

You don’t have to spend money to offer items you no longer need.

Use Social Media

Who knew that social media could make such a positive impact? Many nonprofits and organizations now use social media to find volunteers for projects or to keep people aware of what’s going on. Sometimes, something as simple as a hashtag can help an organization earn more money to help those that need it the most.

Put Your Skills To Use

Can you cut hair? Volunteer a bit of time once a month to provide haircuts to the homeless as they search for better opportunities.

Are you really good at math? Volunteer in an under-served school district and help tutor kids. By putting your skills to use, you’ll be able to volunteer while in debt, and help others.

You don’t have to do this every single day, but just taking out some time once a month (or even every few months) will allow you the opportunity to serve your community. It can be hard to take time from work or a busy lifestyle to volunteer but every little bit helps. Plus, you’ll feel good about yourself too, and it may motivate you to keep doing it!

While there are other ways you can volunteer while in debt, these are some great ways to get started. Volunteering doesn’t have to be complicated, boring, or time-consuming. We do the best we can with what we have. But don’t let debt keep you from helping others, because we are all trying our best.

Do you have other ideas of how to volunteer while in debt? Please share!!

Battle of the Mind Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

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