Spreading the Wealth Without Spending a Dime: Donate sports equipment and bicycles
Here's another installment of our periodic feature on how to be generous, even during a recession.
It might be a casualty of a fitness resolution unkept, or maybe stuff outgrown by your kids, but if you have sports equipment gathering dust in your basement, you can donate it to charity.
Hauling everything to your local thrift store is always an option--those tend to be run by good causes. If you want to target a cause with a worldwide focus, SportsGift accepts donations of new or gently used sports equipment, which is sent to kids worldwide. Check out their long list of acceptable items.
You can also donate a worthy cause closer to home. Many Special Olympics chapters accept used sports equipment for their athletes. Consult your local organization for details.
If it's specifically a bicycle that's been kicking around in your garage, don't let those wheels go to waste. Pedals for Progress accepts used bicycles, which are sent to developing countries. They also promote self-sustaining bicycle repair businesses. Skeptical about sending a bicycle? See their instructions.
If you want to give kids access to sports but don't have any equipment lying around, sign up to host used athletic shoe drive. Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe Program turns used shoes into sports and playground surfaces. The program is expanding to meet increasing demands: see their website for details.