It seems wherever we go people want our money. While this can quickly lead to donor fatigue, donating money is a nice tax deduction! However, as I have found out recently, giving up something more valuable can be particularly rewarding - our ever-precious time.
I have recently become a foster carer with the RSPCA, caring for those that are either too young to enter a shelter environment or will need longer term rehabilitation. We are coming to the end of our first foster and already the experience has been as rewarding for us as it has been for our wonderful (if somewhat large) puppy.
Our foster came to us needing medical care, and certainly didn't look like a happy, playful puppy should. In only two months we have watched her grow, and had the pleasure of knowing that we have changed her life for the better. That joy is something we had definitely underestimated (as were the holes in the flyscreen and scratches on the door, but hey, there's no such thing as a free lunch).
There are so many ways you can volunteer your time and there is something out there for all of us; whether it be helping out at the school canteen, peeling potatoes at the local meals on wheels or being a part of the local rural fire brigade. Each and every one of us has skills that are needed within our community, even when we think we have nothing to offer. The satisfaction earned in return is far greater than any tax deduction will ever be.