Alan Rickman wants you to give back and here’s how

British actor Alan Rickman who portrayed Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, died last Thursday, January 14, 2016, after an 18-month battle with cancer. One of his last projects was a video with college students that he hoped would go viral and raise money for the refugee crisis.

Find out ways you can give back. (Credit: Keep Calm-O-Matic)

Find out ways you can give back. (Credit: Keep Calm-O-Matic)

Let Rickman’s legacy inspire you to find ways to give back to the community.

Give back

By all accounts, Alan Rickman was not only an impeccable actor, but a darned nice guy. One of his last projects was lending his voice to a refugee charity video for a Save the Children and Refugee Council joint appeal. “This Tortoise Could Save a Life” only runs for 30 seconds. Every Share raises money for charity.

Kinda makes me ask myself, “What have I done lately to give back?” So I thought about it and naturally jumped on Google to do some checking. Lo and behold I discovered ways a time- and cash-strapped college student could give back. I also found that there are collateral benefits to doing so.

Why give back?

First of all, why take time out of your frantic life to give back to your community? Here’s why.

  • Gain work experience
  • Make contacts
  • Opportunities for awards and scholarships
  • Enhance your resume with volunteer experience

Ok, how do you get started? Here are a few ideas.

  • Tutor and mentor youth
  • Serve food in homeless shelters
  • Work on a non-profit’s website

Still not convinced? Check out Ashley Paskill’s January 16, 2016, article, “5 Simple Ways to Give Back When You’re on a College Budget,” for

“Instead of leaving your change to sit around aimlessly, gather it up into a jar and let the jar fill up. After the jar is full, turn it in and donate the money to a cause or charity of your choice. This allows you to give back while using money that was not being used,” Paskill explained.

Couponing for charity

I never considered using coupons as a way to give to charity until I read a January 9, 2016, article by Astead W. Herndon, “Coupon-savvy student a boon for charities.”

Inspired by the television show “Extreme Couponing,” Tufts student Hannah Steinberg wondered how she could do “couponing with a conscience.” To date she has donated more than $100,000 worth of household items, electronics and canned goods to homeless shelters and hospitals.

Steinberg funds her purchases with donations to her nonprofit charity Our Coupons Care. Through the website, learn how you can start your own chapter of Coupon Cares in your community.

College student power

Another example of a college student finding ways to give back is found in Heather Derosa’s January 13, 2016, article, “Local college student puts focus on giving back to Puyallup” for

On a typical Tuesday night, Myra Morales gets up at midnight, packs her bag for gym, school and work, then goes to a local church that hosts Freezing Nights, a program for the homeless.

“She’ll stay up all night doing her homework and checking on the homeless guests at Freezing Nights before heading to her pre-nursing classes at Clover Park Technical College — once breakfast and clean up are done. Morales also serves as president of the Associated Student Government group at the college,” Derosa said.

It’s a big commitment, but it’s only one night a week and it doesn’t cost a thing but her time.

What ways have you found to give back to your community? Tell us about it in the comments.

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