I recently read a story in the LA Times about Hallmark adding unemployment cards to its sympathy line. The cards are apparently a good way to show compassion, but to me spending $3 to $5 on a card is ridiculous! This got me thinking of five frugal ways to show your support for those going through a rough time.
Not surprisingly, Hallmark is not the only company getting in on the action. You can also buy layoff cards from online companies Zazzle Inc. and Greeting Card Universe.
- Provide a survival kit – Share our job loss survival kit which includes everything from keeping your health care while unemployed to tax brakes for job hunters. This is invaluable information that may be missed when they’re too shell-shocked to think straight.
- Help them network – Offer up your contacts to begin the process of searching for a job and mention any job opportunities you hear about. You can also help your friend prepare a resume and cover letter, and get ready for interviews.
- Help them stay current – If you have skills that will help your friend stand out from other applicants, then offer free lessons. A former coworker of mine taught me the basics of InDesign when I was looking for a job. It was very helpful and it was much appreciated.
- Give a care package – Heading to the grocery store to buy necessary seems like a better use of money than buying a card. Getting a week’s worth of groceries (or whatever your salary allows) is helpful. Don’t forget to use My Coupon Database to keep the cost down by printing off grocery and drugstore coupons.
- Take the Person to Dinner – Treating your pal to a meal helps him/her enjoy the pleasures that are often the first to go when money gets tight. You don’t have to break the bank! Save 25-45% off your bill with Restaurant.com. Not only will you enjoy a night on the town, but it will alleviate stress, or at least push it away for an hour or two.
How else would you help a friend? Would you buy a greeting card for someone who just got axed?