COLUMN: Cheap Dates

Help others while spending time together

In a time when gas prices are at an all-time high and money is scarce, a date that costs less than $25 for both parties seems impossible.

Not if you’re willing to get benevolent.

In light of recent events, a great date idea is volunteering. Not only does it help to alleviate “first-time jitters,” it’s also a way to get to know your date while doing something for your community.

Potential volunteers can get involved in a variety of ways. There are many listings on the Internet where volunteer organizations post openings. One such listing is With postings from organizations such as United Way, Community Support Services and the American Red Cross, is a great place to start for budding volunteers.

More information on volunteer work with the Red Cross can be obtained from their Web site,

Another offbeat and innovative date idea is as a community dinner volunteer. Organizations such as the United Way of Summit County need community dinner volunteers for the second and fourth Sundays of every month.

Also, if it’s a first date, intermixing with a variety of people may be just what one needs to break the ice.

So next time you’re thinking of cheap date ideas, consider volunteering. While it may not be the traditional “dinner and a movie,” getting positively involved in the lives of others is often its own reward.

— Shelley Blundell