I hate to say this but only recently have I branched out to include charitable acts in my repertoire of things I do. Now I could say that I have helped out in other ways...my job for one helps out people with all sorts of medical ailments on a daily basis, but outside of that is what I'm really talking about.
I have always enjoyed purchasing the (RED) products that Bono of U2 put together many years ago to raise awareness of AIDS in Africa, and I remember buying my first (RED) t-shirt with the clever statements such as ado(red), inspi(red), sha(red), etc sprawled across the chest. The products these days are endless and after you register online you can see what exactly your (RED) purchase went to benefit.
A recent and more hands on cause has been with the SF Food Bank. On a monthly basis I go with coworkers to help out for two hours. It's really rewarding when you know exactly who, why, and how you are helping others in need. It is definitely a booster of all sorts. I enjoy the time I spend with friends at these events, I enjoy the activities I do while there, and I enjoy the good feeling of knowing I did something to help out at least one person less fortune than I am.
The SF Food Bank, is quite unique in that you don't have to commit to a contract of volunteering a specified amount of time. When you want to volunteer is when you volunteer, and all you have to do is simply sign up on their website. You can volunteer as much or as little as fits your schedule.
With that said, another interesting cause that I have recently become quite aware of after having rediscovered a favorite band is a cause known as "Take the Walk" which also supports AIDS and Poverty in Africa. Right now, Hanson is touring the U.S. on their Use Your Sole Tour, and before each concert they simply take a mile walk. They have paired with Toms shoes and every person that takes "The Walk" and buys a pair of Toms shoes is essentially putting a pair of shoes on a person in Africa as well as raising money to prevent AIDS. In November at the end of their tour, Hanson will be going to Africa to personally deliver the shoes bought.
To learn more or watch their documentary on how the idea unfolded and actual footage of people taking the walk, you can go to Hanson.net and look under media-->podcasts or takethewalk.net.
After having gone to the concert, I wish I would've known sooner about this so I could take part in the event. It looks as if you meet a ton of people, have a great time doing it, and all in all are doing and supporting a pretty great thing.
However big or small, there is always something you can do to help.