If there's a family in your community that needs help—perhaps due to a fire or an illness like cancer—you can organize a benefit to help that family. Community members often want to help, but a benefit will go a long way toward achieving your goals because people are able to get something they need in addition to assisting the family.
Everyone can use a good laugh, so if you have a few comedians in the area you can set up a comedy benefit. Ask the comedians to volunteer their time so that most of the money raised goes towards the family. You can rent a cheap space in your community—try asking local schools, or organizations such as the Knights of Columbus or Veterans of Foreign Wars if you can use their spaces. If the family belongs to a church, the church may be able to donate space for the event. Advertise in community newspapers and through other organizations to get the word out about the benefit.
Have a few of the community's best chefs prepare a meal for the community. If people donate hot dogs and hamburgers you can have an inexpensive cookout. An ice cream social is another cheap food to offer, as are spaghetti and pancakes. Choose the food that is most likely to attract the people in your community.
Rummage Sale Benefit
Ask people in the community to donate items for a benefit sale. People are able to get rid of the things that they don't want, purchase items that they do want and raise money for the family—everyone wins.
A community event that features live entertainment can attract a large crowd. You can have local bands play and local artists perform. Charge admission, which goes to the family in need. Another idea is to have games of skill and chance at the event—people pay a small fee to try their hand at a game. If they win, they get a small prize.
Sometimes simply asking for money is a good way to raise money for the family. Use a free blogging platform to set up a benefit website for the family explaining their story and asking for financial donations. PayPal has a "Donation" button that you can place on the site; when someone clicks it, she can donate money to the family through PayPal. Use social networking sites like Facebook to connect to a wider range of people.