I often help a neighbor of mine. She lives alone, and she is constantly helping take care of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Sadly, no one seems to take care of her. I've kind of taken it on as my job.
Whenever I can, I give her things like canned goods or other items I know she has mentioned needing. Her money is often so tight that even a dozen eggs really helps her out. She always insists on trying to pay me back, but I won't let her.
For me, it's payment enough knowing that she is taken care of. However, once in a while I let her find her ways to feel like I'm not giving her freebies. I'll usually let her watch my kids for a couple hours.
Last night, she brought me a giant bag of clothes that her great grandson had outgrown, telling me to take what I could for my boys and then sell the rest. She knows I do a lot of consignment sales and selling on ebay, so she said that she figured I could then use the money to buy what I needed. What she doesn't know is that when she does things like this, I usually put part of the money into giving her the things I know she needs. I don't need the money as badly as she does, but she doesn't like to take a hand-out.
Anyway, it really pays off just seeing her smile.