I give what I can, when I can. Being a DC-suburb native, I have also participated in marches since I was old enough to ride the metro without my dad freaking out (read: 17+ and always with a friend. DC be dangerous).
That said, being broke as I am, I really can’t do much. I never use gift cards, so whenever I receive them, I give them to panhandlers - especially gift cards for food.
I volunteer when I can - lots of time spent at animal shelters and running daycare rooms for church (I may not be religious, but religious organizations do a lot of good, and I love kids). I’ve tried to join in on environmental volunteering, but I can’t find any a reasonable distance away (my car is a 1982 benz and has started acting up recently. If I’m not careful to put her in neutral when stopped, she will stall every 7 miles, and she likes to stall when parking at work).
I’m also trying to get more active in my community in general, even just for DnD groups or hiking groups.
For a while, I also volunteered my time for a suicide help line.
OH! And I have volunteered in local Christmas parades, giving free soup, cotton candy, popcorn, and hot cocoa every year for the past 4 or 5.
Volunteering is almost a selfish thing for me. It helps me feel like my life has value, while also giving back to the world. I genuinely want to make the world a better place, but in the immortal words of Friends - there are no truly selfless acts.
As for your questions, I think it is always good to help those in need. I hesitate to give people straight up cash, because I have been personal friends with homeless people before, and while it’s not the rule, it is a commonality that a lot of people are homeless due to drug abuse or alcoholism. I don’t want to contribute to making their lives worse. I want to make them better. So, food cards are a big thing I give. I have also made care packages for DFAB homeless people - feminine hygiene products and the like.
I have pictures of a bird I helped one year. He was injured and near-frozen. I had never had a wild bird let me come so close and even touch it, before. I helped get it to a vet.
(I’m genuinely trying to answer all questions you posed)
I don’t believe in an afterlife, necessarily, so I don’t really believe in a Heavenly reward. I just do things, because doing the wrong thing makes me feel like crap. When I ignore people and animals in need, I have a horrid pit in my stomach for hours, even days, later.