Choosing Charity Gifts over Traditional
Welcome to my Holiday Charity Giving Guide!
Sometimes it seems like a waste to spend money on friends and family who already have everything they need or want.
Why not instead give the money to a charity in their name? Non Profit and charity groups have really taken a hard blow to their regular giving in recent years due to the hardened worldwide economy.
In fact, many groups are hit even harder, especially those who feed the homeless and hungry, since there are more who need help and fewer dollars being given.
Here are a few of the causes near and dear to my heart. Hopefully there is something for everyone here.
If you still wish to buy a real gift, I have put some classics on here for you. This lens' profits go 100% to charitable causes.
The Giving Tree - Giving it all, with no regrets
A loving and beautiful Giving story!
The story represents what is both good and difficult in giving. We do not always know, when we give, what will become of our gifts. But in selfless giving, we do not worry about that. We give freely with no expectations, only love. This is a giving heart. It is a difficult lesson, and is a great one to learn at any stage of life. I read the book when I was young, and felt it was really sad. Now, as a parent, it means something totally different to me. A great gift to give at any age.
Charitable Giving - For Fun and Hope
Volunteering can be very rewarding - to those who give and those who receive
Sometimes giving money is a little tough these days, but if you have your physical health, you can give in other ways. Help your local food bank feed the homeless. Volunteer to clean up your elderly neighbor's house (or do yard work). Cook for someone who lives alone, and visit with them for a while. Think about people you know who need help, and help them!
Global Hope Network - Gift Cards: You choose how to help
Charity Navigator Helps you find the right Charity - Here is a snapshot of my favorite Local Charity - Stewpot Community Services
Use Charity Navigator's holiday gift giving guide to help you find just the right charity for you. The charities are rated and pertinent facts are laid out for you in simple language. No need to have to read a whole financial statement to see if a nonprofit group is up to your standards.
World Wildlife Fund - Awesome Charity Gifts for a Great Cause
I love animals of all kinds, and so does the World Wildlife Fund! Their tireless work across the world helps to save endangered and threatened species. They have some incredibly cute plush endangered animals, as well as an "adopt a species" program where you can choose one of several species to help save and get some awesome gifts (to give or keep!).
This photo is from their catalog. Isn't that spotted Snowy Owl plush so cute?
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - "We are their voice"
Help save neglected and abused animals. They have a special "Honor Gift" system
A Holiday Honor Gift is a wonderful way to celebrate special people this time of year—and give the gift of life for animals in need
Your gift pays for vaccines, spaying/neutering, medical exams, and more
Give the gift of a Tree!
And help the Environment too
Find a tree your giftee might like and offer to plant it in their favorite park or somewhere it might be needed. Check with your local city or county to make sure planting is okay in public areas, and be sure to "call before you dig" so that you don't cut into power or sewer lines. Or, you can use this service that will plant a tree exactly where it is needed in your loved one's name. That makes a super gift that really never stops "giving" in the sense that it gives life every second of every day as long as the tree lives.... which we hope is a long, long time!
Plant a Living Legacy
Make your own Charity Choice
Charity Choice is a website that lists charities from every city and state. If you want to give to "the homeless" , for example, but want your money to impact your community, you can give your gift certificate through them.
Or maybe you want to stay in your faith, or the faith of the person you are giving for. Charity choice lists them all, and since most faiths are involved in several different types of charities, you will probably find something appropriate in whichever faith you choose. It's all good - especially for some of the smaller charities that really need your help!
You can search by type of charity and location.