How to Really Give This Holiday Season

When it comes down to it, don’t most of us have enough stuff? How many novelty ties, ugly Christmas sweaters, and/or Chia Pets does one person need? This holiday, instead of hunting around for a new BlueRay player or a pair of Uggs, think about asking the gift-givers in your life to donate to a cause near and dear to your heart.

Book Lovers

Public libraries are one of our countries great unsung institutions—besides lending out books and DVDs, librarians help with research projects, and provide workspace for people who need it. Over the past few years, they’ve been taking terrible funding hits, so to ensure that your community library remains a vital resource, please consider a gift of support.

Animal Fans

Even if your situation doesn’t allow you to rescue a cat or dog in need, you can help animals stay alive by supporting no-kill shelters in your area.

Source: ABC News

Still suffering from Sandy

Though it’s been several months since Hurricane Sandy walloped the East Coast, many people are still suffering. There are several organizations still lending a hand and while a donation to the Red Cross will always be welcome, the grassroots group Occupy Sandy has set up an Amazon “wedding” registry filled with items people need. Writing a check feels good, but sending a box of diapers, a space heater, and a hazmat suit might feel even better.

Source: CNN

Solace for the People of Newtown, CT

Of course none of us can stop thinking of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Fortunately, there are several ways to help out the grieving people of that town. The United Way of Western Connecticut started the Sandy Hook Support Fund, which will supply services to affected families. Because families struck by such horror shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of funerals, the Newtown Memorial Fund will help out with costs. The Newtown Parent Connection is also accepting donations on behalf of the families who lost loved ones. Save the Children has mobilized, setting up a child-friendly space where kids can express themselves and play, while their family receives grief counseling.

And finally, one way you can get your kids involved in helping is by making paper snowflakes for the survivors. When school starts again for these children, it’ll be in a new building and the PTA is going to turn it into a winter wonderland, decorated with thousands of unique snowflakes. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514.

The gift of time

Even if money is an object, there are still tons of ways to give. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, run errands for an elderly neighbor, walk dogs at a shelter, or even pick up after a litterbug. Little gestures can make big differences.

Have a warm holiday everyone, from Faviana

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