Our Countdown to Christmas continues—8 days until Christmas.
Have you ever considered giving to a charity in someone’s name rather than buying a present? We have actually suggested this to our family before but no one seems to take us up on the gift of charity. I know, I know—you want your friends & family to have a beautifully wrapped present underneath the tree or something tangible to point to. We have found a few opportunities to provide both opportunities!
- The Gift That Gives: Givft is a new gift card that allows its recipient to choose how they spend the donation. “Many people feel as though it’s a little presumptuous to give in someone’s honor to a charity chosen for them; it could be a little awkward if you give it to someone who doesn’t support that organization,” said Alana Berlin, creator of Givft™ charity gift cards. You can purchase a gift card for as little as $10 to be delivered by email or snail mail. The available charities are selected from major charitable causes and divided into categories to allow your recipient to browse causes close to their heart. The Gift That Gives deducts 10% as a service fee before sending the money to the charity of choice.
- Charity Checks: Charity Checks is a volunteer-run organization that allows you to give someone a choice in charity by check. Because it is a non-profit organization itself, there are no service fees involved. You purchase a charity check, give the gift and your recipient fills in the Payee information with their charity of choice. Lisa Sonne, founder of Charity Checks, says, “Gift Certicates buy stuff, but GIVING CERTIFICATES do good for any of almost two million charities.” The checks can be written to any U.S.-based 501 organization.
- Heifer International: Through Heifer International, you can give cows, sheep, chicks, llamas and much more! No, not to your friends & family, but to a family in great need. “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” Rather than just providing food to families in poverty, Heifer International provides them with the livestock and materials they need to make a living. Their new program fosters regifting by helping families who have been given gifts to pass the offspring on to another family in need! You can purchase gift cards for your recipients and even create a gift registry so others can give in your name.
This type of giving is a great option for those hard to buy for people on your list. They already have everything they need. Why not help them give to someone who truly needs it?
One of the things that has always been a party of our mission is encouraging our community to get involved and share with others, even when they are on a tight budget themselves. It is often surprisingly easy to help others just by being aware of what is available to you. Thankful Thursday is our chance to share the opportunities, organizations and services we have found!
Thanks for adding the “Joy of Giving” to the holidays. I thought you would like to know that this piece is now linked to the new Charity Checks Facebook page. People who care about giving are encouraged to join (it’s free 🙂