04 December 2012

A Different Kind of Gift Guide

Giving Back Gift Guide

If you're anything like me, you're a smidge Gift Guide-ed out.  A thought occurred to me the other day that if, as bloggers, we devoted a fraction of the space to encouraging readers to make charitable gifts this time of year {and throughout the rest of the year} that we devote to encouraging readers to buying things for themselves, we could do a lot of good.

While we already financially support our alma maters, this year we've donated items to two local charities as well.  The first is our local food bank and the second is our local animal shelter.  I'm a firm believer in supporting local charities.  The impact is greater when it's close to home, and for me anyways, it's much more meaningful.  If time, space, and money allowed, I would rescue every animal that needs a home.  Since that's not an option, we do what we can to help the sweet animals in our community who aren't as fortunate as our boys.

So pick what's important to you.  Give them a call and find out what they need.  Our animal shelter maintains a website that lists what their current needs are.  We took peanut butter, paper towels, and dog and cat treats.  As we move into the colder weather, blankets are desperately needed so that the animals aren't sleeping on cold concrete.  Our food bank also maintains a website of needs.  One thing I learned this year is that donations of personal care toiletries are EXTREMELY important, since those items aren't covered by food stamps.  There are always coupons available and sales going on for toiletries, so stock up the next time you're grocery shopping. It will be greatly appreciated.

Please know that this post isn't about tooting my own horn to show y'all how generous we are.  Quite the contrary.  I just felt like sharing what I think is an important and often overlooked part of the holiday season.

How do you give back?  I'm always interested to hear about ways people contribute their time, talent, and treasures!

9 comments:

Nat said...

Love this post! I too am a little gift guided out. We are adopting a family off an angel tree this year, I just love doing that and hoping I can make someone else's xmas happier.

The enchanted home said...

Thank you for this!! Its so easy to get caught up in the all the glamor, giving, shopping etc...but there's so many who are in such dire need of the basic staples. We are also organizing a "sponsor a family"
drive through an organization my son and tow friends started last year. I am so proud of him and its a great way to enjoy the season and our blessings knowing we have helped others to do the same.

The Silver Bunny said...

So clever, a very thoughtful and considerate post, and I agree about charities needing toiletries. Apparently people have a tendency to give pasta and rice and such dry foodstuff but feminine toiletries, nappies and the like are also expensive and indispensable items.

LindsB said...

I love this gift guide! Might be my favorite one yet- I have to make my list of things at CVS this week and get my couponing on so I can go get some toiletries to donate!

xx BHB said...

Soap and toothbrushes/toothpaste - imagine how different your day would be without those two things. This is such a lovely reminder and has some really great tips, thank you!

Jennifer said...

This is such a great reminder! I'm trying to figure how to incorporate into my blog a wonderful program that my church does where they provide beds to kids who don't have them. I have a hard time picking which charities to give to, but I figure if everyone gives to ones they are passionate about we'll eventually get it covered right? Ugh, I would be the best lottery winner ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey! Thanks so much for posting this, it's definitely my favorite gift guide I've seen this season. One thing to add (I think you touched on it, but wanted to expand): food stamps also don't cover paper products like paper towels and toilet paper, so if someone is donating to a food pantry it's good to include. Happy shopping!

Aliesje

Lobster Meets Peach said...

Great post! A wonderful reminder of the true meaning of the Holiday season!

Kate said...

Wonderful post! I picked up some extra toys and toiletries to give to a local shelter. I also like to give towels and blankets to the animal shelter