What can I say, I like to give gifts. I like to make gifts, I like to buy gifts and I especially like watching my loved one’s faces when they get gifts. It’s all so thoughtful and personal. As a busy working mom, I’ve managed to carve out the time and I get caught up in the frenzy of planning, shopping, and wrapping. Yes, there’s the materialistic and family-centric side to the holidays.
Just like many of you, this year I’m cutting back on consumption with a close eye on the eco-nest egg. I was a little dismayed that I would miss that feeling of good will and hugs this year. I’ve decided to give my wrapping paper a rest and amp up on giving back in a philanthropic way and I am urging my family to do the same.
Are you a philanthropist? Giving seems natural for most people. I’ve always found it the most rewarding form of gift-giving. It’s a warm feeling that goes right to the heart. Here’s a list to inspire you:
Habitat for Humanity
Big Brothers Big Sisters
The Nature Conservancy
Architecture for Humanity
The Alliance to Save Energy
Sustainable Harvest International
World Wildlife Fund
North Shore Animal League
Natural Resources Defence Council
The Organic Center
World of Good
The organization, JustGive has harnessed the power of the Internet and removed the barriers to charitable giving. On this site, you’ll find the charities you want to support from a database grouped into categories. You can track your donations and make tax time less stressful by viewing all your donations online. Donations are private and secure and you can get one single tax receipt. The whole process is knowledgeable and informative.
These economic times are hardships for many. The fallout that the non-profit sector will suffer will be significant as discussed in this recent New York times article about a food bank. “It’s non-stop, there are people that haven’t come for years that all of a sudden are coming back. To make matters worse, donations are slowing as the tentacles of the economic crisis reach into even well-heeled areas. Everybody’s tightening belts this year.”
You can make a real difference in your life, your family’s life, in the life of your community and the world. Committing green towards charitable giving is a gift that truly gives back. Where does your green go?
Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.