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Archive for the ‘charity’ Category

September 29th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Teaching Children to Give

Giving

As the holidays approach, it is easier to incorporate giving into your life and teach children to do the same. Here are some ways that you can give every day, all year long!

Giving comes in so many forms. It can include money, gifts, food, and service. Here are a few ideas to help your children become more charitable.

Help Neighbors

  • Rake leaves
  • Take their dog for a walk
  • Spend some time chatting with them
  • Cook them a meal or dessert

Donate Clothing or Toys

Go through items you no longer need and give to friends or family going through hardship, or drop off at a place that distributes to the needy.

Stop Collecting Birthday Gifts

Instead of actual gifts being brought to parties, ask for guests to bring items that can be donated. Include your child in picking a favorite charity.

  • Pet food – Humane Society or Rescue Mission
  • Books – Shelter or School
  • Winter Items – Shelter for Kids
  • Personal Hygiene Items
  • Non-Perishable Food Items – Food Pantry

Help The Elderly

Teach your children to help the elderly complete tasks that have become more difficult to them, whether it is yard work, window cleaning, etc.

Complete Random Acts of Kindness

This can be something as simple as putting an extra coin in a parking meter, to something like buying a meal for the person behind you in the drive thru. Teach your children to lead with a giving heart where they are always thinking of others.

Deliver a Smile

Giving doesn’t always have to be to poor or needy people. You may know of a family that just needs a smile. Surprise them with basket of goodies, a special drawing or card, or even just a hello as you pass them in the store.

Giving is easy – spread some joy around!

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December 17th, 2013 at 7:57 am

Gifts That Give Twice

helping handsTis the season for shopping and giving. Love it or hate it, it’s hard not to get swept up in the materialism of buying things for people. Not to mention the difficulty of finding just the right gift for everyone.

It’s great to give this season’s must-have toys or electronics, but giving opportunity to someone in need can really capture the spirit of giving, especially for those on our list who really don’t need any more “things”. And there are many ways to do that.

If you want to give locally, consider donating to a local school’s classroom project with DonorsChoose.org. Support literacy by donating to Reach Out and Read, which provides free books to families via their pediatricians. Both of these sites allow you to find needs right in your community and allow you to choose where your gift is actually going.

Most communities have a Meals on Wheels Program that provides nutritious meals for seniors and the housebound. There’s also God’s Love We Deliver in the tri-state area that provides meals for those who are sick.

Toys for Tots and the USPS Letters to Santa programs are great ways to help provide toys to needy children to make their Christmas special.

Global organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, Oxfam and Heifer International make it easy for you to donate mosquito nets, vaccinations, goats, bees and other sustainable gifts that can give a struggling family a chance to pull themselves up.

Also, look to your favorite stores and brands for opportunities to give back by buying items that include a charitable donation as part of the purchase price. TOMS shoes provide a pair to someone in need for every pair purchased. (Red) has a wide range of items that provide a portion of the proceeds to fight HIV/AIDS.

There are teachers, children, seniors, veterans, disadvantaged women and youth in your community and around the world that need a helping hand. And there are many ways you can do just that. And from my own experiences, the response to a charitable gift is much more gratifying than the response to a tie or iPhone case. That’s the spirit!

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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December 16th, 2013 at 5:00 am

The Holiday Spirit of Giving

DSC05171This time of year is a good time to reinforce the spirt of giving with your kids. We recently watched the movie A Christmas Carol where Ebenezer Scrooge explores his past, present, and future to discover that by giving he can have a more bountiful life. There are so many ways to show your kids how much fun it is to give.

Here are some fun ways I discovered to spread holiday cheer:

Kindness Calendar 

Christmas Jar

100 Random Acts of Kindness for Christmas

Card to use for your random acts of kindness

12 days of Christmas Kindness

Some other easy ideas are to pass on some of your christmas goodies, visit a nursing home, go carolling, or have the kids give their old toys to the less fortunate. You can also reinforce the spirt of giving by giving of your time – help a friend wrap presents, run an errand for your friend, or even bring an extra meal to make someone’s evening a little easier.

Make a difference and spread some holiday cheer by giving of yourself and your families love!

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January 21st, 2013 at 5:00 am

The Dreaded Outgrowth

Every year around this time, I put clothes on my boys and they are suddenly too small! It’s like they grow and inch or two overnight. Their arms stick out beyond their sleeves end, their ankles which were once hidden are now showing. Since they were teeny babies this has always surprised me. Obviously, I have a very short term memory.

With boys, it is hard to deal with them growing. Girls, can turn cute dresses into long tops and short pants into capris. That doesn’t work with boys. The more frustrating part is that when it happens during this part of year, I really don’t want to buy an all new “winter” wardrobe that will be used for three months. I can almost guarantee that it won’t fit again when fall and winter roll around again.

You have to buy clothes though, so I try to do it as cost effective as I can. For new stuff, a great option is Garanimals. They have lots of options wether it be pants, sweatshirts, leggings and adorable shirts. Their baby clothes have adorable prints all over them too. When you are in the under 2 years stage I swear outgrowth occurs once a month! Garanimals is very easy on the pocketbook when it comes to replacing outgrown items and wears well too.

Other options are consignment stores and clearance racks. When shopping consignment store racks,  remember to check the length because the items might have shrunk a little. Also, see how the knees look, because nothing is more frustrating than wholey knees.

Something my local moms group has done in the past is hold a clothing swap. Everyone brings in clothes they want to get rid of and swap them for other people’s clothes that their children have outgrown. You don’t need a group to do this, just ask your friends on Facebook. They may not necessarily have items to swap, but may be willing to sell you some at bargain prices. This time of year, the fun is getting rid of stuff!

The second awful part of clothes being outgrown is then getting rid of them. While you are sorting the closet think about what you want to donate, consign or sell at a yard sale, upcycle, or some may just need to be thrown away. It’s not much fun to sort through all the clothes, but the feeling of getting rid of some stuff truly makes up for it!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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January 15th, 2013 at 11:05 am

Charitable Giving – One Coffee at a Time

Ever wonder where all of our dollars go and why the wallet empties so fast? If we were to add up all the little purchases we make without thinking about it, we’d realize we probably don’t want to know. How about giving up a little something each week directing what we would have spent on it to a good cause instead? There’s a new app for that called just that, Instead.

Available for iPhone, iPad and Android, this free app is a micro-donation site that collects the money you might have spent on say, lunch, a latte or a movie and passes it on to a charitable organization. Donations of as little as $1 or as are accepted and can be directed to the charity of your choice.

Sometimes it’s hard to write that $100 check to your favorite non-profit. But if you gave $2 a week that you might have spent on one coffee or soft drink, you’re not only saving the calories, you’re supporting a good cause.

I love this idea. A life-saving mosquito net costs about the same as 2 cappuccinos. I can give up a little to do that kind of good.

There’s a couple dozen well known charities on the list of options, but you can also suggest your own favorite. I’m hoping they will add my local education foundation to the list. Every month they will send a check to the charity for 95% of the accumulated donations, with 5% covering Instead’s costs.

One caveat – Instead’s 501(c)3 status is still pending but once that happens, you will be able to claim all donations on your tax return. At the end of year they will provide you an itemized list of all of your donations.

The big idea behind Instead.com is that we all try to live within or below our means in order to help support causes that need our help. And this app makes it really easy to achieve that goal. A worthy New Year’s resolution I think!

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

 

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December 20th, 2011 at 5:00 am

A Gift For That Someone Who Has Everything

No pressure, but the clock is ticking. Only a few more days to prepare. Are you done with your shopping?

We’ve all probably got at least one person on our giving list who is frustratingly difficult to buy for. They just seem to have it all already and another tchotchke or gag gift just doesn’t ring genuine or particularly useful.

On the other end of the spectrum are people and organizations who need much: basics that we take for granted, assistance with necessities, medicine. What do the two of them have to do with each other? You.

Why not give that hard-to-buy-for someone a gift of charity? Make a donation to a worthy cause in their name. It’s a really special gift and is so rewarding.

Here are a few ideas:

  • At unicefusa.org you can purchase nutrition kits, mosquito nets or malaria vaccines with a small donation.
  • At justgive.org or causes.com you can search for a specific charity by name or location and give to an organization or to specific cause or project. Or you can buy a charity gift card and let the receiver choose who to give to.
  • If you want to support your local teachers, try donorschoose.org and find specific classroom projects that you can help fund in your own or a loved one’s town.
  • Buy a goat or a chicken or even honeybees at heifer.org
  • Sponsor a microloan at kiva.org and give a potential small business a leg up.

These sites make it very easy to make a donation in your name or someone else’s. Using the search options , you can pinpoint the exact cause that is most meaningful to your giftee.

While there are many global charities that do wonderful work around the world, you might also consider local charities where there results of your giving are more visible to you. Your own town likely has plenty of worthy organizations. Senior Centers, food delivery programs such as Meals on Wheels, local education foundations that provide much needed school programs, homeless shelters, food banks, and pet rescue groups are just a few types of organizations that rely on donations to provide their services. And in this challenging economy, many of them are seeing a downturn in donations while the number of people relying on their services is increasing. Donating locally is good for your community.

As we all know, it is better to give than receive. So why not give and give back at the same time?

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa to you and yours. May you give and receive many blessings.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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