November 27, 2011

Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season!

A fun Christmas song, a cup of hot cocoa (or in my case apple cider), decorated homes — it all brings smiles to so many faces. What else does that this time of year? Giving back.

It's a simple concept, giving back, and though it is something we should do all year round, giving back during the Holiday season is a lot more special. At least it feels that way to me. There is something about the season that makes me want to give back more than any time of the year which is why I wanted to share some ways that we all can give back this Holiday season!

Water Bobble. We all should drink more water so what better way to tackle that while shopping for those on your Christmas list and saving the environment? Each filter takes the place of 300 water bottles and if you buy the Limited Edition Sophia Bush Bobble, 50% of the purchase will be donated to The Nature Conservancy's fight to protect nature and preserve life. Also for the Holidays, they are offering free shipping on orders of $20 or more.

OneHope Wine. I discovered this gem of a company through a project we did with them for work. They donate half of all profits to various charities including Children's Hospitals, the Fight Against Breast Cancer, the Fight Against AIDS, and supporting Our Troops. I know there are a lot of wine lovers out there that this would make the perfect gift for.

Got Your Back Movement.  Every shirt you buy (for only $20) provides a school uniform to a child in need helps create sustainable change in struggling communities around the world by opening the doors for children to receive an education.

Love146 is providing vital prevention education, job training, schooling, a safe home and holistic aftercare to children who are at risk or survivors of child sex slavery. Your gift of any amount to this work will have a lasting impact for children in need. They also have apparel and Christmas cards for sale.

Rescue Gifts. This one is pretty simple, they offer Christmas gifts that change lives. For a wide ranger of amounts, there are a plethora of options to choose from such as donating in someone's name to provide clean water, emergency food, a community garden, warm blankets, healthcare, etc.

Another easy way to give back is to donate to your favorite charities in someone else's name. A few charities I suggest are:

Pencils of Promise. They are a global movement committed to supporting a world with greater educational opportunity for all. There are more than 75 million children without access to education, and they intend to change this. So far they've built 39 schools and with your donations they could build many more.

Love is Louder. This is a movement committed to preventing suicide and showing those feeling distressed that love is louder than any pain they feel, anyone trying to bring them down, etc. It's a movement near and dear to my heart and any donations would mean so much.

The Art of Elysium. They are very dedicated to enriching the lives of artists and critically ill children. A donation of $25 gives a child an art kit, $50 provides a music workshop for a group of hospitalized children, $100  provides corrective make-up and instruction for four children who have facial disfigurements, and the list goes on and on. Please consider this foundation when donating this Holiday season.

Additionally, you could always donate any food and clothing you will no longer need or you could spend some time volunteering in a soup kitchen or at a local shelter. They are always in need of more helping hands and I bet you'll feel so great afterwards!

Be sure to help out local business as much as you can, too! Places like Walmart and Target (though I know we all love one or the other) don't need your business as much as smaller/local ones do. Visit boutiques in your area of find some online through Etsy for example.

Are you giving back in any way for Christmas? Please share in the comments :-)

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