Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Going beyond the usual gift giving for my family and friends is an important part of Christmas for me. Every year I try to sponsor Christmas gifts for children and donate money to causes that I care about. I was talking to one of my friends about ways that I am giving this Christmas, and we decided that a post here was in order. Not because I want to toot my horn in any way, but because I hope to inspire others to give as well.
Money- The most obvious way to give this season is to donate money to a worthy cause. This Christmas I am giving a monetary donation to:
Jewels for Jamie- Jewels for Jamie is a new foundation started by Jason & Nikki Arnold after the loss of their newborn daughter, Jamie. Jason & Nikki were able to have keepsake pendants made from Jamie's hand & footprints, and these keepsakes immediately became their most valuable possessions. The Arnold's have started Jewels for Jamie to provide these tangible mementos to other parents who have experienced a perinatal loss. They are offering up support services in the Tucson, AZ area, with a hope to expand from there. If you would like to read more about their story & their mission, you can visit their website. Donations may be sent to:
7049 E. Tanque Verde
Tucson, AZ 85715-5311
Gifts- Every year I have been able to find a program where I can sponsor Christmas for a needy child. The last two years Marc's job has had a program, and previously I was able to find something similar through my mom's job. If your workplace or church doesn't have a program like this, you can always contact your local United Way or county social services to see if they have requests from local families. This year I purchased gifts for a local 4 year old boy who requested "anything Spiderman." That was actually surprisingly easy & I was able to get three really nice presents for a great price.
Operation Christmas Child- Another way I am giving gifts is by making two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. I had actually never heard about this before, until some fellow bloggers wrote about their participation. What you do is put together a shoebox filled with age appropriate toys, hard candy, socks, toothpaste & other approved items and OCC will distribute the boxes, along with a gospel message, to needy children throughout the world. You can work on your boxes all year and turn them in at the nationwide distribution centers in November, or mail them in any time throughout the year. It really is easy to participate since a lot of the items are things you can get free through the usual 'deals'. Which leads me to...
Donating your surplus "deal" items- If you are a regular reader of this blog, or any others that promote CVS-ing & couponing, you are probably accumulating a bit of surplus free stuff. My parents' church has a food bank and I can easily donate extra items there (like all those free Suave shampoos & conditioners I scored a couple months back). If your church doesn't have a regular distribution, your local women's shelter probably accepts these items. That is why I never pass up a free deal. Even if it is something I won't use, I can get it and donate it to a worthy cause. Why leave it on the shelf? Another idea for your deal items is to give them as bonus gifts to friends and family. These items make great stocking stuffers or you could package a little basket.
I hope this post has given you some ideas for how to give a little extra this Christmas. God bless! Love, Bay