Charitable holiday giving

For many of us, December is a time of celebration. As we gather with family and friends around bountiful tables and piles of presents, consider giving the gift of time, goods or money to support those who could use a helping hand.

Volunteer
Serve food at a shelter. Visit retirement community residents. Clean up parks and public trails. Raise money as a relay or walk participant. Your time is invaluable to charitable organizations and the people they serve. Any help you can provide will have an impact.

Not sure where to start? Visit Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.org). Simply enter your zip code and receive a list of opportunities in your community. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, the following organizations often have opportunities and/or fundraising events:

  • United Way (www.unitedway.org)
  • Special Olympics (www.specialolympics.org)

Make a donation
Help provide food, clothing, shelter and other necessities by donating money, canned goods, and gently-used clothes, furniture or household items. Charity Navigator’s Donor Guide (www.charitynavigator.org) can help you connect with an organization or worthy cause. Do you have extra airline miles? Many programs, including Delta Air Lines SkyWish, United Charity Miles, Hilton Honors and Marriott Rewards, allow you to donate them to a variety of charities, for various purposes. For example, miles can be used to transport a patient in need of treatments not available close to home.

And during the holidays, certain national programs, such as Toys for Tots (www.toysfortots.org) and The Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org), need extra support.

Shop with purpose
Stores often partner with an organization(s), making it easy to support a worthy cause. Shop retailers and buy products that allow you to add a donation to your purchase or donate a percentage of the purchase to non-profit organizations.

Show your support
Purchase t-shirts, hats, mugs and other items directly from your favorite charitable organization. Not only will a portion of the profit help support the cause, but you'll help raise awareness whenever someone sees you wearing or using the items.


Give the gift of charitable giving

In lieu of a traditional gift, consider making a donation to your recipient's favorite charity. It's a thoughtful way to honor them while doing good. Consider:
  • Local community programs
    Support education, or help to provide clothing, food or housing support for needy community members
  • National charitable organizations
    Like United Way, Goodwill, The Salvation Army or others that support programs to help specific at-need populations
  • Political causes or religious organizations
    Support your recipient’s favorite cause, or make a contribution to their church in their name
  • Scholarship funds
    Make a gift to a scholarship fund in your recipient’s name

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