we are fast approaching christmas, and there are many gift guides out there. this is a different gift giving guide inspired by two wonderful women in my life. a few years ago, a dear friend K wrote an email saying that instead of getting her a gift for christmas, she wanted her friends to give to charity. she listed a number of charities. one of them was seniors in need, which helps seniors in canada in impoverished situations or have critical health or social requirements. read about their mission here.
another bestie of mine, G, my kindred spirit, introduced me to first graduate, a san francisco organization which she has worked with. this organization is a college success program that helps students finish high school and become the first in their families to graduate from college. it follows kids from 7th grade all the way through 4th year college. i donated to that organization instead of giving her a gift, last year.
this year, each one of my sons has picked a child in the children's aid society christmas angel program and will be picking a gift for little 5 and 7 year old boys. the salvation army does the same, as do most children's hospitals. the united way has a fund for hurricane sandy recovery (donate here).
in the event you're trying to think of gifts this christmas, or thinking of just spreading some goodwill, i would ask you to consider one of these charities, or frankly any worthy, reputable organization. because of two inspirational women in my life, i've started to do this. it's easy: donate money in the friend's name to charities they support, or one that resonates with them. send them a card (with sparkles of course) to let them know a donation was made on their behalf to their charity. it gives to those less fortunate, and my friends have told me that they really appreciate that. it also feels really good to do good, especially at this time of year.
(pictures from pinterest, and from chatelaine magazine)