Saturday, November 28, 2009

Alternative Giving

Once in a while I am stumped for a gift or I know who I am gifting to has it all - or at least doesn't need anymore "stuff". Years ago I worked at a generous company that gave all its employees $500 at holiday time to give to a charity of our choice in the company's name (the company I currently work for DOES NOT do this or anything close).

During this time I found Heifer International which is an amazing, and reputable, non profit where you can buy livestock for a village or community in a Third World to provide them with a sustainable food source or income. Its hugely successful and very "give a man fishing pole vs. give a man a fish" type of giving.

There are many other entities out there that do this type of giving, you can give in other people's name for them and I have adopted animals through Defenders of Wildlife, particularly for the little ones, and you can even get a stuffed animal of the animal you give for the little one.

Or if you want to help offset a loved one's carbon footprint (particularly if you know its rather large, yes there will be some of my friends reading this that will received this for the holidays as HUGE HINT!) you can buy offset packages at TerraPass. Or check out Carbon Fund, same premise and I have used both .

So these holidays,think twice about hitting Target or Toys R' Us for those

disposable gifts that will be forgotten in a week or sold at the next yard sale and think about an alternative gift that will benefit our environment or others that don't have as much as we do. If this recession has taught us anything, its that we can live with a lot less and we need to appreciate what we do have. As our economy recovers, let's kick the wave to start spending like crazy again....

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