Spread The Charitable Holiday Cheer On A Budget

Rolling into the “ber” months has many of us anticipating the upcoming holidays. While December usually means plastic pine trees from Home Depot and the return of Starbucks’ secret menu, it is also a time of giving. Though it’s the simplest and most practical way to help others in need, we aren’t all equipped to donate money. (That is, of course, unless you’re Bill Gates) However, there are a plethora of different ways to spread the charitable holiday cheer on a budget — and it may be more rewarding than you think.

Making a physical donation is easily the most viable option for holiday busybodies. If money isn’t exactly on your side, choose to donate in kind. Considering that the Christmas season rakes in a lot of presents, there are probably household items you can choose to live without. You can pledge clothing to shelters and toys to children’s groups. Books can go to your local library and appliances or electronics can end up in Goodwill. Of course, it is best to ensure that the items in your “give” box are in good condition.

If you can spare a day being proactive, you can opt to give your time. Charities don’t only seek checks and boxes — they need people. Volunteer at a home, whether for the elderly, ill, or four-legged. Chances are, there will be a lot for you to do. A rise in nonprofit groups may leave you with a copious amount of options. If you’re unsure of where to start, figure out where your interests lie and what skills you have to offer. This is where making a list and checking it twice may come in handy. (Scoot over, Santa)

If you are keen on raising funds, plan something income-generating like a garage sale or auction. If you’re without a charity of choice, research a group that could use the money. Remember that you will make the greatest impact by sticking to one organization. A few hundred dollars will go a long way for a single cause as opposed to dividing costs between various groups.

Some people love experiencing the immediate effects of giving back. If you’re handy in the kitchen, consider running a food drive. Get your neighborhood in on the action. Decide what meals are easiest to throw together, and are most cost-efficient. Not only will you satisfy a handful of hungry tummies — you’ll bring the community together.

Needing a change? Or are you simply not so squeamish? Make a medical donation. Blood drives are common during the holidays and a perfectly suitable option for those who have managed to stay in shape. (Perhaps skip the fruit cake?) If you’re not too hot for needles, donate your hair! You’ll be surprised how many people are affected by hair loss due to medical conditions. Moms can also donate breast milk to milk banks.

Giving back can be rewarding, especially if you have the money to do so. But you can choose to be charitable every single day. The time you take to change someone’s life will likely be more meaningful than just a dollar bill.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Teen Raises Money For Cancer With Coffee Sleeves

It seems our future world leaders are getting younger by the year. If our children are capable of sacrificing their greatest possessions to donate to a cause, we need not underestimate them. An Ohio teen is proving a little goes a long way by sewing coffee cozys to raise funds for breast cancer patients.

“I don’t like to sit on the sidelines and watch something happen — I want to be in there, in the action, helping to fight,” says [13-year-old] Jordan [Phillips].

Phillips initially launched “Cozys for the Cure” intending to help shoulder her mother’s surgery bills. Now, more than 200,000 of the coffee sleeves are being sold at more than a thousand Walmarts across the US. Part of the sales will go towards financing free mammograms. And so far, the fundraising initiative has raised $18,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“She would do the math, it was roughly $100 to pay for one mammogram. If one in eight women are diagnosed and I paid $800 for eight mammograms, that’s one in eight. I saved one woman’s life… she’d say, ‘Mom, I saved 11 women’s lives!’ And that was very real to her,” says Nicole [Phillips].

Now available at Walmart, the cozys are evidence that making a difference is literally at the tips of our fingers. If an eighth-grader can promise change, so can we.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Georgia Businesses To Save Gopher Tortoises

The year is 2018 and urban jungles are taking over natural landscapes. As slabs of concrete take over grassy, scenic footpaths, a select few are taking action against mining and oil exploration. While some species are recovering all on their own, others are in need of a little backup. One such creature is the gopher tortoise, working hand-in-hand with Georgia businesses in the hopes of making an epic comeback.

Georgia businesses… [are] working with wildlife agencies, private foundations, environmental groups – and even the Department of Defense – on a project to save the gopher tortoise. They hope to protect enough animals that federal regulation won’t be necessary.

Among the tortoise freedom fighters is electrical company Georgia Power, whose plants house a number of burrowing critters. The group remains sensitive to gopher tortoise habitats during construction season, keeping power lines at bay. The group is also raising money to fund reforestation efforts.

“I actually am very optimistic that they are a species you can recover,” [said research scientist Tracey Tuberville]. “Everybody has the same goal. Even if it’s just to make sure they’re not listed, in the end that means effective conservation for tortoises.”

The gopher tortoise may be slow — but quick enough to show Georgia giants they mean business.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Stars Post Embarrassing Photos For Hurricane Relief

Stories of Houston bakers donating bread to hurricane victims and an air force couple postponing their wedding to rescue Floridians have undisputedly warmed our hearts. Among the wreckage, we appreciate the good news — and we’re glad it hasn’t stopped there. Hollywood stars are posting hilarious childhood snaps on social media in an effort to raise funds for Puerto Rico.

“I’m happy to announce that for every celebrity—and I get to determine who’s a celebrity—who posts their awkward teenage photos with the hashtags #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief, the AmeriCone Dream Foundation will donate $1,000 to One America Appeal,” [Steven] Colbert announced [on his show].

Since the call-out, actors such as Reese Witherspoon, Steve Martin, and Kathy Griffin have publicly embarrassed themselves for the cause. These celebrities join Jennifer Lopez, who donated $1 million, and Beyonce, who is forwarding proceeds from her single to charities, in the fight to help Puerto Rico.

Trying times may call for desperate measures — but we sure do enjoy a laugh for charity. And if you aren’t of celebrity status, there are still a handful of ways to give back.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends: