Extraordinary Giving: Creative Ways To Give Charitable Donations As Gifts This Year

Extraordinary Giving: Creative Ways To Give Charitable Donations As Gifts This Year

Written by Emily Wiest

For a long time, I discouraged myself from making donations to charities simply thinking I didn’t have the re­sources to. As a teen without a steady job, it wasn’t difficult to convince my­self to hold on to what money I had. A few years ago, however, while shopping for a holiday gift for my mother, I real­ized that if I could find enough to buy presents for my entire family, there was no reason I couldn’t be donating to causes I care about as well.

Instead of spending yet another hol­iday season running to different stores for gifts, there are numerous charitable organizations online that will allow you to make a donation for your loved ones. There are also many that provide goods or tokens in return for your con­tribution that you can give as a gift.

I have been doing this for two years now, and I have found that donating to specific organizations that my family and friends would individually support is much more rewarding than giving them yet another sweater they don’t want. For example, my 8-year-old brother’s favorite toy is a stuffed pan­da, so I donated to a Save the Pandas organization for him through Pura Vida, a company that sells handmade bracelets.

There are plenty of programs that allow you to make donations in someone’s name, but I feel that giving someone a physical gift to represent the donation is a lot more meaning­ful. This is especially true during the holidays, when we give gifts to show our affection and gratitude for those we love.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelm­ingly expensive to support causes you and your loved ones care about. I am currently a student, and definitely, don’t have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to budgeting. However, I have discovered that you don’t need to choose between buying presents and donating to charity, even if you’re on a strict budget.

Aside from the fact that it makes sense financially, doing your holiday shopping through charitable organi­zations is an ethical choice. This is especially true during the holiday sea­son when it is more important to focus on giving to those in need rather than giving more to those who don’t.

There are dozens of companies that work with nonprofit organizations and donate portions of their profits. Here are a few that I have found and plan to use this year:

  1. HalfUnited. (halfunited.com)

HalfUnited sells necklaces and other accessories made from recycled materials. Each item purchased from their website provides seven meals for a child in the USA, Fiji, or Haiti.

  1. Love Your Melon. (loveyourmelon. com)

Love Your Melon sells beanies, headbands, baseball caps and other headgear. Profits are used to support nonprofit organizations that fight pedi­atric cancer.

  1. Bezathreads. (bezathreads.org)

Bezathreads sells scarves to fund lib­eration efforts in Ethiopia. The scarves are made by formerly enslaved indi­viduals who have been liberated. 100% of profits go towards rescue efforts for children still living in slavery.

  1. ONEHOPE. (onehopewine.com)

ONEHOPE sells wine, single bottles or gift sets, and supports various causes including providing meals for children in need, supporting environ­mental causes, funding ABA therapy for children with autism and breast cancer clinical trials, supporting natu­ral disaster relief efforts, and more.

These organizations are actively fighting to make a difference in the world, and as irrelevant as one indi­vidual’s efforts may seem, every single action counts. Donating toward the greater good, and doing it while also showing your friends and family that you care about them, is the best of both worlds.

As the saying goes, it is in giving that we truly receive.