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Season of Giving – Donation Recommendations

Christmas Tree The holiday season is upon us. Between Christmas, CHanukkahh, Kwanzaa, family birthdays and whatever else you have going on, you may have plenty of gift shopping left to do, and maybe you’ve begun to run out of ideas. Make sure you’ve checked out the Gift Guide here. And there are many other ways to make your dollar do double duty this shopping season.

Everybody has one on their list, the person who seems to have all they need, and want for nothing. They may appreciate a donation in their honor to their favorite charity. Heifer International gifts keep on giving, as each recipient passes on the offspring from their animals to another family in need. Oxfam America Unwrapped is another way to support international relief and development. Their aim is to find solutions to poverty, helping their clients find ways to live sustainably and independently. And your gift would certainly be unique; where else can you buy a donkey for $100?

There are other ways to give to charities while doing the holiday shopping. Need holiday greeting cards? Buy Heifer holiday cards through Shutterfly, and Heifer gets 10% of the proceeds. Of course there are many, many charities that sell their own holiday greeting cards. How to choose? Cards That Give makes it easy, with searchable galleries that help you choose by card or by charity.

One of the easier places to shop and give is Greater Good. It has several tabs for Hunger, Breast Cancer, Child Health, Literacy, Rain Forest and Animal Rescue. Make sure to Click to Give on each of the tabs while you’re there, shopping their stores for gifts both useful and unique.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? The Charitable Gift Giving Blog searches the internet for opportunities to give. Since many retailers and/or restaurants operate limited-time only fund raisers, this is the place to go to get involved, so you don’t miss out on that McDonald’s Extra Value meal with a little extra, or elephant poop paper roses (yes, really!). This is a year-round endeavor, so you may want to bookmark this site for all your gift-giving needs throughout the year.

If gift cards are your thing, then Just is the place to go. They’ll help you find the right gift card that lets your recipient choose the charity, or one that lets you give a gift card to your niece or nephew while also sending some of the proceeds to charity.

Maybe you like one-for-one giving, sort of like a buy one get one free, only the extra goes to someone who really needs it. Toms Shoes does that, for every pair of shoes you buy for yourself, another goes to a child in need.

Or instead of giving cash, you can choose something more specific to help out. Give a laptop computer for only $199 at One Laptop Per Child. Give light at One Million Lights. Give a book to the world at An Awesome Book. Give the entire universe at The Galileoscope.

Whatever you choose to give, remember the choice is yours. Use your powers for good. And last, but not least, don’t forget to send out your Holiday Mail For Heroes through the Red Cross here. It must be postmarked by December 7, 2009! Happy Charitable Giving this holiday season.

Patti Hermes

Patti Hermes, Parent to Parent, is living the dream with her high school sweetheart, raising their boys in the Midwest because it's a good starting point for epic road trips. While writing, reading and homeschooling take up most of her time, she still blogs at HermesParent to ParentChristmas Gift Ideas,ParentingParent to Parent Season of Giving - Donation RecommendationsThe holiday season is upon us. Between Christmas, CHanukkahh, Kwanzaa, family birthdays and whatever else you have going on, you may have plenty of gift shopping left to do, and maybe you've begun to run out of ideas. Make sure...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids