As the last of the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers finally leave our refrigerators and more and more people are putting up their trees and covering their homes with holiday décor, the imminent arrival of gift-giving is upon us.
For some, this is what makes this time of year so joyous. For others, gift-giving (or more specifically, gift shopping) can be a huge source of stress. We all have that one friend or family member that is just so hard to come up with a present for.
That’s why we have a helpful idea for you if you’re struggling with this little issue. This year, why not give the gift of a donation to a charity in the name of your “givee”? It’s a present for them, but it will make them feel as though they’ve given—which automatically results in a nice warm fuzzy feeling!
There are plenty of outstanding charities out there, and many of them offer holiday specials. All you need to do is to figure out which charity is closest to your givee’s heart. Are they passionate about education? Animals? The environment? Health? Community development? Conquering hunger? No matter what area means the most to them, you can be sure there’s a good charity for it.
For the Animal Lovers
It’s not hard to find an animal lover. Most people are huge animal fans, especially dogs and cats. What about your givee? Are they a fighter against kill shelters, or perhaps concerned about endangered species in general? If so, it’s a great idea to look into a good charity involving animal rescue and/or care.
The League for Animal Welfare is a highly-rated charity that has a lot of years under its belt. Based in Cincinnati, this charity provides care for unwanted, lost, and neglected cats and dogs.
PAWS Chicago is a heavily “no kill” focused charity whose efforts have resulted in Chicago’s an 80% drop in the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually since the organization’s founding in 1997.
Want to Spread the Good Word?
83% of Americans are Christians. What about your givee? If they are, a religious outreach charity might be absolutely perfect for them.
Concerned with Health?
Does your givee have a bleeding heart for those in need of health—whether it’s for children in need, treatment research, or aid for those affected by poverty? If so, perhaps a charity focused on research is best.
Doctors Without Borders is a notable organization that delivers emergency medical aid to those in need: those who have been affected by epidemics, disasters, war zones, or complete exclusion from health care.
The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation funds research to eliminate childhood cancer. Their main focus is finding targeted therapies for children that are less toxic than standard therapies.
One of the cruelest diseases is Alzheimer’s. The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a fantastic charity which serves to research early detection, study immunity, and much more.
Heart for Veterans?
Many people have a big heart for veterans. It can be out of respect, or because one of their family members or other loved ones were/are a vet. Whatever the reason, these are some great charities for vets.
Try Puppies Behind Bars. This charity shows inmates how to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans (as well as explosive-detection canines for law enforcement).
Or if you think their main concern would be for providing shelter for homeless veterans, Homes for Our Troops is the thing. This charity builds mortgage-free homes nationwide for vets.
Passionate About Helping Kids?
There are loads of wonderful charities to choose from when it comes to helping kids. It really depends on what area your givee may be most dedicated to (children’s health, children’s education, children’s basic needs, etc.), but if you can think of it, it probably exists.
A good place to start is Save the Children, which provides simple yet important things that help low-income children grow and thrive, such as healthy food, books, preschool, and areas where they can play and exercise safely.
Another outstanding charity for kids is the Children’s Literacy Initiative. This is a non-profit which focuses on helping low-income students to read and write by training teachers, setting up workshops for educators, and providing strong resources.
Lover of the Earth?
If you’re interested in donating to a charity for your greenest friend, there are lots of options for good charities. Many of them not only focus on our planet, but also on endangered wildlife.
The Nature Conservancy works hard to help protect not only our land, water, and climate, but also our cities by working with planners, developers, leaders, and communities to make cities more livable and resilient.
The World Wildlife Fund helps to protect the world’s endangered species, as well as also protecting our planet’s forests, climate, and food.
Fight Against Poverty
This type of charity means so much to so many people. With literally thousands of charities out there that target poverty, you can choose the ideal one for your gift receiver.
Oxfam America is a well-known organization that serves to find practical and innovative ways for poverty-stricken people to improve their situation. They also work hard to influence our world so that conditions in impoverished areas improve.
When it comes to great ideas, Table to Table is on point. This charity collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be thrown out, and delivers it for free to those who are hungry and in need. Not only does this charity feed people; it also cuts down on the problem of wasting food.
No matter if it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or a neighbor, what better way to give back while also showing someone that you care? Besides the few charities listed here, there is a world of options. You can pick out an arts & culture charity if your givee loves theater and museums. There’s options for research charities, civil rights charities, human services charities, and many more. Explore Charity Navigator to get more ideas!
Just remember: this holiday season, try giving the gift of donation to a charity for a special loved one. They will find it invaluable, and will never forget it.