‘We Make a Living by What we Do,
But We Make a Life by What We Give.’
— Winston Churchill
There’s an alternative to buying gifts that sit on a shelf waiting for the next garage sale. For something completely unique, why not consider gifts that ‘keep on giving’ for your friends, co-workers or loved ones?
The Animal Lover
Give a goat. How about a pig? You’ll be providing food and income-producing animals (cows, chickens, sheep, pigs, water buffalo). These animals in turn provide milk, eggs, and wool. Families then share one or more of their animals’ offspring with other needy families.
Why not give a gift in the name of your favorite animal lover? Visit Heifer Projects International, http://catalog.heifer.org for more ideas and information.
Animal shelters always need extra help. Ask your local shelter what its needs are. Donate the items, or have a bake sale, garage sale or other fundraiser to provide for the need.
Why not give your crafter some craft supplies or gift certificates to a favorite craft store? The crafter can in turn create gifts to give away, or perhaps sell them for some extra bits of money.
Know someone who loves to garden? Buy the seeds or plants (vegetable, flower, fruit, etc.) and tools that make it easier for them to garden. If they have a good year, they’ll be able to share the abundance with family, neighbors and friends.
Does your gardener like to ‘can’ or freeze their produce? How about providing them with canning jars, lids and other supplies.
Donate your unused frequent flyer miles. Help pay for soldiers who arrive in the states for a 2-week leave or emergency leave. These soldiers are brought into the US, but then have to purchase last-minute tickets at higher prices to travel the rest of the way back home to their families. Find more info at http://www.HeroMiles.org
Send a care package to the troops. For ideas of what ‘not’ to send this year, follow this link: http://www.army.mil/operations/oif/FAQ.html
For care package ideas, there are 2 downloadable and printable pages of ideas here. See top of page at this link: http://www.asa.themilitary.net
Send Phone Cards for the soldiers, enabling them to call home. You can give them about 100 minutes for only $20. More info can be found at http://www.uso.org
For Children — a Gift for the Future
A $50 bond purchased today could be worth $100 in 20 years. For more info about other funds and ideas about growing kids’ money over time, pop into this site: http://www.child.com/moms_dads/family_finance/gift_fund.jsp
A roll of Postage Stamps can last a long, long time. This is a great gift, especially for the elderly or those living on a limited income.
Give a year’s worth of TV Guide. Your kindness through this gift will never be forgotten. Many, especially those in nursing homes, cannot afford even a weekly newspaper.
For Those in Need
Giving to your local food pantry helps those in need. Most pantries are reporting their donations have been down, so they’ll need some extra help to replenish their shelves.
Purchase groceries for a needy family. Help them plant a garden in the Spring. If they have no gardening area, consider sharing yours.
A small donation can feed many people at your local Salvation Army Soup Kitchen.
Look into Legitimate Charities. This site offers an alphabetical list of National Charities: http://www.Give.org/reports/index.asp
For Just About Everyone
Find exactly the right gift at http://www.Surprise.com Categories range from the Caffeine Fiend, to the Chocoholic to the Empty Nester. There are also ideas for particular occasions and personalities.
Simple, targeted gifts mean more to the recipient — and provide an inexpensive way for you to show your appreciation. Be different! Give a gift that keeps on giving — and truly make a difference this year!