Somehow, we managed to get through the onslaught of news, atrocities and current affairs that somehow parades as “normal” these days to make it to December. For those of us lucky enough to still find a roof over our heads, our children safely in our arms, food in our refrigerators, clothes in our closets and perhaps most miraculously, money still in the bank, it feels as if this season comes with a heightened responsibility to share the love and spread some hope. Thus, in the true spirit of the season, I present my 2nd Annual Do-Gooder’s Holiday Gift Guide to help shine a light on organizations doing some incredible work.
In lieu of a hostess gift
I promise your friend hosting a party doesn’t need another candle or bottle of wine. Instead, make the idea of home possible for someone living on the streets. With a donation to Food on Foot, an organization helping to solve the Los Angeles Homeless Crisis. You’ll help fund their Work For Food program which incorporates the type of life skill learning that puts folks in jobs and affordable housing programs, thus enabling them to maintain long-term success in rebuilding a life off the streets.
For your child’s teacher
These folk really deserve an all expense paid trip to a warm sunny island where they can unwind from having to parent all of America’s children, but should that not be in your budget. A donation to Pencils Of Promise, whose mission is to grant access to education worldwide, will certainly show them how much you appreciate the value of the work they are doing.
To commemorate Baby’s First Holiday
It is with 100% certainty I can tell you the family of a little one celebrating their first holiday has “My First Xmas” shirts enough to clothe a small country. Instead of buying into the manufactured joy of baby’s first season, help fight childhood illness and ensure children can celebrate again next year. By making a donation to Bisous for Leo, an organization founded by two mamas to raise awareness and funds for INAD, a debilitating childhood disease being billed as a “cross between Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s for kids” you will be helping to find a cure for this devastating disease and giving a mama the only thing she ever truly wishes for; the possibility for a happy and healthy life for her child.
To keep Grandma safe from the reindeers threatening upheaval to all women
A donation to Emily’s List, the group cultivating kick ass Democratic female representation in government who have supported candidates among the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Krysten Sinema.
For the roasted chestnut lover
Because the only fire we should be gathered around is one inside our homes and hearths, not raging in the wild.
As the ultimate Secret Santa
We all know the joy of surprising folks with gifts. Take it the next level and give the spirit of the holiday season to a deserving family. Join Baby2Baby’s program that matches you with a child’s holiday wish list. Reach out to the program coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org to sponsor a child.
For the truly devout
While I cannot claim to be an expert on religious scripture of any denomination, I’m pretty sure it’s written all over the big book that we should welcome foreigners to our land. And I’m pretty sure Jesus would have frowned upon celebrating his birth while at the same time denying the very principles he lived and died for. So love thy neighbor and foreigner, and help equip them with what they might need as they seek refuge on our shores.
++ Wishing good tidings to all of you this holiday season and the coming new year.