Friday, November 21, 2014

the simple five: giving

After the Santa Claus Parade arrives and leaves town, it is a signal to start holiday preparations. Gift basket displays, festive music, non stop ads, enticing sales...reminding us to join the crowd as the hustle and bustle of gift shopping begins. 

Amongst the distractions, we should also try remind ourselves on how blessed we truly are, and remember to help those in need. Although it may be difficult to squeeze extra time into this busy season, here are five quick, simple and easy ways (that take very little time) to give back.  
  1. Donate to your local hospital. We are long-time supporters of the Sick Kids Hospital & Foundation. Their beautiful website provides many easy (and fantastic) ways to give. Send a card, enter their "lotttery", or just donate online.  Easy.
  2. Donate food to your local food bank. On your next grocery shopping trip, just add a few non-perishable items into your cart, and drop off a bag on your way out of the store. Many major chain grocery stores have donation bins right at the entrance, so it's easy to give.
  3. Help a senior in your neighbourhood. With all this snow, help shovel their driveway. It might be just an extra ten minutes of exercise (a health benefit for you...or get the kids involved!), but it's a small way that makes a big difference for someone else.  
  4. Donate toys to bring a smile to a child's face this Christmas. Many malls have toy drives/drop-offs (usually found at entrances or at customer service desks). Operation Christmas Child is a great way to bring a smile to a child overseas. Just fill a shoebox with necessities, school supplies and toys and drop it off at one of the many drop off locations. It's easy to fill up these boxes with readily available stocking stuffer-sized items, bringing a smile to children in need. You can also fill a shoebox online, if a drop off location isn't close to you.
  5. Buy gifts that "give back". Luckily there are items now available (in time for the holiday season), that are either made and/or sold by a nonprofit organization or a commercial company, which donates a portion of the proceeds to charity.  Right now, TOMS provides free shipping when you purchase items online. With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. (One for One ®).  So now you can skip the crowds, buy gifts online, and give back at the same time. Awesome!
Happy Giving.

{Disclaimer}: There were no endorsements with any of the charities or companies mentioned (or hyperlinked), for this post.  I just wanted to share the simple ways our family gives back, and a few of the beautiful  charitable organizations we support. All opinions are my own.

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