Cyber Monday: Guide to Holiday Giving

I’m a closet lover of Black Friday deals..but I’m not a lover of losing my religion over a $200 television. Instead I enjoyed spending an hour or two shopping online. How could I resist 30% off Alvin Ailey Holiday tickets?!? *faint* But that was Friday, today is Monday…How will I keep the party going?

By giving, of course! Today’s been coined Cyber Giving Monday– the biggest giving day for charities nationwide! You just choose a charity and donate to them online. Yep, that’s it. It’s that easy. My choices include Movember and the Warford Foundation. (Tweet and Facebook about your giving using #cybergivingmonday)

Additionally, I thought it swell to create A Holiday Guide to Giving. If you’re like me and want to spread a bit of holiday cheer to those less fortunate this season then these recommendations are right up your alley…

Operation Santa
My mom and I participated in this United States Post Office partnership program a few years ago. It is to date the most rewarding holiday giving experience I’ve had. My mom and I hand selected two letters written to Santa from children in need from the main New York Post Office on 34th Street. We hand delivered both sets of gifts- one on Christmas day and the other a few days early. The experience of playing Santa to these families was a feeling I’ll never forget. In fact, we kept in touch with one of the families and helped to make their holiday wishes come true again the following year. Operation Santa begins December 1. Individuals and organizations can take part. Letters can be obtained in person at participating post offices. Check guidelines and confirm your city is participating here.

Toys For Tots
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program‘s mission never gets old: to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. Their goal is simple: bring hope to children who are less fortunate. Who knew buying toys is so much fun! I caution you to bring a list and stick to it. After a few minutes in a toy store, everything looks like the perfect gift! If you’re thinking of hosting a holiday event, add a Toy Box for your attendees to donate toys there! Check here to find your local drop off site.

Charity Gift Cards
This is the perfect gift option for friends and family you know would rather give than receive. It works like this: You purchase a gift card in the designated dollar amount. You give the gift card to your recipient and they choose the organization (up to three) to give the money to. You win by receiving a 100% tax deduction and your recipient wins by giving the donation to the charity of his/her choice. Pretty awesome, huh? Find out how to get your Charity Gift Card here

New York Cares Coat Drive
What are you really going to do with that coat you haven’t worn in three winters? Or the one that is ‘out of style’? Don’t toss it, donate it to one of the 100,000 New Yorkers who need one. Find your drop site here.

Remember giving comes from the heart and there’s always a Reason For The Season…

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