I don’t care how over-saturated the holiday market is with requests for charitable giving. Frankly, I love it. When my brain is on the fritz with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, nonprofits are there to cool me down and remind me that there are more important things than saving a few bucks on shipping. I don’t know whether it’s meeting the grant applicants for NextGen Rochester, joining in on ROC the Day or being hooked on The Wire, but this holiday season, it’s all about charitable giving.
Think Globally, Live Locally
You probably knew this was coming, folks. Those of you who read my ramblings probably knew that my locavore tendencies would get the best of me, what with my gushing reviews of many a South Wedge Farmers Market and all. I adamantly stand by the exponential value you get from buying locally. You’re helping people you know support the city you care about. How cool is that? There are a lot of ways to support your community’s businesses, whether that means compiling holiday baskets of freshly made pasta and sauce, bread and jam or gingerbread cookies, or getting a gift certificate to your favorite local restaurant (like, say, Taco John’s or the Owl House).
Support Local Talent
I can give you a stack of business cards a mile high of local Rochester artists who are worth getting to know. My mom and I visited Andersen Alley a few weekends ago for a craftacular event, and we were amazed by the variety and veracity we saw on the local Rochester arts scene. Interstellar Love Craft is one of my favorites. Feltro Fashion was super cool, as was Kelly Wadt’s Turi Jane collection, Sarah Wight, Lisa Barker, Sharon Jeter, Sherry L. Tulloch and Elizabeth Briton-Barry. If you’re looking for a more tangible gift for a friend, check out a local artist or two by pursuing Etsy’s Street Teams or cruising through your local independent paper.
Find Your Cause
Whether you’re compelled to help the poor have access to clean water or you wish there were more resources for a nearby school, find something that matters to you and resolve to stand by it. The need to be passionate about some thing, or lots of things, means that you’re being human. As you can tell, I’ve totally bought into non-profit communications messaging, but hey, I’m okay with being inspired, so it works out. There could be worse things, right? Anyway, here are some other organizations that may be worthy of your consideration, should you choose to doll out some dollars for a cause you think counts.
- Operation Baby Rescue – Be sure to check out the incredible video my brother edited for this amazing organization.
- Kiva.org – I’ve lent to Thoi’s Group from Vietnam. She’s using the loan for livestock to ultimately help pay for her four children’s tuition.
- ABVI Goodwill (my go-to shop…I’m way past due dropping off a donation here)
- NPR – Without a TV, my main media consumption of the day is listening to radio, to and from work. I believe in NPR, because need honest radio.
- Your local (children’s) hospital –> Here’s mine :)
- Ronald McDonald House Charities
- Special Olympics
- Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America
To those who haven’t gotten their gifts yet, please consider supporting these worthy causes. Thank you to you all, on behalf of all the groups who rely help from people like you. Remember that even a dollar makes a difference. Happy holidays, everyone! May your days be merry and bright, and may all your holidays be white :)