Giving Thanks, Giving Back

As you give thanks for the gifts in your life today, consider ways to share your strength with others. Volunteer, mentor, donate, speak up.

by kashyap_hc used under Creative Commons lic

There are so many ways to give, here are a few that have crossed my desk that I love:

If you shop on Amazon, consider shopping through Amazon Smile. It works exactly like Amazon, in fact it is Amazon, only when you make purchases through the Amazon Smile URL, Amazon will give 0.5% back to the charity of your choice. Not a ton of money (would be nice to see that percentage go higher), but it still feels like a no brainer if you shop with them already.

FirstBook’s new Gift Catalog. Think of it like the Heifer Project for reading, you choose a symbolic gift of reading and the proceeds for to support FirstBook’s mission of putting books in hands of children and households. Your gift comes with a dedication card for a loved one.

Not new, but a mission I believe strongly in: please give to a food bank in your area. There is one right on our block and on food distribution days I feel humbled by the line of elderly, couples, and young families waiting for their turn to enter. The faces of hunger in our country look like ours, may even include some of you. When you are able, please donate or volunteer. One charity I support is the Food Bank for New York City.

This one is for NYC area residents, but certainly there are other vibrant, local ways to volunteer near everyone. I worked with New York Cares during the Hurricane Sandy clean up one year ago and was not just impressed by their mission, but by the die-hard dedication of those that volunteer with them regularly (“it’s addicting” was one comment I heard over and over).  Sign up online, attend an orientation (there are even online options), and then there is a sea of opportunities available all year round.

If you have more opportunities you would like to share, please post in the comments section.

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Thanks for making our world brighter!

Chris

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