For years, I’ve published holiday gift guides and, separately, information on nonprofits that I love and trust in anticipation of Giving Tuesday. This year, I’m combining the two, featuring actual physical gifts as well as great organizations where you can make a gift in someone’s name. Happy holidays!
You know where you’re getting your fair trade chocolate hearts already, right? So rather than publish yet another Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, promote the Mommy Greenest Guide to Natural Sex with a Valentine’s Day twist, or urge you (yet again) to Boycott Hershey’s for Valentine’s Day (please do), I decided instead to explore a new-to-me Valentine’s Day (well, week) phenom: random acts of kindness. Join me?
My home is filled with books. We have two Little Lending Libraries in our neighborhood, and an active book trade between friends. When my kids need books for school, we click to download without hesitation. But what about the kids who don’t have access to books–or eReaders? Studies show that in some communities, there’s just one book per household. For these kids, summer can completely cut off access to literature. But one organization has found a solution.
The advent of Giving Tuesday has made me re-examine my family’s views towards philanthropy. The event, which takes place this year on December 3rd, inspires people to think beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday in terms of giving to get, and shifts the focus towards giving to give. I didn’t experience a strong tradition of giving in childhood. I think it might be because my family didn’t follow an organized religion. Or maybe it was because my dad was so busy raising me by himself that he didn’t stop to think about the character-building opportunities of soup kitchen visits or packing backpacks for disadvantaged children.