From the state of area retail shelf displays, it seems that it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Since many opportunities to do good require more planning than last-minute Christmas Eve shopping trips, I’ve included a couple great resources that have come my way the past few days.
Those wanting to do good on the Seacoast will want to look through the annual Guide to Holiday Giving and Volunteering, just published by the United Way of the Greater Seacoast. This 24-page information-packed guide lists opportunities with 75 different local nonprofits. The entries, conveniently organized by location, describe adopt-a-family programs as well as other food and gift needs. For example, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that 39 Seacoast nonprofits offer holiday adopt-a-family programs. We’ve found buying presents for a family (or families) in need to be a rewarding holiday tradition, particularly when we join forces with friend and/or neighbors, which also makes it a fun social event. Thanks to United Way’s Robin Albert for alerting me to this great resource guide. Here’s the link: http://pubs.hawthornpublications.com/unitedwayholidayguide/index.html
To fulfill your global holiday do-gooding efforts, I can recommend the World Vision Gift Catalog, which I received in the mail over the weekend. You have the opportunity to give an extremely targeted donation, ranging from a couple chickens to a well for a village–and you will receive a nice card to communicate the gift given in their name. Also, more tangible gifts from a handful of exotic locations can be purchased for a donation. Here’s the online link: www.worldvisiongifts.org
It’s never to early to start planning for doing good for the holidays, particularly if you’d like to get others you know involved. My plan is to investigate adopt-a-family opportunities nearest me, then invite a few of my neighbors to join in. Together we can spread some much needed holiday cheer this year.