I love the holidays, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than to give to those less fortunate? There are two causes which I support every year, and both are near and dear to my heart.
The first is Operation Christmas Child. OCC takes up donations of shoe boxes filled with goodies and sends them to children around the world who otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas.
I've participated for as long as I can remember. If you'd like to participate, here's what you need to do:
*Find a shoe box (I usually buy the plastic shoe boxes because the family can use it after to store things in or use to get water.)
*Decide if you want it to be for a boy or a girl and fill it with things!
*Print a label from their website and include a donation for shipping (There is a $7 suggested donation per box. You can even check an option and they'll email you letting you know what country your box went to!)
*Wrap a rubber band around your box and drop it off! National Collection week is THIS WEEK so the sooner you do this, the better! (Click here for locations in your area)
small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
A personal note
In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)
Things not to include:
Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
My shoeboxes are all wrapped up and ready to be dropped off tomorrow! :)
The second charity I love to support at Christmas is St. Jude's. This is a super easy one to support, and also a bit fun. Answer me a question: What do you do with all of the cards you receive once the holidays are over? Did you know that St. Jude's has a card recycling program? They do! You can mail them the fronts of your cards and the kids at St. Jude's make new cards with your unwanted cards. The cards are then sold to raise money for the hospital. How brilliant is that? You can also purchase the handmade Christmas cards from St. Jude's, they're $10 for a pack of 10. As far as I know you cannot purchase the cards online, so call 1-877-977-7572 to place your order. They take donations year round and have a particular need for Birthday and Thank You cards. Already have your Christmas cards all planned for this year? You can also purchase inserts to put in with your Christmas cards. For a donation of your choosing (though a $5 minimum donation per insert is suggested) you can let your friends and family know that you support a great cause by making a donation in their honor.
To donate your card fronts, please mail them to:
St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
I'm sure you all have charities that you like to support during the holidays (or year round!) so please let me know what they are in the comments so I can check them out! I'm always looking for new ways to give.
Bah Humbug! ;)