Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wrap Up Your Christmas Shopping With One Click

No matter what your age, there's something special about Christmas. After all, it's the one time of year when we actually smile to see snow fall.

But, as an adult, I've found that gifts are a smaller part of my holiday. When my parents ask me what I want for Christmas, I stall for time. I have everything that I need – something impressed on me recently when I learned that some families want for basic items like paper towels and toilet paper.

Helping others isn't a new concept, but it's one that few of us practice. How many times have you heard the suggestion to donate to charity as a Christmas gift? In theory, it's a great idea, but what if your recipient doesn't have a favorite charity? Will they be disappointed not to receive a physical gift?

JustGive.org has the solution. I stumbled onto their website earlier this week, when my husband, Ben, said that he wanted to donate the rest of his Christmas money to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). If you've seen their commercials of doe-eyed cats and dogs, then you'll know why.

At JustGive.org, you can purchase a GiveNow card, which allows the recipient to donate to the charity of his or her choice. The card can be emailed, printed or mailed, meaning that you have something to hand over come Christmas day.



The recipient redeems the gift card at the JustGive website, applying his or her balance to one of 1.8 million charities. The gift can be donated to a national or local charity.

Among the local non-profits listed:
  • Catholic Health's foundations
  • Burchfield-Penney Art Center
  • Local charter schools
  • Diocese of Western New York
  • Statler Foundation
  • Central Terminal Restoration Corp.
Next year, I know what I'm putting on my Christmas list.

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