A Great Alternative To Gift Giving

img_1596You know the age-old saying that good things come in small boxes? This year, it’s totally true. And I’m not just talking about those new gloves you didn’t even know you needed.

As you may have read, Doug and I are all about starting new traditions as our little family grows. We agreed to a brand new one the other day that I’m really excited about. Cue the drumroll, please! It’s….

DONATIONS! I know, I know. Not novel, or new, or sparkly. But it’s something we really believe in, and that we feel serves as an awesome reminder on what this time of year is truly about.

Here’s the deal. We’re replacing a gift on our list for a donation to a charity instead. With a happy & healthy family, we have more than we could ever need, and want to embrace the true meaning of this time of year.

So, he’s picking a charity to donate to in my honor, and I’m picking one to donate to in his honor. (Gracie is getting a donation gift to a charity, too!) Among the presents that are opened Christmas day, we’ll each open little wrapped boxes, containing a piece of paper with the charity name that was donated to on our behalf.

I love this idea because it’s a great way to give back, while also being personal. It’s going to be fun to see what charity he picked in my honor, and my brain is already brewing on what charity I’ll give to on his behalf! I thought it’d be helpful to share some of the organizations on the top of my list with you, complete with a little abut each charity, in case you wanted to adopt our new tradition as well.12-charities-to-donate-to

  • ACLU – An organization all about protecting the freedoms and rights granted by the Constitution. They help to stand for a robust list of issues including immigrants rights, women’s and LGBT rights.
  • Alzheimer’s Association – A cause near and dear to both Doug and I, as both our grandparents suffer or have suffered from this disease. Donations help to fund research and support programs.
  • American Red Cross – Disaster relief and lifesaving blood. When a tragedy sweeps an area, they’re some of the first responders helping those in need.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America – Offers programs and support for children when they’re not in school.
  • Center for Reproductive Rights – A legal advocate for securing women’s access to quality reproductive health care
  • Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund – Law and policy center focused on advancing the rights of people with disabilities through advocacy, education and public policy.
  • Earth Justice – The nation’s largest non-profit environmental law organization. Leverages their expertise and commitment to fight for justice and advance the promise of a healthy world for all.
  • National Resources Defense Council – Works to safeguard the earth – its people, plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
  • NextGen Climate – Dedicated to fighting climate change.
  • Planned Parenthood – Delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.
  • Robin Hood – Poverty-fighting organization that helps to give money & services to places like soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools and job-training programs.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities – Provides places to stay for families who have children going through an illness like cancer. Helps to ensure that these families, and their kids, have access to the care they need (and each other) to get better.

If you’re interested in finding more organizations doing good, check out Togetherlist.

PS – Thoughts on my next 30 yearseveryday love moments, and the art of handwritten letters.

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2 thoughts on “A Great Alternative To Gift Giving

  1. Sarah Lagen

    This is such a great idea Emily!! A few years ago my Dad asked everyone to donate $50 to his favorite charity instead of giving him a birthday gift! These are great organizations to donate to!

    xo, Sarah

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