The situation for so many around the world and here at home in D.C. is bleak. A report released last month by the Department of Agriculture on the growing hunger problem in the U.S. highlighted the grim statistic that nearly one in four children struggled to get enough to eat last year. In times like these, we should begin to take stock of what we spend our money on and re-evaluate our priorities. Do we really want to teach our children and grandchildren that the holidays are about the latest toy, or the newest DVD? Or do we want to teach them about generosity, empathy and how to make the world a better place?
Despite the economic woes upon us, the generous nature of the American people has not gone away. Online tools have certainly made such civic engagement easier. But whether it’s online or a more traditional method, let’s embrace this lesson and continue to harness that power to make positive change in the world. In lieu of traditional gift-giving, consider a gift that gives back.
One easy way to find a great gift is through GlobalGiving.org, the online marketplace for philanthropy. It’s where you can purchase a gift card, for as little as $10 that allows the recipient to choose from thousands of earth-changing projects, locally and around the world. From sending a girl in Afghanistan to school, to funding a micro-loan for a farmer in Guatemala, to helping victims of the recent natural disasters in South East Asia, you choose where you want your money to go and we get it there, it’s that simple. Electronic gift cards from GlobalGiving are an especially great idea for anyone short on time and looking to give more than the average gift this year – it takes only minutes to download and print a card to put under the tree or stuff snugly in a stocking. You can even donate in the name of a loved one.
Let us tap into a great tradition by teaching our children and grandchildren that the holidays — in good times and bad — are about giving thanks for what we have and for helping those in need.