In my family, December has always been the time of year that we actively do something charitable. We give money to various causes throughout the year but in December we like to be a little more hands on with our giving: putting together food baskets, adopting a family for the holidays or buying gifts for kids who are wards of the state. This year my mom got two names off the DCFS tree at her workplace and tonight we went shopping and bought presents for a 17 year old (who wanted items for her baby) and a newborn. I think my mom always picks babies to buy for because she has no grandchildren and won't be getting any grandchildren anytime soon! In addition, I purchased some items for the Crisis Nursery which is a privately funded local organization that provides 24-7 emergency help and respite care for families.
As some of you may know, for several years I have been trying to convince my parents that I don't need presents during the holiday season. I have suggested they give the money to charity in my name or buy things for a charity instead of getting me something but every year I get shot down. They are my parents and they want to get me gifts. This usually leads to a feeling of guilt during the holidays. I am very fortunate and I don't really have any needs, just wants and I feel bad when I get more stuff every year. So this year I finally came up with a win-win solution and I talked with my mom and she agreed to go with it. My parents will be buying me yarn so they can give me something (which makes them happy) and I will use the yarn to knit for charity (which makes me happy). I think that most of the items that I make will go to Warm Woolies, an organization sends wool clothing to children in need all over the world.
I am interested in hearing what you do to support charities around the holidays. Do you do something new every year or do you have a charity or two that you always? I am sure there are lots of great organizations that I don't know about and lots of creative ways to help that I haven't thought of so please leave a comment and educate me!