There have been so many catalogues crammed in my mailbox this week, it’s all I can do to get any of the mail out.
I browse through the endless pages of merchandise and have to wonder if there are people out there whose job it is to think of creating stuff simply for stuff’s sake.
If you’re like me, all this “stuff” means less and less to me each year.
That’s why I’m so glad to find a couple of shopping options this year.
A gift certificate to DonorsChoose.org is a great option for anyone who loves kids. Former high school teacher Charles Best came up with this great idea. Public school teachers across the country post a project they want to do with their students. You make a donation to help that come true. When the projects come to life, you’ll get a thank-you note and photos.
I love to give a DonorsChoose.org gift card to the kids in my life. We sit down together and figure out whom they want to help — kids in their same grade? A certain part of the country? Kids interested in the same subject they love? The website sorts all those choices out for you.
My kids get to see that the holidays are not just about the stash of stuff they’re hoping to get for themselves. It’s also a tangible lesson in giving —the kids see exactly where their donation goes.
Of course, there will inevitably be stuff I do need to buy this season. With so much money going to gifts, entertaining and travel, it makes you wonder how there could possibly be money left over to give to your favorite charity.
What if you could do both at the same time? Shop and give!
It’s possible at GoodShop.com. You won’t believe the giving opportunities waiting for you there. Just click on anyone of 2,400 retailers. I’m talking the biggies — Gap, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, just to name a few. Every time you buy, 1 to 17 percent goes to the charity of your choice. And I really do mean your choice. Thousands of nonprofits are already listed. If yours isn’t, you can sign them up and start donating.
Just so no good deed goes unrewarded —GoodShop.com also has a whole bunch of coupons for you to use, so those holiday and shopping dollars go further.
Suddenly, spending those holiday dollars isn’t just money out the door. It’s now about giving back.
Come to think of it, all those catalogs might come in handy, after all. I’ll browse through to see the stuff that’s actually going to help me do good and feel good this holiday season. I can hardly wait to start giving, er, I mean shopping!
Daryn Kagan is the creator of DarynKagan.com. She is the author of “What’s Possible! 50 True Stories of People Who Dared To Dream They Could Make a Difference.”
Get ready for another busy hurricane season, maybe unusually wild, federal forecasters say. Their prediction Thursday calls for 13 to 20 named Atlantic storms, 7 to 11 that strengthen into hurricanes and 3 to 6 that become major hurricanes.