During this season do you have a fav way to give to others or a charity


Well-Known Member
It is that season again. Do you give your time or toys or dollars to others?

Since we will be doing Christmas the weekend before Christmas in Chicago and on only Christmas Eve when back home, I would love to volunteer in a church that cooks a free community meal on Christmas Day. I've never done that before. Id like to and will try to nudge husband to join me! He can be lazy.....

I do give money when I see a bell ringer and usually donate to the humane society and Coats for Kids. I also think a lot about this site and buy food (usually a big jar of peanut butter and bread) whenever I see a homeless person with a sign. It breaks my heart to see that.

Anyone else?

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Over the years our church has had various programs. I have participated in Angel Tree where you take a an angel off the tree that has the name of a child who's parent is in jail. You buy the gift for the child in the name of their jailed parent.
This year we are doing blankets of hope. We purchase material to make a no sew blanket. Microfiber, two pieces, cut the edges and tie together. Very easy. We will be taking these to a local nursing home for residents that do not have family.
We also support a local pregnancy center. We fill bags with things a new mom will need.
We also do other service work through the year which I love.
No matter how bad things can get there is always someone that needs help.
This year I sent my son some money for Christmas. I have not done that in a several years. It felt good to do that but I also know that I have opened a door where he may think he can start asking for money again. I'm firm in that I will give to him for Christmas and birthday but that's it.
Something else that I do on a regular basis is when I see someone with a Veteran's hat on, I approach them and say "I see from your hat that you are a Veteran and I would like to thank you for your service" It's amazing how they respond. I have had some that get teary eyed saying "it's so nice to know we are not forgotten"


Well-Known Member
Our local no-kill animal shelter has an Open House every Christmas season, where admission is something the shelter can use. This year, we took a huge box of garbage bags and a case of canned cat food. I also have the shelter on smile.amazon.com, so a percentage of everything I buy on Amazon goes to them.

I prefer to keep it local as opposed to national charities.


Active Member
I look for local families in need and provide Santa to as many as I can afford to. I get recommendations from the community and then on Christmas Eve husband dresses as Santa and I go along as his helper. We deliver all gifts wrapped from Santa.


Active Member
I look for local families in need and provide Santa to as many as I can afford to. I get recommendations from the community and then on Christmas Eve husband dresses as Santa and I go along as his helper. We deliver all gifts wrapped from Santa.


We are very involved in our church year round...we do buy children of prisoners presents so that the inmates have something to give their children...Angel tree....we also participate in. Buying foster children gifts...and gift cards for the local high children whose families struggle.

I do give to the homeless...beggars...not my place to judge...and I think of this board and others who hide...those men and women are someone's children.

On a whimsical note....we have a bonfire on Xmas eve to send smoke signals to Santa and roast marshmallows....I'm a big kid at heart.


Well-Known Member
I think I can answer for Jabber and myself both. We belong to a medieval reenactment society. Every year a our local group holds a medieval tournament - the Toys for Tots Tournament - that involves the entire "kingdom". Members bring a toy to enter the tournament - but most bring many more. This year, the group donated over 1,500 toys and $1,300.00 to Toys for Tots! It's a wonderful, fun, time and gives so much to such a good cause.


If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
Our church provides a free Thanksgiving meal and Christmas Day meal for anyone who has no place to go, homeless, etc. I was in charge of scheduling for several years the Turkey day event. Husband and I have volunteered over the years. We also have an Angel Tree for children who parents are in jail. We also so Sole for Souls collection of shoes, boots, socks for those in need. I make up little gift bags in keep in my car; when I see a homeless person walking, riding a bike, stopped somewhere, I pull over and hand them a bag. The bag has a pair of socks, a shaver, deodorant, tooth paste, toothbrush and a food card to somewhere, subway, McDonald's, Burger King, etc. It's not much, but it's something.


Well-Known Member
I think the churches sound awesome.

The place thst cooks free dinner for all is also a church and they offer free community meals every Thursday and every other Thursday night. I was going to offer to volunteer before so got a job.

Churches and non profits really step up to the plate. Kudos!

Lil your organization sounds Uber great.


Well-Known Member
We always pick two children from our local Salvation Army Angel Tree - one boy and one girl to match my children - we've been doing this since they were babies. We get the outerwear, clothing and toys/art supplies/books. My daughter shops for the girl and my son shops for the boy!

My daughter, a nanny, actually suggested to her "boss" family that she and their little boy begin doing this two years ago when he was 4 because he was so blessed. This is the third year and she and "her charge" have done it and he actually remembers now. They pick two little boys his age because, in my daughter's words, he benefits from picking out things he would love but not being able to keep them himself. She thinks it's more genuine that way.

I have always chosen one charity a year to give a substantial donation to rather than dole out $5 or $10 to everyone who calls. The past few years it has been St. Judes Hospital and for a number of years before that it was the Ronald McDonald House. I always make my donation in December.



Roll With It
I quit giving to the bell ringing Santas when I lived in OH because I learned that about half of them, even the ones with the Salvation Army signs, were frauds who kept the money for themselves. I save up money in a secret spot and donate in a lump sum in the summer to a charity. I do it in the summer because everyone gives in the winter around Christmas and charities, esp animal and children's charities, are really hurting in the summer. I remember it by remembering my youngest son's half birthday - he was born a week before Christmas so he gets ripped off by combined celebrations and gifts every year. So I try to do a little something extra for him each summer also.

I try to make a special ornament each year and donate them to charities for the elderly. Usually a nursing home or meals on wheels type program. THis year I am crocheting little baskets and will put a few candies in each of them, sugar free in some, regular in others. They will go to a place that offers meals to seniors in our community. My mom was totally in favor of this as it let her give me a bunch of yarn to get rid of, lol. She is a major stash-a-holic of fabric and yarn and she is continually begging to give people yarn, fabric and craft supplies. And threatening to leave it all to me in her will, lol!

We have very hot weather here, and even winter is very windy and can be a big dehydration problem for our homeless. I insist on keeping a case of bottled water in each car and will give water to any homeless person I see, multiple bottles if they want, and if they have a pet. I rarely give cash but will give a sandwich. We have a community feast run by friends of my family that is at a local church now. It is the only place in town big enough besides the university (can't be there because of insurance reasons). Depending on when the inlaw gathering is, when my parents want to get together, and how I am doing, I may show up there to help. I do when I can, but the last few years I haven't been able to do much.


Well-Known Member
I like to give to St. Jude's. So far, I haven't been overly creative. Just a check, once, usually twice a year.
I probably give to the Salvation Army people outside the door (s) at Christmas time about half the time I see them.
Every once in awhile, I would estimate perhaps every other year, I give to a charity related to cancer. And I do Relay for Life, which benefits Am. Cancer Society. However, I actually look for cancer charities or research organizations that are doing something out of the ordinary. I found one that was doing Mistletoe research via John's Hopkins University a few years ago and donated to them. There have been people who have gone into remission from cancer using Mistletoe. Pretty cool!


we brought groceries to our town's food bank just before Thanksgiving; my husband said "it's all gotta be things we would buy for ourselves" last week we brought them a lovely ham

I have learned, when it comes to donating food, or other acts of kindness, is that folks are hungry & needy all year 'round, not simply during the holidays


Active Member
when I woke with the mentally handicapped we would take our patients shopping for Items for christmas dinner. With donations from other employees we would make baskets and deliver the baskets the week before christmas to mothers of children in need (always including gifts for the kids) Our patients would deliver the baskets as we drove them around the community.Both the patients and the families got so much joy from this,,,one for giving and one for getting..a win win in my book!


Crazy Cat Lady
I will have nothing to do with Salvation Army due to their standpoint on LGBTQ issues and people. United Way and Unicef give approx one percent of monies collected to persons in need. Goodwill is a for-profit business. Check out your charities before donating.

Because of my personal feelings about religion, I do not, as a rule, donate to religious organizations at all. I do donate to certain secular organizations that pass muster as legit charities where CEO pay is low and most monies collected go to persons in need.

One of favorites is the Heifer Foundation, which buys farm animals, etc, for needy 3rd world women with the intent of enabling them to not only feed their families, but to start their own businesses. My gifts have ranged from a doe milch goat, to fish that can be farmed (the community received assistance in setting up the farming facility), and honeybees to pollinate and greatly increase yields of communually grown farm plots. Higher yields mean not only more food for the village, but excess that can be sold at market, as well as honey that can be used or sold.

I also donate directly to local charities and organizations as well. Small amounts. I support "my" organizations through out the year. The holiday season doesn't really change my charity pattern. People are in need all year round.


Well-Known Member
GN, my views of life after death and God is that God is the Universe and our energy lives on to infinity. I have no religious affiliation and am L G B T very friendly. To me if money goes to the needy, I don't care about their religious views or politics. Its the receiver i care about.

Goodwill is terrible. They give to nobody. At least I saw little giving when I worked there. So they get nada.

Anyhow just wanted to clarify :) I am too lazy to look for causes that fit my politics.

Your caused sound wonderful by the way and we try to help all year too.


Crazy Cat Lady
Another thing I do is donate stuff like canned cat and dog food, and puppy and kitten formula to our local shelter.

People are pretty good about donating big bags of dry food to them, but they forget about the animals with bad teeth, kittens and puppies too young to eat dry food, or who are still nursing, and seniors for whom dry food is no longer healthy.

When it was easier to get the vaccines in bulk packs (50 doses per "brick") I used to order those and have them delivered, but that's gotten both harder to do, and too costly.

Shelters also need things like old towels and blankets, shop rags, plain white paper towels, bleach for disinfecting stuff, etc.


Well-Known Member
Oh GN. You just spoke to my heart. I love our animals and have volunteered and donated often to various animal shelters and rescued.

You rock!!


Crazy Cat Lady
When I was much younger, and physically up to the work, I used to volunteer at horse rescue groups as well, but I can't handle it any more. I really enjoyed it though.

Up until husband got too sick, we always had a rescue cat along with the cattery crew. Might be a rescue Coonie, might be an injured barn cat. We also often had a German Shepherd we were fostering as well as our GSD.