Saturday, December 19, 2015

#HGG2015: Gifts That Give Back

This season of giving can also be the season of excess, yet so many of us are conscious of the fact that we really don't need more "things." When you want to show someone you care without buying them more stuff, consider one of these amazing charitable options.

OSPCA Paws & Give

For the animal lover. The OSPCA's Paws & Give program has a number of options available, including options that pair your donation with a lovable plush animal to gift to your recipient. This would make a great gift for the pet-loving child. Each plush is modeled after a real animal rescued by the organisation, and comes with an adoption certificate. Funds raised support the rescue of others.

You can also choose to make a one-time donation to support the care of a specific type of animal (cat, dog, horse, small animals), in honour of your recipient's favourite. Or choose to fund shelter or rescue equipment. You can even sponsor an OSPCA Officer. You'll receive a tax receipt for your gift and a card to let your recipient know you've done this in their name.

Hospital for Sick Children - SickKids Get Better Gifts

Help children close to home. Instead of sending a physical gift to your recipient, purchase a gift in their name to help make the holidays a little brighter for patients at SickKids. Gifts range from hospital necessities to stocking stuffers, a wish list item, holiday baking supplies, and more. You will receive a tax receipt, and a greeting card for your recipient to let them know of the help you have sent in their name.

This year specific Get Better Gifts will make twice the impact thanks to the Orinoco Foundation, who will generously match your donation amount, up to a maximum of $48,000 through December 31. Look for the matching gift tag throughout the website. I like the "Welcome Break" gift. Your $30 donation will be matched by the Orinoco Foundation, contributing a total of $60 towards purchasing movie passes or dining gift cards to give patients well enough for a day out a chance to enjoy a break from the hospital with their family.

Holiday Cooking and Baking Supplies ($20) provides the materials for a fun and festive baking activity.
Qualifies for matching.

UNICEF Canada Survival Gifts

Help children around the world. Choose from the more than 60 Survival Gift Options and send tangible assistance to help children and their families survive and thrive. You get a tax receipt, your recipient gets a lovely card to let them know you're donated in their name. You can choose from the list of matched gifts to double your impact, or select a featured gift and receive a free virtual reality viewer to enable you to see life in  refugee camp through the eyes of 12 year old Sidra. (Works with iOS and Android phones.)

Blankets for Babies - provides 3 blankets for $28, and qualifies for sponsor matching, doubling your gift to 6 blankets.

Habitat for Humanity - Gifts from the Heart

Help families in our communities in need of secure housing. Choose a gift from the catalogue. You receive a tax receipt and your recipient receives a card. All proceeds go directly towards the purchase of building materials and tools. You can choose to equip a volunteer for $51 (every one of us needs steel-toed boots, a hard hat, tool belt, goggles, and safety vest). Or maybe donate a pallet of 2x4s to construct a wall in a Habitat home ($100). Your gift will give the gift of security to family in your area.


There are many other options out there as well, but these are my favourites. Along with the Starlight Foundation's annual bears of course. Do you have other organisations you would add to my list?

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