Did you know that the average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion according to the National Retail Federation? Mostly on gifts that someone else doesn't even want or need. We spend so much money "showing" that we "care", but when it comes down to it, we should be spending less, but putting more thought and time into what we get SOMEONE.
Gifting with Love and Less with Money
Bestowe may be a gifting company with physical products, but we are also trying to give back where we can. We recently launched 3 gifts specific to Cancer patients who may be going through Chemotheraphy and Radiation called our Comfort and Care line. I had cancer many years ago (you can read about it here), and have seen many more than my fair share of people hit with this horrible disease. So, we launched these boxes with products that make the patient feel comforted and loved with quality products that make sense (not a bottle of Cervé lotion, but quality lotion that actually works, and a tea that helps your body rebuild itself to fight against disease). Not only that, but 15% of the proceeds go to the LLS (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society). We also are supporting those effected by the fires in California with auctions and raffles at local events. Check out our Be West Holiday Market that we are hosting in partnership with West Perro on December 12 in Alameda, CA at the Hangar 1 Distillery.
Have you ever seen the commercials for Folgers, where Peter Comes Home for Christmas, or for Glade, where a young woman decorates an elderly mans house? If not, go watch them, and bring some tissues. The point is, an act of kindness is sometimes all you need in order to give a gift that tells a story.
Top 5 ways to give back this holiday season
Help someone out in your community
It's so easy to get caught up in our own world. But what do you see going on that you can help with. There are so many community service ideas out there. Is your neighbor in need of some groceries you can pick up at the store, do you see homeless encampments you can support with donations, or do you have a group through work or your kids school that you can support a family in need with? You Here are some of our favorites.
You can cook for the Ronald McDonald House
Ask through your Facebook neighborhood group or your local Nextdoor Social Channels how you can help someone.
Partner with your local Parks and Rec: they are always organizing clean ups in your neighborhood.
Help with Pets
Get your pet trained to go to hospitals or senior centers to share their love.
Be an ambassador for the Humane Society.
Help homeless pets get fed with Pets of the Homeless.
Give a Homeless Child Joy
There's an organization called The Birthday Party Project that we just love. They throw birthday parties for children living in homeless and transitional living shelters, helping create a special day for kids in bleak circumstances complete with cupcakes, balloons, gifts, and plenty of good vibes. This isn’t just for adorable tots, though, but helps kids all the way through 21 years of age. Donate here.
Help women support their families through their craft.
Women on Wings helps connect rural Indian women with entrepreneurs who employ them and market their crafts, giving the women an independent income and helping to provide a better life for themselves and their families. The organization’s goal is to create 1 million jobs for women by 2018, and you can help. Donate here.
Donate to a Charity Organization
Of course, there are organizations that will definitely love to have some money to enable their charities to continue. Some ideas include the Heifer Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (which we support with our Chemo Gifts), or Charity Water.
Looking for a Charity to donate to?
We found two charity organizations that will help you navigate all of the charities to give to so that you can find something that you believe in and want to support.
The Charity Navigator helps match you with an organization that you feel good about.
Givewell has a list of top charities that are evidence-backed, thoroughly vetted, and underfunded organizations. They recommend charities according to how much good additional donations can do.
We hope that you take some time out from your life to give back to those less fortunate. There are so many ways to help out through donations or volunteer time. Please let us know if you have an organization that you just love to support in the comments below. We want to make a list that is really robust and helpful as time goes on.