As of this writing, there are only 94 days until Christmas. And this cooler weather is definitely making me think about our holiday plans.
Like many, I love the holidays, but dread the search for the perfect gift for everyone on my list. Economic forecasts for the ever-important holiday shopping season aren't great. Unemployment and underemployment, and high gas prices certainly have something to do with that. But another factor may be that everyone else shares my dread.
Charities, already weathering a tough giving climate, are likely to have a challenging holiday season, too.
So here's my plea to consider honoring your family and friends this season by making a donation to a cause they support. Maybe the surest way, finally, into Aunt Bertha's heart is through a donation to the local stray cat rescue group? The BBB Wise Giving Alliance and the BBB of Greater Kansas City have reviews of local and national charities to help you make smart giving choices.
One of my most treasured gifts of years past was a bee-hive a friend gave in my name to a family in need through the Heifer Project. The bee hive gave a poor family a source of income. A much better choice on her part than, say, than a box of chocolates my sweet tooth could do without.
Another way to support charities this holiday season is through Giving Cards sold by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Similar to a pre-loaded debit card, these cards enable your recipient to choose as their beneficiary any 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, including schools, churches, and synagogues.
So as you start making lists of what to buy for whom, consider making lasting gifts that won't clutter up anyone's home or add to any waist lines. Giving through charities is a guaranteed way to make lots of people happy.