I see gift giving posts all the time when reading other blog posts so, I decided to do a different type of gift post. I will be the first to tell you, my family is not really big on gifts. My Mamma has always given "memories" instead of gifts, and my Dad has always taken me shopping. Now to my Dad's credit, when I was really little, I acted like a spoiled brat. He bought me Christmas gifts, I did not like them, and I took every single gift back. That was kind of the last of my Dad's gift buying days. I still feel bad about it, and don't worry he still brings up the Christmas when I acted like Veruca off of Willy Wonka.
I do like how lately it has been more acceptable to give gifts in honor of people to charities and let work be done in their name. I have picked a couple of my favorite, hope this helps.
. I took my students to the Heifer Ranch my last year teaching in Arkansas. They really do a lot for people in 30 different countries. You can hop on their website and order a cow to be sent to a family in a third world country. You are not just limited to a cow though. You can pretty much send any animal that gives the 7 M's (Milk, Money, Meat, Manure, Muscle, Materials, Motivation) Sparked your interest check out their frequently asked questions page, and their homepage for more information. Want your family to understand how it is to live in a third world country? You can take your family to the ranch and "live" there in the countries they have represented at ranch.
St. Jude Hospital
Want something closer to home? St. Jude Hospital. They help with research and treatment with childhood cancers. Here is the best part, if the parents can't pay, they don't have to. How cool is that? They have treated kids from all over the world and are the leader in Research of Children's Cancer. I got in contact with St. Jude through my first marathon. I have been hooked ever since. The race course runs through the hospital and by The Target House. Talk about a race where you feel no pain. The kids that come outside and hold signs to encourage you while you are running, they are the hero's. They need our support.
Journey Mission Camp
Now, if I had to pick a something in my life that shaped me, beside my family. Journey would hands down be the thing that had the most impact. Honduras will always hold a special place in my heart. If you ever need a refresher on how to be truly happy, Honduras is the best medicine. You can pick a lot of ways to help with this amazing project. You can pick a child and support. You can give money to build a house, you can sponsor an American to go and have their life changed. Contact their facebook page, they are willing to help you in any way, make your gift special.
All of these are near and dear to my heart. All of these options, I have been to, worked at, or been a part of, but don't just go by my recommendations though, I found many websites to research charities. Make sure where your money is going, is where you want it to go. There are so many non-profits out there that the CEO is pocketing a lot of money. What are some of your favorite charities?