Friday, December 18, 2009

A Holiday Spirit

It's amazing that Xmas is only a few days away and it will be a new year just around the corner. Perhaps, you're scrambling to buy last-minute holiday presents. Maybe you're reflecting on a year with some challenges and can find also moments of gratitude for what you do have—probably the very things you tend to take for granted. Despite the economic hardships in our own country, there are others around the world hit even harder with less of a safety net. As I look at the mountains of mailings from all kinds of non-profits this year on my desk, it's clear that the need is even greater as many families struggle to feed their children and keep their homes. Families normally generous with others have less money to spare for charities to people in developing nations and to other worthy causes. If you have a few extra dollars to spare, you can step in for these families who cannot donate as much this year and do what you can to support the causes for which you care.

As you think about where to make your purchases with ethnical considerations in mind or if you are thinking about donating to some non-profits, perhaps you may find my notes a couple years ago helpful...

    Tips for Holiday Shopping with Ethical Considerations in Mind:
  • This posting lists the websites for some retailers who sell eco-friendly and/or fair-traded products, or support indigenous arts internationally. You can also support local artists and retailers to stimulate the local economy.

  • Tips for Giving to Non-Profits and Charities:
  • Seeking a gift for someone who seems to have everyone or wish to honor the memory of someone important to you? Maybe donate to a charity in their honor this year. Send them a goat or a dozen chicks... well, not really to them but to a family in need.

It doesn't matter that we don't all share the same priorities for whom to designate as recipients of our gifts. In fact, it's probably a good thing we have different causes we care about whether they be climate change action, wildlife, poverty, children's welfare, education, international development, peace, human rights, civil rights, scientific research, and the arts. All that matters is that you are dedicated to your cause and if we can all do a little or a bit more, we can address more causes together with more heart.

In any case, happy Holiday as you cultivate and rejoice in the holiday spirit!

- jans.siming


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