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Make A Favorite Charity Part of Your Holiday Giving

Charity Giving Is a Wonderful Holiday Idea

October is over and Halloween has come and gone.  The holiday season has exploded into the zeitgeist.  We can argue all day about how early is too early to decorate for Christmas and the New Year.  Retailers stretch the season every year.  They put out the decorations, wrapping and ribbons earlier every year (or so it seems).

It has become accepted that from Halloween on, we are in the countdown to Christmas.  You have probably begun to ponder your Christmas gifts for family and friends.  There are so many people to whom you give gifts.  Shopping becomes harder every year.  Do you know what size Aunt Tillie wears this year? What does a 14 year old boy want other than MORE video games?  What do you buy for your Mom and Dad?  If they are like mine, they always say not to get them anything.

My brothers and I decided many years ago that we would not buy an unneeded and (probably) unwanted gift.  We choose a charity that would appeal to my parents’ sensibilities.  Each year we donate in their name.

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How to Choose a Worthy Charity

Consumer Reports magazine did a report on charities.  There are a lot of scammers out there in the world of charities.  Do a little research before you settle on a particular cause.  Find a legitimate charity.  The bulk of your donation should go to the actual cause and not to administrative fees and scams.  You can check with one of three web sites recommended by Consumer Reports.  These sites will tell you where your donation will do the most good.  They are:  www.give.org  which is run by The Better Business Bureau.  Other choices are  www.charitynavigator.org and www.charitywatch.org.

I did a little research and was interested to discover that Boys and Girls Clubs of America is a recommended charity.  Big Brothers, Big Sisters is not.  Just because you have heard of a particular charity does not mean it is necessarily a good investment.

We always choose something a little political or environmental for my parents.   I choose an animal related charity like Heifer International  for my grandchildren.  Part of the fun of giving to charity in someone else’s name is the search for just the right charitable opportunity.

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Editor’s Note: We originally published  this post in November 2015 and we have updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.