Five Alternative Ways to Give this Holiday Season


2013-Wordpress---GivingTuesday‘Tis the season to shop ‘til you drop. And, many Central Floridians (especially those on the naughty list) are looking for ways to incorporate charity into their holiday traditions. Here are some easy ideas to give back while you’re making your list … and checking it twice.

1. #GivingTuesday. Black Friday … Cyber Monday … and now, Giving Tuesday. On Dec. 3, you can join in a national movement to kick off the giving season. Organize a project, spread the word by using #GivingTuesday or simply mark the occasion by, well, giving. You can donate to Heart of Florida United Way online at www.HFUW.org.

2. Buy One, Get One … Give One. B-O-G-O deals are great, but do you really need two of everything. Instead, consider buying one and giving one. The HFUW Gifts In-Kind Center stocks inventory and distributes to partner agencies to help keep overhead expenses as low as possible. Whether it’s food, baby products, office supplies or clothing, local nonprofits and schools can reap the rewards of your thrifty shopping.

3. Start A New Tradition By Volunteering. To give thanks and spread cheer to those less fortunate, consider gathering family and friends for a holiday party geared around volunteering. Ranging from sorting supplies to feeding a meal, there are many opportunities to roll up your sleeves. Browse HFUW’s Holiday Volunteer Guide to see what is on partner agencies “wish lists” this year.

4. Add One More to Your Shopping List. Some years, finding that perfect, meaningful gift for your loved one seems as impossible as searching for the Santa’s workshop. But, there are many children, families and seniors in our community with simple, defined wish lists. Items that frequent these lists include blankets, warm socks, coloring books, new clothing or under garments. Adopting an individual or family is easy and gratifying. Check out opportunities listed here.

5. Out With The Old. Clean out your closets and drawers to make room for new goodies. It’s also perfect timing to claim a deduction for donated items before the end of the year. Yet another incentive to recycle gently used items.

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