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Gifts That Give Back

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday shopping spree is in full force. It’s easy for pressure to mount as you strive to find the “perfect gift” for everyone on your list while balancing holiday parties, decorating, and, you know, the usual work, home, and family responsibilities.

This is the season of giving, after all, and there are a lot of organizations that need help at this time of year as they strive to make the holidays joyous for those who don’t have as much.
If you’re trying to find a balance between giving to family and friends and giving to those in need within the confines of your budget and ability, consider doing both of those things at once. Here are a few ways to give and give back at the same time.

Buy From Your Friends
Many people have their own side businesses in network marketing or on Etsy, for example. Before you hit the big stores, try shopping with your friends. You might find beautiful crafts and artwork, cookware, baby products, candles, food gifts, and more. Your purchase gives your friends more income during the holiday season, and you find unique gifts for the special people in your life.

Buy From Artisans Around the World
World Crafts and Ten Thousand Villages are just two organizations that let you shop for unique craft items made by people around the world. Your purchase supports them and their families, and you can give a one-of-a-kind item to your friends.

Give to a Charity in a Friend’s Name
Instead of struggling think of a product to give a friend who maybe doesn’t need or want much this year, give to a charity in the friend’s name. Here are a few organizations who would appreciate the support:

Heifer International: You can help fund a project or donate an animal, like a goat or water buffalo, to a family in need. These animals give the family a source of income and can change their lives for years to come. If you can’t afford to give the entire animal, you can donate an amount you’re comfortable with that will go toward an animal.

Kiva: These micro-loans are truly a gift that keeps giving. Browse the list of entrepreneurs from all over the world; your donation is made in the form of a loan that the entrepreneur uses to start or grow a business. The loan is paid back over time, and the lender can re-loan the money to another entrepreneur. Loan amounts start at $25. This is fun to do with your children, as they can help choose an entrepreneur who has a business they’re interested in.

Action Against Hunger: This organization works to save malnourished children and provide food, clean water, training, and healthcare to communities in need. You can give a one-time donation or set up a recurring monthly donation in your gift recipient’s name.

• Adopt a Family: Your local Chamber of Commerce, church, or other business might have set up a giving tree or an adopt-a-family program for the holidays. In these programs, you can provide food and gifts to create a special holiday for a family in need. If you personally know such a family, you can organize your own giving program by talking with neighbors and coming together to supply meals, clothing, and some surprises.

• No-Kill Animal Shelters: You probably don’t want to adopt a pet for a friend, but you can give to the animal shelter in your animal-loving friend’s name. These donations help feed the animals and provide necessary vaccinations and medical care until the animal can be adopted.

At Brandywine Homes, we believe in community, and there’s no better way to build it and nurture it than by giving. This holiday season, consider how your gifts can make the most impact. Touch the lives of your own friends and family members by getting them involved in a greater cause, and change a stranger’s life forever, with a donation to your or your friend’s favorite charity. If you have any questions or ideas, please contact us.