Nov 29, 2010

Obsessed with junk

I must admit, I am completely obsessed with having things. My husband knows that the week I say "Oh man, I have so many shoes, why do I keep buying them?!", will be the week that I bring home a new pair. He laughs. I despair at the inability to find space to cram things.

When we first moved - we had nothing with us, just whatever John could fit in our car. Myself - whatever I could fit in my suitcase. Oddly enough, of all things I brought with me were 3 (unmatched)spoons, a couple of forks, and a spatula. It's like I grabbed random stuff from the kitchen and ran out the door with my child under my arm. But our apartment was barren, empty, echoey and clean. Honestly, how much stuff do we need? Why do I have the never-ending compulsion to get more?!
Anyway, the reason this frustrated venting came out today is because of me succumbing to the drone of TV ads and internet alike about all the new deals I could get Christmas shopping. So I am already stressing over the gifts, what to get for whom this year. Most of my family members are just like me - have everything and usually two of each. I always wonder how would they feel if I bought a charitable donation in their name, instead of giving them yet another piece of crap they will toss somewhere and forget it.

So, I took a liberty of researching some of the crap-less opportunities to give gifts these year. They are also magical. In a way that one gift benefits more than one person.
How great is our god - gives some information about UNICEF and ways you could help the needy.
Drawn from Water - ran by an Ethiopian orphanage, and there are always awesome opportunities to donate or even sponsor a child.
Samaritan's purse - as I have mentioned in my older post, this is a great way to not only do some good, but to involve your whole family in this project.
Place called simplicity - ran a "Shopping with a purpose" blog sharing day, where you can visit one of dozens of bloggers who create and sell items in order to either raise money for adoption costs for themselves, or other organizations. If you had a chance to help give a child a family, seriously, is that not worth it for 5, 10 or 20 bucks?
Beth's Girls - help send a child in Zambia to school. A charitable organization in memory of Elizabeth Rachel Bowers, a Peace Corp volunteer, who died in a tragic accident in Zambia.

Those are just a few examples. The ultimate decision to give, and to whom lies with all of us individually. Please don't be afraid to research the organization that you are donating from. A good way to do it is through:
Charity Navigator
eHow - legitimate charity?

Ill be updating this list with more links to come. There isn't a shortage of ways, places, charities, and sites to donate or buy from. I am still, very curious, if any of you (my non-existent readers) have given to charity as a gift to someone else.
What was their reaction? Were they grateful, or were you no longer invited to holiday gatherings?


Kim Foo Young said...

hey banana - this is a great list! i think the reactions always depend on the person. some people are thrilled to use their gift as a benefit to someone else, while others are offended. someone i know was telling me how someone in their family was specifically asking instead of gifts for donations to be made to organizations (because they had all they needed) and how everyone thought that was rude. well. to each their own. some people are offended at anything ha.

Catalina said...

I read up on that some more and see that generally people tend to view such gifts as insulting, which I don't understand to be honest. Not saying it's wrong to feel that way, I'm just confused. I mean, the giver is the one who picks out what to give the person. We are not angry (generally) at someone giving us a useless or really bad gift. Its not like we PAY for the gift anyway - why be mad if someone chose to donate on your behalf. I dunno, I guess I just don't get why people would be offended. Although, I can also see if I donated to a cause that they don't agree with, then it would be a different story.


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