Founded by Danny Thomas over a half century ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a treatment and research facility located in Memphis, Tennessee. St. Jude’s mission is beyond commendable: to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. No child is denied treatment based on race, religion, or a family’s ability to pay. Not only do patients’ families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, they also don’t have to pay for lodging, travel, or food. On top of that, treatments invented at St. Jude have helped increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to over 80%. Incredible!!
If you’re feeling some warm fuzzies about this amazing organization and want to help, there are several ways you can get involved this holiday season.
Make an Honourary Donation
For a unique gift this Christmas, make a donation in honour of a loved one. With your donation, St. Jude offers a variety of cards to bid festive tidings to the honouree, as well as let them know about your honourary donation. You can select between ecards, mailable cards, or print-at-home cards.
Did you know that a donation of $69 could fund a St. Jude child’s platelet count test? Or a donation of $30 could fund meals for a St. Jude family for an entire day?
Decorate the St. Jude Tree
Send a holiday greeting or a message of love & hope to the children and families at St. Jude by customizing a Christmas ornament and placing it on their interactive tree.
Select a ball ornament, angel, elf, or candy cane [designed by a St. Jude patient!] and write a sweet message to go along with your ornament. After “hanging” your ornament, you have the option to also make a donation to St. Jude.
Donate through St. Jude’s Partners
A multitude of companies—such as Delta, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Melting Pot—have teamed up with St. Jude to help raise even more money to provide treatment for ill children. Some of these companies offer specialized merchandise to benefit St. Jude, while others allow you to donate when making a purchase online or in store. These programs have made a huge difference, as some companies, like Williams-Sonoma, have raised tens of millions of dollars for St. Jude! Visit the St. Jude website to find out how your favourite brand is involved.
If you want to simply give to St. Jude in order to help out this wonderful organization, you may easily donate online.
The winter months are chilly, but especially frigid for folks who don’t have the luxury of a cozy coat. One Warm Coat® has been collecting coats since 1992 and giving them to people in need. The organization has grown over the years and has given away nearly 4 million coats to date!
While that sounds like a lot of coats, there is indeed still a great need for more. The economic climate, unemployment, and natural disasters have contributed to the hardships that many people are facing. Did you know that 1 in 5 children live in poverty? That is a staggering number of children—not to mention families—that are experiencing hard times.
The good news is that there are several ways for you to get involved and help! If you have an extra coat or two in your closet, you can give it to someone who needs it. In addition to coats, One Warm Coat encourages donors to give any type of outerwear, such as sweaters, sweatshirts, hats, scarves, or mittens. And, for any crafters out there, you can donate a handmade scarf, mittens, or hat.
You can drop off your coats at any The Container Store location or go One Warm Coat’s website to locate a coat drive near you.
Want to do more to help?
Another way to get involved is to volunteer your time. One Warm Coat provides you with many resources to start your own coat drive and help you find an agency who will distribute the coats you collect. One Warm Coat provides you with a toolkit if you want to organize your own coat drive. Together, we can make a difference and spread the warmth of Christmas through the act of giving.
Established in 1992, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is devoted to helping find adoptive homes for children currently in foster care. Dave Thomas himself was adopted, so throughout his life, Dave spread the word about adoption and encouraged folks to consider foster care adoption. Unfortunately Dave passed away in 2002, but his legacy lives on with DTFA and Wendy’s. [Yep, Dave Thomas was also the founder of Wendy’s!]
There are many ways you can get involved with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, such as by donating money, starting a DTFA kickball team, or supporting them at Wendy’s. [Psst… most of the ways to support DTFA at Wendy’s involve a Frosty—yum!]
Another way you can get involved and learn more about adoption this month is to watch the CBS special “A Home for the Holidays.” Presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children’s Action Network, this show features heartwarming stories about adoptive families, along with performances from popular artists. The 16th annual “A Home for the Holidays” will include entertainment from Jennifer Hudson, Train, Earth Wind & Fire, Rixton, Katharine McPhee, Ashley Monroe, Dan & Shay, and Jillian Michaels. Tune in on Friday, 19 December at 9pm ET/PT to catch this uplifting television special. Perhaps watching this will become a new holiday tradition for you.
“A Home for the Holidays”
Friday, 19 December
One way you can give a meaningful present this holiday season is by giving a symbolic gift to a friend or family member. With Oxfam America Unwrapped, you can purchase a gift in honor of a loved one that will help someone else in need of basic supplies, education, or animals. The present itself is sent to someone else across in the world to help them support their family and community.
If you’re like us and love Christmas goats (such as the Gävlebocken), you might want to purchase a goat in honor of your best friend. The goat goes to someone else who needs it, and you can send your friend a card to let them know about the gift.
Goats are a great gift because they are hardy creatures, as they are drought-resistant and will eat just about anything. This is an important factor for people who live in areas without a lot of grass. Should you decide to give a pair of goats or a tribe of goats, your gift will have long term benefits since the goats can provide milk and offspring.
In addition to the various animal gifts, you can also give gifts of education, skill training, emergency supplies, or even basic necessities, such as soap. There are many other types of gifts to choose from, so check out Oxfam’s website to choose one that appeals to you. Your charitable gift will have a lasting impact on the lives of others.
When you think of the United Service Organizations [or USO], you may immediately think of USO tours, during which the USO sends entertainers to perform for American soldiers stationed around the world—from Japan to the Persian Gulf to the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Past performers include Bob Hope, Robin Williams, Lena Horne, Johnny Unitas, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Steve Martin, the Sesame Street crew, and many more.
While the USO tours are fantastic, the USO actually does so much more. The USO has been around since 1941, and the mission of this nonprofit is to “lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families.” From arranging USO tours to sending care packages to offering support with health issues to delivering prepaid international phone cards to the soldiers, the USO is succeeding in their mission.
One particular way you can help the USO brighten the troops’ spirits this Christmas is by donating so that they may send USO Holiday Boxes. Specifically for soldiers in remote locations who do not have access to traditional USO centres, these boxes contain holiday decorations, edible goodies, and more for 50 troops. The USO offers boxes for four different holidays, and the winter box includes:
- Snowflake decorations & holiday lights
- Seasonal greeting cards
- Holiday CDs & DVDs
- Popcorn, plus other holiday treats & candy
- Hand & feet warmers
- Holiday-scented air freshener
- New Year’s decorations
For more information on the holiday boxes, visit the USO website or contact a USO representative.
The holiday season is upon us, and while many of us are purchasing gifts for our friends and family, we can also spread the joy of Christmas to those who are experiencing hard times by donating presents, time, or resources to a charity. Today we highlight one particular charity that focuses on helping children.
Founded by Marines, Toys for Tots is a program that collects and distributes new toys to children who are less fortunate in local communities. Toys for Tots’ mission is to spread joy and instill hope in kids—through the gift of a new toy—thereby enabling them to become responsible and productive citizens.
How can you get involved?
Simply buy a new toy (or more!) and place it unwrapped in your nearest collection box. To find a toy drop in your area, you can use the toy drop locator. You can also take your toy(s) to one of these national drop-off sites: Toys R Us, Babies R Us, or A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts.
Toy collections run until mid to late December, but deadlines vary for each toy drop location. Be sure to check the date for the location nearest you.
2014 Drop-off Deadlines:
- Babies R Us – December 7th
- Toys R Us – December 7th
- A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts – December 15th
- Other local drop-offs – Contact your local Toys for Tots campaign.
If you would like to make a monetary donation, you can do so online at the Toys for Tots website.
During the holiday season when we are busy filling our tummies and our stockings, it’s also nice to fill someone else’s life with joy—especially those less fortunate.
Did you know that you can share the Christmas spirit with a child elsewhere in the world with a simple shoe box? Every year Samaritan’s Purse collects shoe boxes filled with gifts through its Operation Christmas Child program, and then sends the boxes to children in countries such as Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, South Sudan, and many others. The boxes travel by plane, boat, or even long-haired yak to make their way to remote villages and children who wouldn’t otherwise experience Christmas. Over the past two decades, Operation Christmas Child has delivered millions of gifts to children in more than 130 countries.
How can you get involved?
It’s easy! Get a shoe box [or small plastic container] and decide whether your gift will be for a boy or girl, as well as the age range. Fill the box with items such as small toys, stuffed animals, school supplies, hygiene items, hard candy, socks, and toy jewelry.
Include a $7 donation [or more!] to help cover shipping costs, and then drop the box off at your nearest collection centre during collection week [through 19 November]. If you would like to donate a box during another time, you can always send your shoe box to:
Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
To find out more information, visit the Operation Christmas Child website or give them a call at +1 828-262-1980.