After a weekend of indulging in food, family, friends, and shopping, it’s time to think about gifts that give back on Giving Tuesday. This unconventional way of gifting shifts the focus away from stuff in favor of helping others in your community, in other areas of the country, and around the world. There’s no time like the present to have these important conversations with your kids as you teach them about the importance of giving and inspire giving at every age.
9 Easy Ways for Your Family to Give Back on Giving Tuesday and Beyond
Here are easy ways you can give back on Giving Tuesday and beyond in support of animals, education, and children here in the United States and around the world.
3 Ways Animal Loving Families Can Give Back on Giving Tuesday
If you love animals, consider donating to:
Heifer International is an incredible organization that has a long history of empowering families to achieve sustainable income through animals. Donations as small as $20 can purchase a flock of ducks, chicks, or geese whose eggs are not only a source of great protein for the family but can be sold at a market for money that is used to send children to school, and provide proper housing, water, hygiene and other essential resources. Every year around this time our kids look at the Heifer catalog that comes in the mail or online to figure out what gift of animals they want to give to others. This year Thomas selected the Hope Basket of chicks and rabbits ($50) and Emily chose to give a Trio of Rabbits ($60). Our total family donation was matched by Heifer International, doubling our family’s impact.
Save Elephant Foundation— A few summers ago our family volunteered at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand and got to see the work that Save Elephant Foundation is doing to preserve the population of 30,000 elephants left on our planet. Save Elephant Foundation rescues elephants who have been hurt because of logging, victims of landmine explosions, and subjected through elephant tourism like trekking, begging, and street performing. A donation to Save Elephant Foundation aids their important ongoing work that provides a safe home with the best veterinary care and chain-free enclosures so elephants can live a happy life.
Your local animal shelter— There are wonderful animals near you looking for a forever home. Monetary donations help staff at your local animal shelter buy needed supplies for pets waiting for their forever home but you can also donate used towels, sheets, tennis balls, and other items that your family no longer needs to benefit the animals. Visit the website of your local shelter to see what might be needed or give them a call! I know they’d love to hear from you!
3 Ways Families with a Passion for Education can Give Back on Giving Tuesday
If you’re passionate about education, support learning with a donation to:
DonorsChoose.org— According to Education Market Association, 99.5% of public teachers spend their own money to equip their classrooms. DonorsChoose.org is a charity that connects teachers in communities with donors who want to help. Teachers request funding for classroom materials that aren’t provided by the school and fall outside their personal budget, individuals find and fund projects, and teachers obtain necessary supplies for classroom instruction. Visit DonorsChoose.org to see what projects teachers need help funding in your area and make a donation since every amount helps!
HaitiProjects.org— Pummeled by Hurricane Matthew in September 2016, the town of Fond des Blancs continues rebuilding efforts. Haiti Projects is building and launching an off-the-grid state of the art Maker Library that will include books, computers and internet access for hundreds of kids, and a laboratory for incubating ideas, innovation, and fabrication. The mechanical and electronic fabrication library will provide the community to access to tools, machines, and a maker community so residents can learn skills, design, and be able to build anything. Empowering Haitians through knowledge and skills has been critical and a donation to Haiti Projects will help helping Haiti rebuild. A couple years ago I traveled Haiti to work with Haiti Projects to design educational initiatives for women and girls and shared my experience through a series of blog posts.
Malala Fund— There are more than 130 million girls out of school today and Malala wants to reach the most vulnerable girls who are denied an education. The Malala Fund supports girls in refugee camps, girls living in poverty, and girls afraid to go to school because of gender-based violence and aims to provide girls in the most vulnerable communities a chance to learn.
3 Ways Families Can Give Back to Kids Around the World on Giving Tuesday
If you care deeply about kids, these are my three favorite organizations that do incredible work for children here and around the world:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital— In 2016 I traveled to Memphis to tour St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and my visit was life changing. I was impressed with their mission of treating and finding cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases but also the incredible care they take of kids and families being treated. St. Jude is a place where parents never have to pay for treatment, food, or housing during their stay. St. Jude believes that parents should focus on what matters most- helping children live.
I expected my visit to be filled with sadness and instead, the parents I met made me realize that St. Jude is a place that provides hope. I realized that as a healthy mom of 2 healthy kids that I wanted to help St. Jude kids and families because if my own kids were to ever get sick, I’d want them to be taken care of in a way that St. Jude cares for families.
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This is why in non-COVID years, I spend the first weekend in December running the St. Jude Memphis Marathon as a St. Jude Hero. As a Hero, it’s my mission to run and raise money in support of St. Jude kids and families so other parents can focus on their own kids. Help me help St. Jude families by donating any amount to my St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend race.
Shot@Life— The topic of vaccines is a controversial one in the United States for many reasons but what if you lived in a country that had a high mortality rate for children where access to vaccines would prevent deadly and disabling diseases like polio, pneumonia, measles, and diarrhea? The truth is, 1 in 5 children around the world don’t have access to the same vaccines we do in the United States and every 20 seconds (or approximately 1.5 million children a year) die from a vaccine preventable disease. A $20 donation to Shot@Life protects a child for life from polio, pneumonia, measles, and diarrhea and is an investment in a healthier world.
Save the Children— With the belief that every child deserves a future, Save the Children works in the United States and around the world to give children a healthy start in life as well as the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. They are always dedicated to doing what it takes for children on a daily basis as well as during times of crisis. One of the best ways to make a lasting impact with your Save the Children donation is to sponsor a child. Sponsoring a child for less than $1 a day helps provide nutrition and health and also supports their child development and education.
Wondering how to teach your kids about giving? These past Giving Tuesday posts of mine can help!
- Giving Tuesday for Families: 4 Things Parents Should Know
- How to Inspire Giving at Every Age on #GivingTuesday and Beyond
- 6 Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids to Give on #GivingTuesday & Throughout the Year
2021 Holiday Gift Guides
AGE APPROPRIATE GIFT GUIDES
- Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Early Elementary Ages (grades K-2, ages 5-8)
- Tweens (ages 9-12)
- Teens (ages 13+)
SPECIALTY GIFT GUIDES:
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-tween)
- Best Age Appropriate Advent Calendars for Kids
- Fair Trade Holiday Gifts
- Gifts for Unplugged Family Fun
- Gifts for Teachers
- Gifts for People Who Love Their Dogs (inspired by Goldie, of course)
In case you wanted to start making your shopping lists now, here’s a look at last year’s gift guides that are full of great ideas:
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Gifts for Teachers (from the perspective of a former teacher, with input from current teachers)
- Best Gifts for Unplugged Fun
- Gifts for Outdoor Adventures
- Gifts for Gadget Lovers
- Best Subscriptions for All Ages
- Gifts that Give Back
- Must-Have Gifts to Level Up Your Home Office
- 9 Gifts that Make it Easy for Families to Give Back
This post is inspired by our family’s support of these organizations throughout the year. We personally donate to Heifer International and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital annually as well as other non-profit organizations and causes not on this list. Samples were received to facilitate reviews of items featured in gift guide posts and affiliate links are included. No compensation was received for any of my gift guide posts and all opinions are my own.