Holiday Challenge

Hi All!

I wanted to post up a tiny little Holiday challenge for us to look at and think about.

Here in the United States, it is definitely now Food drive and Toy drive time.  It seems I can donate just about everywhere I go.

As usual this year, I am focusing on high demand foods and toys that either promote reading or physical fitness.

High Demand foods include:  Baby foods, infant formula, peanut butter, soups, tuna and other high protein foods.  I also like to remind people to consider donating low-sugar or no sugar items for diabetics.

I always add in a pound of coffee.  Can you imagine not having a cup of your favorite beverage in the morning?  I know, it’s not a food stuff really, but…I just feel like it might make someone a little more perky.

This year, I have been shopping all year for the children.   I scored big in June when Barbie brand Barbies were on sale at Target for 3.00 a Barbie.  So lots of Barbies…not really educational.  To make up for that I have been buying jumpropes, books for various ages, crayons (when they were on sale for back to school I snagged extra boxes for Xmas), and balls.  I found today that I can get a Basketball, full sized for in or outdoor courts for 4.00 at Target.  Not bad.

So I challenge all of you to give something of yourself this season, it might be material goods, like a can of sardines, or a new soccer ball for a child, Or you could be planning on donating your time.

Let me know what your plans are!  and Happy Holidays!



13 thoughts on “Holiday Challenge

  1. Emmy says:

    Great reminder, thank you. I have a ton of tag sale stuff that’s just sitting downstairs, annoying me. I am sure some of that stuff can find a good home around here. We live in a very poverty stricken town.

    Can I ask your advice? When Hurricane Katrina hit, there was a benefit for musicians in New Orleans who lost their musical instruments. I told my boyfriend I was going to donate my guitar. His response: “you’re probably better off driving down there and just handing it to someone”. I hate to sound cynical but I think he has a point: aside from soup kitchens, do you think that most material goods are better off just being handed to people? I don’t trust many organizations these days, even if they’re honest it just seems like there’s too much red tape.

    • I really think it all depends on who you donate to and how. Last year when I was buying citrus from my local grower they offerred 10% off your order if you donated a toy. I found out that the toys they collected were all going to their local church and to families that had been selected out of the congregation. I’m pretty sure that worked out well. Another year when I was in school we called a local Catholic church and asked about newly arrived families, and adopted one for the holidays.
      I think when you start getting involved in some of the bigger programs, it can get to be a little strange, but in general I do think that Second Harvest Food bank and such don’t have too too much red tape to process through canned food items, plus with their size they can help redistribute goods so that tey are evenly distributed- plus Second harvest works with large supermarket chains to get bulk foods for the food bank, so that less food is wasted by the chains and mroe of it gets to people. Sure it’s often closer to the Expiration date, but it’s going to be eaten quickly, so the supermarket looks good for donating, less food is wasted and people get fed.

      Most of the food and toys collected around here go local…so I feel good about it. once you start getting into shipping things across the country I think more and more red tape gets involved.

  2. I buy throughout the year with the seasonal food drives on my mind. I gave everything I collected this year to the United States Postal Service’s canned food drive. I will continue to keep the various canned food drives in mind as I’m grocery shopping in the next couple of weeks.

    I, too, have a pretty good sized ‘donation’ pile going. I keep intending to call the local Thrift store and have them come pick it up when they are in the area doing their regular routes. I’ve already missed November’s pick-up day. I should just throw it all in the back of my car and take it to the donation center.

    I’ve always wanted to participate in adopting a Salvation Army Angel…..but they have so many rules in place that a person can’t just walk up and buy what they can. They tell you that you have to spend a minimum of X and don’t go over Y. Bicycles aren’t good because if one sibling gets a bicycle then all of the siblings should get a bicycle. Too many strings attached so we don’t bother. (I know that is an awful way to be but we just can’t spend $50 or more.) We did the Operation Christmas Child one year but haven’t done it again.

    I’m all about giving to the people that aren’t as well off as we are. Especially the children. They have no control over their environment or who their parent’s are. I will find a way to give back this year. I will.

    • I think donating to “Toys for Tots” is the easiest. I like the Angel child program except that there really are several specific items asked for and I think I’d rather choose.

      This year I have tried to be sensitive that many children may be living in shelters, or moving between relatives homes, so games with lots of little parts may not be the best, So I’ve been buying a lot of the 0.77 cent hotwheels cars as well…they fit in a pocket and I’ve never known a boy or girl that didn’t enjoy playing with one.

  3. aubrey says:

    In addition, I always send a box of toys to the local humane society. But I really think they’d find blankets and food more useful – so that’s what I’ll be giving to them this year.

    • Great Idea! I always take towels to my local vet ( we get tons of lost ones at the gym never to be picked up again.) I should take some to the shelter, or some of the local rescue orgs. Thanks!

  4. We donate to Care Australia each year – this year we are thinking of covering the cost of a school desk and chair for a child. Last year we paid for a water filter. Little things that can mean a lot.

    I admire your efforts, you are a fantastic example. Thank you for the motivation.

  5. From talking to some shelter users, I know that plus-size women’s clothes are desperately needed.

    And a surprising (to me), desperately desired, item is LUGGAGE. People in shelters need luggage to transport their clothes during the day (the woman I met was using tape to patch her trash bags – she was thrilled to receive a suitcase). Any luggage is good. Bonus points if it has wheels.

    • I never would have thought of Luggage. but yes, If you are having to transport everything you own….luggage, especially with wheels is a great idea. thanks leendadll!!!!

  6. I donate to women’s shelters and they usually have underwear on the top of their list – and old mobile phones. At work we do a toy drive for a Street People’s association – I am one of the elves – it’s fun and worthwhile.

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