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The Magic of Giving

Have you experienced the Magic of Giving?  When you contribute your time and/or resources to a cause you believe in, something magical happens, your own spirits become lifted in the process.  Contributing to others helps instill a greater sense of gratitude in our own hearts.  Whether your contribution is listening to a friend in need, taking the time to give a friendly smile to someone we notice who looks down, or contributing to a more formal charitable cause, giving back changes things for both the receiver and the giver.  It reminds us that life is precious, that we are all connected, and that each choice we make matters.

Here are a few ideas of great organizations that could use your support.  If you have any other suggestions for Charitable Giving, feel free to send us an email.  It is our mission to keep a growing list of great organizations in need of funding and volunteers.

BOYS IN THE CONGO
Another organization that does amazing work rescuing boys from being stolen by the military in the Congo is Falling Whistles.  They sell beautiful whistles on a chain as a symbol of “blowing the whistle” on an insidious practice where gorilla militia steals  young boys from their homes.  These boys are enslaved into military service.  This whistle provides an opportunity for you to talk to the boys on your gift list about gratitude, helps instill the value of giving back and offers an opportunity to learn about different cultures and life circumstances.
http://www.fallingwhistles.com/about/

ANIMAL WELFARE
World Wildlife Fund has a great adoption program which allows you to choose the animal you would like to “adopt” and you receive a stuffed animal representing your adoptee.  It is a great way to talk to kids about the idea of making a difference through giving.
http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/default.aspx?sc=AWY1100WCW00

Critter Pass Ranch is an amazing place with an amazing story.  Claire and Ron Pass have dedicated their life and their financial resources to saving animals.  They work tirelessly to care for their ranch and their 3 little boys.  (They have an amazing story as well).  While you don’t get a specific present when you adopt through Critter Pass Ranch, your money is immediately put to good use by a family dedicating their lives to a cause they believe in.

I know Claire and her boys personally and vouch for her honesty, and integrity and can tell you with absolute certainty that they will treasure any gifts that you are able to give.
http://www.savethecritters.org/sponsorus.htm

How about adopting a Gorilla?  You get an adoption certificate and other items depending upon your level of sponsorship.  The first link takes you to the adoption page.  The second link is for a kids gift that you can give with your sponsored adoption.  What a great Holiday Gift Idea!
http://gorillafund.org/page.aspx?pid=280
https://gorillafund.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1071

Have you considered adopting a seal?  Here is a great adoption package for a special child on your list.
https://secure3.convio.net/tmmc/site/Ecommerce/935284426?VIEW_PRODUCT=true&product_id=1901&store_id=1241

General Animal Welfare organization which helps prevent animal cruelty.
http://awionline.org/

How about a membership to an organization that helps promote the preservation of wildlife and endangered species?  Locally we have the San Diego Safari Park.  I personally have had a bit of a bias against promoting organizations who which keep animals in enclosures.  Visions of poachers stealing baby animals from their mothers to put behind bars has haunted my enjoyment of zoo type establishments!

The San Diego Wild Animal Park has definitely helped shift my perspective.  They are dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and their animals are born on site or rescued.  They do an amazing job caring for and creating a natural habitat for their animals and reintroducing them back to the wild when appropriate and possible.  Memberships help fund their research and their work.
http://www.sdzsafaripark.org

FAMILIES IN NEED – Giving to children and families in need is another way to help teach your kids the value of giving back.  Following are several organizations that seem to have great programs where as a family unit you can make a choice regarding how you would like to give to someone during the holidays, and during other times of the year.

https://www.alternativegifts.org/projects/
http://www.projecthawaii.net/
http://www.wish.org/
http://www.familygivingtree.org/
http://www.toysfortots.org/
http://www.irusa.org/programs/

Child Find – Its Mission is to bring missing children home.  There is an organization that creates wonderful little angel dolls called Custard ‘N Jelly which you can give to the special little girls in your life symbolizing a special guardian angel watching over them.  A portion of the proceeds is donated to Child Find.  Why not donate directly to the organization and purchase an angel doll as a symbol of your donation and prayers for the missing kids finding their way home.

http://www.childfindofamerica.org/

HELPING THE ELDERLY – The Singer Institute is an organization dedicated to visiting the forgotten elderly in a midwest community where I grew up.  They attract amazing volunteers and run on a very small budget.  They give of their time to a segment of the population that is shut away in nursing homes.  Many without family visitors.  They would appreciate anything that you would like to give.
http://www.seniorconnections-stl.org

This is but a small sampling of the wonderful organizations out there dedicated to making the world a better place.  Please feel free to send an email with your favorite charities.  When giving you open your heart.  And to live life with an open heart is one of the most precious gifts of being human.

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