Christmas Cheer!

Hello Everyone. As the weather cools down the shopping season is heating up. This weekend my family and I began the “what do you want” questioneering process, only to find that we weren’t that into it.

Something has changed for us and, thanks to the brilliant and kind heart of my brother Spencer, we are foregoing all but the mightiest of gifts in favor of our favorite charities.

So, without further ado, I let him explain in his own words. The email I just received:


Hey Everyone, Greetings and Happily Holidays to all.  I hope everyone is doing well and is looking forward to a great holiday and new year experience.  So this email is concerning all that time, energy, and money spent on finding gifts for that loved one.  This year I want our gifts to be simple, so I say we follow the ABC’s of giving.

A) ltruism: Donate money to a charity of your recipients choice.
B) uilds: Build, make, craft, design, or paint something for that loved one.
C) hange: Give change or other unwanted items to the homeless, organizations, etc.

Many well-thought out gifts can be rewarding and long lasting, yet instead of wasting money and time looking for excessive gifts and material items, we donate money to the charities of our choice.  This way the money we spend is going to something worthwhile and it has a connection to each and every person.  So if you really need something then that is fine, but otherwise donate to a good cause.  Here is a list of the people’s charity of preference and various charity organizations. Tis’ the season of giving and receiving to our loved ones everywhere!

Stevie:          American Farmland Trust, NPR, Wikipedia
Shawn:        The Salvation Army, Greenpeace, Toys for Tots
Spencer:      Heifer International, Kiva, Unicef,BUSODA
Mama:         ? need info
Papa:          ? need info
Krystal:       Busoda (Krystal’s Uganda Non-Profit), World Vision
Amy:          Atlas Corps, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association

Poverty &
Red Cross : the American Red Cross has been the nation’s premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters.
World Vision : The focus of the World Vision (WV) organization is divided into five major areas: emergency relief, education, health care, economic development, and promotion of justice.
The Salvation Army : is a prominent non-governmental relief agency and is usually among the first to arrive with help after natural or man-made disasters. They have worked to alleviate suffering and help people rebuild their lives. 83 cents to every dollar you donate goes directly to support social services around your area.
Habitat for Humanity : an international, Christian, non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to building “simple, decent, and affordable” housing. Homes are built using volunteer labor and are sold at no profit.
Doctors Without Borders : an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.
Care : a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.
Heifer International : provides gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially-disadvantaged families around the world.
Oxfam International : works directly with communities and we seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.
Kiva : world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.
Goodwill : helps people earn a living, improve their lives, and strengthen their families and their communities.
Alzheimer’s Association Our Mission: To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Busoda: A local non-profit human rights organization located in Uganda that holistically helps orphans and other vulnerable children by sponsoring the child: education, hunger relief, nutrition, HIV/AIDS education.
Toys for Tots : The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located.
Unicef : United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II.
Save the Children : independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world.
Feed the Children : delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty, or natural disaster.
Compassion : a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

American Farmland Trust : helps farmers and ranchers protect their land, produce a healthier environment and build successful communities.
Greenpeace : a non-governmental organization for the protection and conservation of the environment. Greenpeace uses direct action, lobbying and research to achieve its goals.
Friends of the Earth : focuses on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives.
Earth Island Institute : grassroots campaigns dedicated to conserving, preserving, and restoring the ecosystems on which our civilization depends.
The Nature Conservancy : the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.
Rare Conservation : We train and support leaders from the world’s top environmental organizations, local grassroots groups, and governments – all of which are increasingly aware that failure to create support at the community level reduces the chance of conservation success.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Pollution and other harmful activities degrade the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) fights for strong and effective laws and regulations.

National Public Radio (NPR) : a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to 797 public radio stations in the United States.
Wikipedia : a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s 14 million articles (3.1 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site
KCRW : a community service of Santa Monica College, is Southern California’s leading National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, featuring an eclectic mix of music, news and arts programming.
Atlas Corps: an international citizen sector organization that identifies mid-career CSO leaders from the global south to volunteer for one year in the US to learn best practices, share unique perspectives and return home to strengthen the global citizen sector.

Comprehensive Charity Information
Top Rated Charities
Charity Guide
America’s Charities
IRS Tax Deductible Charities
Just Give
Charity Watch
Charity Navigator

General Information
World Health Organization
United Nations
World Bank
International Monetary Fund
World Trade Organization
Food and Agriculture Org
CIA World Factbook