Created by Cassandra777
How are YOU going to give back this holiday season?
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F / Canada
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Posted 12/3/09
On any given year it's important to be generous around the holidays, but even moreso this year due to the global recession.

And there's usually a Catch 22 for charities in the midst of an economic downturn: when more people need help, fewer are left to help them. In my area alone, food banks have seen a staggering 25% increase in demand coupled with a 30% decrease in supply. Yikes!

So I'm curious to hear what others will be doing this year to "give back" to the community. Let's spread the Christmas cheer!

Myself, I will be buying groceries for single moms in my neighbourhood (I was raised by a single mom so I know how tough it can be around the holidays). I will also be donating to World Vision. They have an awesome Christmas catalogue where you can buy gifts for your friends or family (you can donate stuff like goats, chickens, and clean water on their behalf). I'll most likely also throw in a few random acts of kindness, like paying for people's drink orders at a Starbucks drive-through, etc.

What are your plans? Do you have a charitable tradition that you do every year? Are you planning on trying something new this year? What's the most creative or impactive way you have given back?
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25 / M / Vancouver, B.C.
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Posted 12/3/09
First off, it's not "important" to be generous around the holidays, as several people in world don't celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. You're probably believing that just because it's the holidays, you feel like it's a mandatory duty to help people in need. While it is morally right to give to those in need, it's not prudent to just give to those in need just because it's the holiday season.

Did the homeless, orphaned, amputated people in the world vanish until it's time for you to shop for Christmas gifts? People who only donate to the needy or only think about the needy when they go off and indulge themselves are self-righteous. What's the point of helping them once a year? It's like adopting an orphan for a week and then returning them, they'd be better off without your "charity."

So to answer your question, my plans are the same every year, regardless of what month it is, and that is to volunteer at a soup kitchen 2 times a month. As well as donating non-perishable foods to the food bank once a month, and I send unused clothes to the Salvation Army / Big Brothers charities every 3 months or so. I have no illusions that this is a creative or impactful* means to help the lives of the less fortunate. However small the part I'm doing though, I'm doing it with at least half-a thought of genuine consideration. Unlike those who "give back" just because they feel it's necessary on the holidays.


*(yes, this is a non-existent word, but I believe it's a technicality. Oxford's going to accept it sooner or later.)
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Posted 12/3/09
It's wonderful that you give back to your community year round, rivalend! So do I.

However, not everyone does. It IS still important to be generous around the holidays. In many parts of the world, it gets a whole lot colder and those in need become more vulnerable. I find that people get so wrapped up in the materialism of the holidays, that they need to be encouraged to look to the less fortunate. Oftentimes, if someone can use the season as an 'excuse' to volunteer, they will feel more motivated to continue on with helping others throughout the year. (That's what happened to me; I first volunteered at a soup kitchen when I was 14 at Christmas and have been doing it year round ever since)

And my thoughts are, even if someone is 'only generous once a year', at least that's one more donation going towards the homeless, orphaned, and amputated people of the world.

At least for me, I can say that I don't give back 'just because' it's the holidays. I have sincere motives and genuine consideration, and I'm glad you do, too. However, I'm not going to judge others who do give just because it's Christmas. At least they are giving. All I can do is hope that something will change inside of them as they give to motivate them to continue on giving, regardless of circumstance or season.
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19 / F / Los Angeles
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Posted 12/3/09
Who cares..
I'm probably just going to give my friends presents..
Mabey, since for 10 years I've been giving them gifts and I never get anything..
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24 / M / Willowbrook, IL
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Posted 12/3/09
I just make people, even random people happy by being myself and acting retarded so that they can laugh at me,
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29 / M / Arizona
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Posted 12/3/09
I have to admit it, I don't give much. I would not say I am dead inside, but very jaded. So many times when you donate you don't really know how much of your money actually goes to the people who need it or how much gets siphoned off by the blood suckers that tend to infest non-profit organizations. Its really hard to say. I prefer things like food drives, at least you can be mostly sure about that kind of thing.
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M / Canada
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Posted 12/3/09
I don't give back.. I always tell other people that "it's better to give than to receive.."
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