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Giving Gifts

What is a gift?  A gift is something we give from our hearts.  We may give it to someone we know, a family member, one of our children, a co-worker - or we may give it to a total stranger, a beggar on the street, a victim of a natural disaster, a refugee from war, an orphaned child, or a victim of AIDS.

Expert Gifter
Sometimes we want to give, but we don't know how.  How do we give to a homeless person in our home town?   How do we give to an orphan in a foreign country?  Can we give a personalized gift such as a blanket or food?  Is giving money to non-profit organizations going to get the needed goods to the people in need?  How do we know if an organization is legitimate and will truly give our gifts to the needy?  Read on to become an Expert Gifter.

 

Symbol of Gender Harmony - Through the Child the Parents Are Unified
Giving from the Heart



Special Groups In Need:

In-Kind Gifts

Fortunately, the Internet has a lot of useful information to help us select appropriate gifts for someone we know or someone in need that we've never met.  Although most non-profit organizations prefer cash donations and many decline non-cash gifts, we have identified many non-profit organization with websites that can receive our gifts and find a way of giving them to persons in need.  Many of these organizations also offer wish lists of items that are needed to serve the targeted recipients and also supplies or equipment to help operate the organization.  These items may be identified by different terms such as a gift in kind, gift-in-kind, GIK, material gift,  material donation, non-cash gift or in-kind gift.  

Whatever it's called, it is something we personally selected, made, collected or purchased, often with sentimental value, to give to someone in need.  Although it's the thought that counts, we also want to make sure that it's more than that to the person in need.  Most of the wish list items are included in the Gifts Directory which links to online stores.  Use the Gifts Directory as a handy price-comparison reference for your gift purchase shopping from major marketplaces and brands. 

 

Charity Giving for Special People is Personal...

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Giving Resources

There are many persons in need in just about every corner of the world, including wealthy countries like the USA.  We often think of people in need during the cold winter months, but fail to consider their needs throughout each season of the year.  There are also a number of websites with helpful Giving Resources and gift selection guidance for various need categories as listed below.  Through these portals, we don't have to identify a particular person, nor does the recipient have to know who we are.  All we have to do is buy gifts or select material goods in our possession, or excess products from our company, and ship them to the Giving Resources with appropriate instructions or sentiments. 

We can optionally include a personal message or label that we attach to our gifts.  In many cases, the personal sentiment may mean more to the recipient than the gift itself.  As said above, a gift is something we give from our hearts.  Shipping goods to distant areas or foreign countries may cost a lot of money; this is why we need to carefully review the guidance provided by the Giving Resources. 

Donor's Choice

As gift donors, the choice is ours! We may send material gifts, money or both!  Before we start buying or collecting materials to donate, we should make contact with the intended recipient organizations to make sure that the products are needed and can be handled as shipped.  A good set of guidelines on in-kind or material donations is presented by the American Council for Voluntary International Action at Interaction.org.  Many local charities will be glad to talk with us about our intended donations and what is needed in the community.  The local phone book lists many charities and we can also use the new Google "Local" search tool for charities in a particular city or ZIP code.

 

For large corporations, giving excess products may reduce inventory costs as well as help a lot of people in need, as long as the products are routed carefully to the right targets.  Most of the organizations listed will be glad to discuss our preferences and sentiments by phone or e-mail for both individual donors and large corporations.  Click on one of the special needy groups listed below to see the types of gifts that are generally recommended for people in need based on the specific category.  Each listed site will also identify specialized organizations or Giving Resources that can handle our gifts and make sure they get to the intended persons.

Thoughts About Giving: It is when you give of yourself that you truly give -- Thomas Fuller

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