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Giving extra without extra effort

Five ways you can make your holiday dollar give as well as get

by Lylah M. Alphonse  |  2408 views  |  3 comments  |        Rate this now! 

We’re always looking for ways to get more for our money -- a great sale here, a price match there. But what if we could give as well as get at the same time, and without any (or with hardly any) extra effort? Yes, it’s possible! Here are a few ways to try:

1.) Donate your unused frequent flyer miles to charity. You can opt to make a kid’s wish come true by donating them to the Make A Wish Foundation, send an injured soldier home by donating to Operation Hero Miles or help transport American Red Cross volunteers to critical areas.

2.) Buy holiday cards that raise funds for special programs. The Jimmy Fund and UNICEF are annual favorites, but many smaller, local organizations offer cards as well.

3.) Buy your gifts at GoodShop.com. It’s an online mall with tried-and-true stores like Macy’s, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble, but the organization donates a portion of your purchase to your choice of more than 48,000 nonprofits, schools, and charitable causes. GreaterGood.com is another online shopping destination (without individual retailers) that channels a percentage of your purchase price into charitable donations.

4.) Shop at your favorite charity’s online store. Rosie’s Place, a Boston-based organization and shelter that helps poor and homeless women, has a great online boutique called The Women’s Craft Collective that’s stocked with one-of-a-kind jewelry, barrettes, and magnets that make great stocking stuffers. Proceeds go toward teaching employable skills to women in need.

5.) Give to several different charities without spending a cent. All you have to do is click at these special sites to fight hunger, fund breast-cancer research, support children’s healthcare initiatives, save the rainforests, promote literacy, help in animal-rescue efforts, or protect the environment.

These websites and companies have done all the hard work for us. Let's get giving!

Lylah M. Alphonse writes The 36-Hour Day, blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat., and is an editor at The Boston Globe.  Send her a note through her Work It, Mom! profile by clicking here.

About the Author

Lylah M. Alphonse is a journalist, blogger, and mom and stepmom to five kids. She is a Senior Editor at Yahoo! Shine, writes about juggling full-time career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day here at Work It, Mom!, and blogs about everything else at WriteEditRepeat.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter: @WriteEditRepeat.

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