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The season for giving is quickly approaching, and while you’re likely spending most of your time shopping for everyone in your family, a little extra for those in need could really go a long way.  Whether you have a charitable organization of choice that you prefer to regularly donate to, our you’re completely new to the “gift of giving”, there are tons of options out there.  From essentials like clothes and food to gifts and monetary contributions, you’re likely to find an organization that suits you best.  Need a little advice? Consider some of these great options:

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities has local chapters across over 64 countries throughout the world.  This dedicated organization helps families with children facing terminal illnesses in numerous ways, from wellness check-ups to offering housing or rooms for families whose children are going through extended treatments.  The holidays can be difficult for the children and families of RMHC. If you’re looking to make a great difference, you can contribute to RMHC in a few different ways. Cash donations are always accepted and appreciated. You can also participate in toy, food and household donations as well.  Food and toy contributions will be given to the different RMHC Houses, so children and families can have a little extra fun, and experience home-cooked meals. Food should consist of canned goods, and other non-perishable items and household donations can range between products like trash bags, paper towels, personal care products, or generally anything else you’d find around your home.  If you’re planning for a toy donation, RMHC accepts new, non-handmade toys:

  • Board Games
  • Puzzles
  • Stuffed animals
  • Video games (Rated E)
  • Movies (Rated G)
  • Books
  • Outdoor games

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is a great organization run by the United States Marine Corps.  The charity distributes new toys to children throughout your local community that may be less fortunate this holiday season.  You can likely find local drop off locations in your community between the months of October and December. During distribution time, one or more members of the U.S Marine Corps will bring the toys to local children throughout your community.

Christmas Spirit Foundation

True to its name, this organization focuses bringing Christmas cheer and spirit to the United States troops and their families throughout the country, and internationally.  The Christmas Spirit Foundation provides thousands of Christmas trees to troops stationed overseas, as well as their families that may live on military bases. Last year alone, over 17,000 Christmas trees were delivered across 70 U.S military bases, with 250 trees being delivered to bases overseas.  A small monetary donation can provide military families with some extra holiday cheer, and make them feel more at home.

World Wildlife Fund

The holidays are important for animals, too!  Animal lovers may choose this organization to help hundreds of wild animal species across the globe.  If you’re an animal lover, a small donation of $55 can not only help wildlife, but also gives you the gift of an adoption certificate, information on the species you’re helping, and a gift bag to give thanks for your generosity.