WM Favorite Things: Season of Online Giving

The WM Fav Things Episode...just like Oprah's

Welcome to the first edition of the WM “Favorite Things” Holiday Giving episode. True, I don’t have hundreds of thousands of free trendy gifts to give you this year….and unfortuantely there are no keys to a car at the end of today’s post…or the secret to eternal youth. But you don’t need it, of course, because surely you drive a sweet (clean) ride and look refreshed and well rested every day, right? So now that we’ve established the WM “Favorite Things” episode is nothing really at all like Oprah’s holiday Favorite Things, it doesn’t mean I don’t have some great ideas for you. 

Look,  I feel like every year the weeks leading up to Christmas just get more hectic than before. And inevitably the kids get sick, which means less time to run errands than we originally anticipated, at least chez moi. So if you are anything like me and you still have no idea if your holiday shopping is near complete, let alone what you have for stocking stuffers and when you are getting cards in the mail, then today’s post is for YOU – because today’s post is all about how to give BACK to important causes – without having to GO anywhere. Here are three really cool ways to give back to your community or raise money for a great cause:

Angelwish

Angelwish is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing chronically ill children with birthday and holiday gifts. This group is currently managing holiday toy drives for over 110 care centers nationwide, including two in the DC area: Children’s National Medical Center and The Women’s Collective. They work through the Internet, making this a great, hassle-free option for busy parents. By logging onto the Angelwish web site, you can view the Wishlists for the individual care centers and choose a gift to send directly to a child in need. Angelwish works closely with social workers from each care center to make sure the gifts listed fit the individual needs of their patients.   100% of your donation is tax deductible and will go directly toward purchasing your chosen gift – corporate contributions cover all administrative costs so you get more for your money.
 
Without the generosity of Angelwish donors, many of the children in these care centers would not receive any presents this holiday season.  To view the Wishlists for the DC care centers, click here visit  for Children’s National or here for The Women’s Collective. You are encouraged to donate before December 22 to ensure that the gifts arrive in time for the holidays.

Maryland Food Bank Virtual Food Drive
Over a half a million Marylanders are currently living below the federal poverty level, and the vast majority of them do not know where their next meal is coming from.  AT&T is working with the Maryland Food Bank on a Virtual Food Drive and frankly, I love this idea, because I don’t have to dig out of my own pantry and lug the food somewhere or buy it at the store and take it elsewhere – and most importantly – I can purchase food that is actually NEEDED. And furthermore, through this program, the money goes farther because the Maryland Food Bank buys food from a consortium and, in most cases, can purchase over 4 times as much food as can be purchased by you at a typical grocery store!
 
As you’ll see, what’s also unique about the virtual food drive is that you can select what you want to donate, whether it’s $12 for a case of green beans, $8.33 for a case of Mac & Cheese or $22 for a case of peanut butter.  Anyone interested in giving should click here.   
 

#Goodspotting:
Here’s one where all the worlds collide…teaching kids that giving back is the right thing to do….while incorporating our love for social media into raising money for a charity -it’s like the perfect storm of holidy giving. Here’s how it works: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about $5,000? This holiday season the Case Foundation is encouraging people to join their #GoodSpotting campaign and snap a photo of someone doing good.  This one is a great opportunity for parents to talk to their children about giving back to their communities.  Plus, through this program, you could win $5000 for your favorite charity and $500 for yourself. 
 
Here’s how it works:
 
1.       Take a photo of you or someone else doing good. This could be serving food at a homeless shelter, donating online to a favorite cause or just helping out a friend in need.
2.       Post your photo on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #goodspotting
3.       Go to Facebook.com/CaseFoundation to enter for a chance to win up to $5,000 for a charity of your choice AND $500 for yourself to spend this holiday season.
 
It’s as easy as spot it, snap it, tag it and enter to win. The more photos you take the more likely you are to be chosen so spot some good today! Learn more at GoodSpotting

Go forth, be merry, and “Like” the Wired  Momma FB page for other fun ideas and gossip.

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