wish list part 2: give BIG!

December 20, 2010

despite all buzzing around shopping and baking right now, it’s also one of the best times to remember to give back to our communities! making a donation in someone’s name is always way cooler than an unnecessary picture frame or doodad. here are a few organizations you should support this holiday season:


the national parks
the past few years have been tough for america’s parks. between budget cuts and already low funding, employees and services have been terminated and whole parks have been shut down completely! we spent a few weeks this summer driving through the southwest, camping in all kinds of state and national parks (my first real camping trip!!). you really realize how incredible the land is and how important it is to maintain it! the national parks foundation is doubling all donations from now through the 31st, so make your dollars count! or just plan a camping trip and donate a little bit extra to stay at your campsite. it’s cheap, fun and a great way to support the park system.


your public library
whether you’re in sf, chicago, new york, or anywhere in between, chances are you use your public library for something or another. or at least you should! now with digital collections, you don’t even have to go to the library to go to the library. i know i’ve maxed out my library card this year (my fines were probably a hefty donation alone!), so it’s my time to give back with either old books or a little bit of cash.


your public radio station
kqed
is my source of endless information on the radio, online, and on my iphone! yes, the pledge drives are incredibly annoying, but public radio (and television) can still seriously use a lot of support. even if you’re set on giving something as a present this season, a donation can score you some pretty sweet goodies- i got the ken burns’ national parks dvd!


the california academy of sciences
give the gift of science!!! a membership to the california academy of sciences is an awesome gift for anyone! you can also “adopt” a penguin by donating to the academy and helping support their penguin colony. who wouldn’t want to be able to see the albino crocodile all-year-round?

justgive.org
kind of a cool option, a site where you can buy “gift cards” to be redeemed by the recipient at millions of charities, local and international. a nice way to make your moneygo to the right place for the right people. you can even create a registry for your wedding, birthday, etc.

the isabel allende foundation
i enjoyed reading isabel allende’s tales this summer and was excited to find out that she created this foundation in memory of her daughter, who died in 1992. grant money is given to various organizations supporting the social & economic well-being of women in the bay area and her native chile. from the website: “my foundation is guided by a vision of a world in which women have achieved social and economic justice. This vision includes empowerment of women and girls and protection of women and children.” allende’s story-telling skills are incredible and her focus on local, women’s issues is something we can support wholeheartedly.

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