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Boyfriend recently told me that he doesn’t really like Christmas.
WHAT?! HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE CHRISTMAS IT’S THE GREATEST TIME OF THE WHOLE YEAR I LOVE IT SO MUCH. (Obviously, my reply).
But his reasoning makes sense. It’s not that he doesn’t like Christmas – I couldn’t date a Scrooge, folks – he just isn’t into its commercialization. In worrying about sparkle and shine and Santas galore, Christmas got a price tag, and that’s not what Christmas is all about.
So, in the spirit of giving back and making a difference this holiday season, here are two absolutely a-ma-zing causes that I support wholeheartedly – and I think you might like them, too.
1. For $10 you can…Sponsor a girl’s education for a whole semester and provide uniforms for 2 young boys.
Alhaji at Children of Hope is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania (woot, woot!). He’s “West Philadelphia” now, but he was “born and raised!” in Sierra Leona, West Africa (Guys, that was a Fresh Prince joke…). Now, he’s going back to his roots to help three improvised primary schools – Maforay Primary School, Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone Primary School, and SLMB Primary School, his own alma mater.
He’s working to renovate all three schools and provide basic school supplies so the kids can really learn. Alhaji told me, “Without any school materials, their times are wasted and their dreams of a good education will not be accomplished.” Now, is it just me, or was buying school supplies back in the day the most fun thing ever? When Lisa Frank was the go-to brand for girls’ folders and notebooks, and you had to put Book Sox on your hardcover texts, and scented erasers meant that you really had it goin’ on – those were the days.
For Alhaji’s kids, all it would take is a few text books, pens and pencils to get them started.
HERE’S THE DEAL:
Alhaji has 27 more days to raise $10,000. They only have $1,500 so far. We can help with that. Can we get these kids some school supplies?
Meet Alhaji and the kids in this vid.
Did I mention it’s only 10 buckaroos?
2. For the price of a teddy bear you can…Pass along a hug and hope to a kid fighting cancer, or to parents who can’t afford toys this season.
Back in the day, Rachel at “Go Forth and Set the World on Fire” was my student council camp counselor. How cool, right?! But seriously, she’s hands down one of the sweetest and smartest ladies I’ve ever encountered, with one of the biggest hearts. Besides blogging, she’s a recent college graduate who does some major event planning (we’re talking weddings, people) and band managing on the side. Jack of all trades, clearly.
BUT. She’s a part of this uber cool project, PROJECT TEDDY.
She’s collecting bears to give to kids whose families aren’t able to afford toys for the holidays.
Rachel’s goal this Christmas? To break records and serve over 1,000 children and 500 families in the DC area.
Once you reach out to her, you can get your special fur ball to an even special-er kiddo.
Go pick out the fluffiest, cutest teddy you can possibly find and send them to Project Teddy.
And THIS Project Teddy (a different one, but teddy bears nonetheless!) bring smiles to kids who are affected by cancer, giving them furry friends to squeeze onto when times get especially tough.
Find the whole history of Project Teddy here.
You get to find the perfect bear, and send it off to meet its new owner friend. The happiness you bring the kids might even save their lives.
That’s all, folks. Two (well, I guess three!) super cool organizations for making Christmas count past new gadgets and gizmos. There’s so many other awesome organizations out there, too, that are doing so much good in the world – they’re spreading some real holiday spirit! This Christmas, cheers to all of the people like Al and Rachel who are doing such incredible, honorable things to make the world better tenfold.
Giving back is the best form of gifting, right? All wrapped up in a metaphorically purple polka dotted bow. Because purple polka dots are pretty inspiring (at least in my world, anyways).
Now I gotta know…what are your favorite organizations this season?