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5 Uniquely Non-Materialistic Gifts

by Amanda Wright

Spread the Holiday Cheer with a Pay-It-Forward Attitude

Mark your calendars to spend some time giving back this year with a little helping hand. Whether your cause is Animal Welfare, Environmental Awareness, or Voluntourism, here are some great ideas to help you share the love. If you’re not sure where to start, we have a list and we’re checking it twice!

Our Top Five Tips for Non-Materialistic Gift Giving:

1. Voluntourism. Book a flight, plan a trip, and make it a volunteer experience. With organizations that do both, you can be a part of the giving back this Holiday season while also enjoying some time away from home: Habitat for Humanity, Village by Village, United Planet.

2. Animal Welfare. Let’s not forget our furry friends this year. With as many as 13,600 community shelters, it can be hard to zero in on just one. Whether you’re looking to adopt a pet, volunteer or make a donation, here are some great organizations that will get you started on giving one animal a special holiday season: AWLA, Humane Society of the US, SeniorDogs4Seniors, NSALA.

3. Save the Environment. Be conscientious of your environment. Snow or sunshine, help your Green Community with a donation or offer support to any of these non-profit organizations. The benefits are lasting: Oceana, Save the Manatees, The Nature Conservancy.

4. Keep It Local. Volunteer some extra time to your city. Whether you’re serving a hot meal at the local soup kitchen, adopting an angel, putting up a shelf for a neighbor, carrying bags of groceries for a friend. Everyone will appreciate the Holiday Cheer and find out what is near you: VolunteerMatch.com.

5. Pay It Forward. Help a friend, stranger, or neighbor. Be the first to buy their cup of coffee, pay for a meal or extend spare change if they are short. Help your fellow human and give the gift of simple kindness this Christmas.

Spotlight. No matter your religious persuasion, we think Christmas Jars are a tradition that add value to the change in your pocket. The idea is simple: take an empty jar and drop your spare change in year round. Then, gift it to a friend, family member, neighbor, nonprofit organization or stranger who is struggling this time of year. Just in time for Christmas, too!

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