Share the Love

I’ve celebrated Valentines Day many ways – from quiet nights at home with take-out and chick-flicks, to roses and fancy dinners with reservations made weeks in advance. Most years I felt a twinge of regret after the flowers wilted and the dinner bill was paid.

So last year I gave homemade gifts. From heart-shaped cat nip pouches to conversation heart cookies, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Living is my go-to site for fun and thoughtful gifts for all the Valentines on my list.

 

This year I’m taking it up a notch with personal gestures of love that last longer and make a bigger impact. For my animal-loving sister, I’m giving a gift collection, with donations to four charities dedicated to animal rescue and protection. For my Mom, who is new to philanthropy and loves discovering local charities, I’ll select a GiveNow charity gift card that lets her choose and make a difference for one of them.

 

For my friends getting married this year, I’ll remind them that the I Do Foundation has many ways to share the love! From creating a gift registry with stores like Target and Macys, where a percentage of purchases benefit their favorite charities, to choosing charitable favors with customized cards for their guests, there are many creative and budget-friendly ways to include charity in their special day. If you or someone you know is interested in creating an eco-friendly celebration with style, check out several great ways to Celebrate Green at I Do Foundation too.

 

Not only is February 14th Valentines Day, it’s also the start of Random Acts of Kindness Week! This site is full of simple sharing-the-love ideas for at home, at work, and at school – like donating used books to a library, making care packs for the homeless or offering to babysit for a family member.

 

Tell a friend about JustGive. Then jump over to Facebook and Twitter to tell us your thoughtful and creative plans for sharing the love this month.

$10 can change lives

Gustav, Hanna and Ike tore through the Carribean and Southeast U.S. leaving little more than debris and loss in their wake. Flooding in Haiti washed away crops ready for harvest and livestock relied upon for survival in a country already facing a food shortage.

Millions of people have already donated to disasters both at home and overseas. Many experience what might be described as “disaster fatigue” and are reluctant to continue giving. Not to mention already difficult financial times – a shaky stock market, gasoline and groceries prices through the roof, unemployment rates and home foreclosures at record highs.

What can I do? The crisis is so big and I don’t have a lot to give

By making a $10 donation to a charity already providing relief you can make a difference in the lives of people who have lost everything.

How many people are on your email list? Make a donation and let everyone in your address book know about it. Your generosity inspires a friend, co-worker or family member. They donate $10 and pass around the link to others. Before you know it, your donation has inspired 100 people to donate $10 each. You helped generate $1000 towards food, fresh water, rebuilding homes, and providing temporary shelter. Most importantly, you give hope to people who have lost everything.

Wow, that was easy. So, how else can I help?

Have a friend with a birthday coming up and don’t know what to get them? Make a dedicated donation and honor their commitment to their favorite cause.

Getting married and don’t need another toaster? Create a charity wedding registry and ask friends and family to make a donation in your names.

Find a local charity and ask about volunteer opportunities.

Want to spread the word? Tell a friend.