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The Gift of Charitable Giving

by Linda Warner

elf_expressThere is no time of year when we think of giving quite so much as the December holidays.  The media promotes it at every turn.  Discussions with friends and family revolve around it.  We love giving gifts to those we care about, despair about finding the “right” gift for each person, and give in to stress as the days disappear at a breakneck pace while we seem to accomplish little.  Charitable giving can offer a unique and welcome solution.

therapy_dogWhat do I mean?  Many charitable organizations make it easy for you to donate in the name of someone on your gift list.  In many cases, the charity will send a card or e-card to the recipient.  Your recipient feels good because your gift is truly helping others in their name.  You feel good because you were able to give a meaningful gift which is what the season is all about.  And the charity, the ultimate recipient, is thrilled because it continues to provide essential services to those in need.

habitatThe real key to making charitable giving work as a gift is to select a charity or non-profit that your recipient would applaud.  For your children’s teacher, why not select an organization that supports education or the arts?  For your sister-in-law with the three dogs, make a gift in her name to a local animal shelter.  You get the idea.

If you love Vermont the way we do, you might want to consider the many Vermont-based charities.  We’ve listed a few of our favorites below for your consideration.

food_bankAnimals –  Pawsitive Pantry (Warren, VT), Therapy Dogs of Vermont, local animal shelters. The Dorest Equine Resque

Arts – Vermont Symphony, Vermont Public Television , Dorset Theatre  Flynn Center,  Weston Playhouse 

Children – Circus Smirkus, local Boys & Girls Clubs

Community – Stratton Foundation, Manchester Riverwalk, Vermont Land Trust, Windham Foundation, Manchester Vermont Lions Club, Neighborhood Connections (Londonderry), local domestic abuse organizations

special_olympicsDisabilities – Vermont Special Olympics, Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sport

Education – Shelburne Farms, Northwoods Stewardship Center, Manchester Community Library or other local libraries, private schools, Vermont colleges and universities The Kura Project

Environment – Vermont Institute of Natural Science, Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, Vermont Natural Resources Council

Health – Be Brave For Life  Visiting Nurse & Hospice, Komen New England  Casting for Recovery

Housing – Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity, Bennington  County Coalition for the Homeless

Hunger – Vermont Food Bank, Hunger Free Vermont, local food pantries

Seniors – local Council on Aging, local Meals on Wheels, Neighbor to Neighbor (Manchester)

Veterans – there are over 70 independent organizations in Vermont working to help veterans

For many more gift ideas, check out’s Shopping & Products page or the Holiday Gift Guides for Northern, Central, and Southern Vermont.

updated 11/25/18 – smk

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