and now for the "giving" part

It is Colorado Combined Campaign time at work again which is when we re-evaluate our charitable donations. I actually love doing this. It is a time when I learn so much about hundreds of different worthy organizations, and I figure out how my family can help. Having a paycheck deduction seems like the least we can do. This year I have decided to up my contribution a bit, and pick a few new non-profits.

I am donating to the Girl Scouts again! I just love what they mean for female empowerment and education, especially at the local level. I have such positive memories of trips and outings with them, as well vivid recollection of certain things I learned from being a part of the organization. I have also discovered EarthLinks, which captured my heart immediately. This is a local organization that works with homeless and low-income people to teach them new skill sets, all the while creating earth-friendly and sustainable products like urban bee boxes, jewelry, beauty products and locally grown food. Because so many urban homeless are alienated from nature, the company not only connects people to the earth, but they give them a source of income! I may very well be buying some Christmas gifts from EarthLinks too! And, finally, I’m contributing to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. It is such a powerful organization, seeking to increase gay rights, public understanding, and promote change while strongly trying to wipe out hate crimes across the country. So many people I know and love are gay and the fact that they can be targeted in any kind of hateful act is terrifying to me. Contributing to the MSF just seems natural.

The Combined Campaign at work is definitely not the only way our family contributes to those in need throughout the year. We both find worthy causes (such as the Red Cross following the recent hurricane, and local food drives) on a regular basis. I love that giving is a built in ritual for us, though we tend to think about it more this time of year. It’s something I really feel good about, and I’m proud that my kids will grow up helping others as second nature.

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