killahbabe

Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

In my town we have "Angel Trees" at several retail locations. Each angel on the tree represents a low-income child or family with children and essentially you choose an angel at random and give them a gift for the holidays. Every year my family chooses an angel and we buy every item they have on their holiday wish list as well as extras. My family and I started the tradition because when I was 9 my family's house burnt down. We lost absolutely everything we ever had. This happened just a few weeks before Christmas. A lovely couple happened to pick my family's angel and they bought every item my sister and I had put on our wishlist. They made it possible for us to have presents under our tree and without them we would've had nothing. My family is forever grateful for that couple so even though my sister and I are married and live in our own households, we still work together in choosing an angel and attempting to provide a child (or children) with a good holiday. Does anyone else make it a tradition to give back either by volunteering, donating, or participating in an "Angel Tree" or something similar?

 

This year we've chosen a 15 year old girl and I'm super excited because she just so happens to love makeup, haircare, skincare, and bath products... right up my alley! I'm thinking about giving: the Sephora Superstars kit, the Holiday Hair and Body Beautifiers Josie Maran giftset, the Bumble and Bumble Polished 2-Step kit, and some Philosophy bath products. I figured these would be the safest bet as I'm not entirely sure of this girl's ethnicity, skin tone, hair type, or anything like that. Also, as she's only 15 I don't want anything too outrageous in case she can't wear a full face of makeup. Additionally we've already bought her a coat, gloves, scarves, hair dryer, flat iron, hair accessories, PINK leggins/sweatshirt giftset, and VS and BBW fragrance and bath items. If anyone else has any other age-appropriate suggestions I'd love to hear it!

aggiegirl2012

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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My husband and I foster dogs or large puppies for a local rescue group. We have three rescues of our own and enjoy helping new ones find their forever home. 

 

In the past my family has done angel trees. I've also run summer camps at women's shelters for the kids. 

midnightangel

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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Oh my gosh, I am a slave to charities - especially cancer organizations. If there is an opportunity to donate in some small way, wherever I happen to be, I will do it. I also support local artisans, musicians and craftsmen (and the museums/galleries/venues who host them) because that's the field I'm in too. There's even an online community that I belong to that depends on the donations of its members to keep the site up, running and maintained and I'm a top contributor there.

So yeah, charity is sort of my thing. I don't currently have time for volunteer work but I'd like to change that.

love2shop42

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

I bought two of every Black Friday deal from Sephora so that I can go to the local shelter for abused women and distribute those gifts to the ladies.  It is so nice to see their eyes light up as many of them come to the shelter with nothing but the clothes on their back.  I also regularly clean out my closets and donate my items to the shelter.  For the children, it is so sad because most just want the basics such as shoes, me and my kids make stockings for them and fill them with all kinds of Holiday goodies. I feel so very fortunate and blessed and try to teach my kids the value of kindness, especially to those that have suffered so much.

killahbabe

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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That's so great, love2shop42! It warms my heart to hear about others trying to help and make a difference. :smileyhappy:

killahbabe

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

**UPDATE** All the shopping for this girl is finished and for the people who were interested in an update, here's what me and my family got her:

The Sephora Superstars kit, the Holiday Hair and Body Beautifiers Josie Maran giftset, the Bumble and Bumble Polished 2-Step kit, Philosophy 3-in-1 Purity cleanser,Lancome juicy tubes set, a make up bag, VS and BBW shower gels, lotions, and fragrance mists, PINK legging and sweatshirt giftset, PINK hoodie, PINK sock giftset, coat, gloves, scarves, hair dryer, flat iron, hair accessories, and 6 sets of PJs. Thank you for everyone offering suggestions and sharing your stories of holiday giving... it means a lot to me. I hope my family can offer this girl a merrier Christmas. Happy holidays to everyone on BT! What a great community!

love2shop42

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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You are awesome, and so very kind.  Happy Holidays sweetie to you and yours! xoxo love2shop42

carolang

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

That is awesome! I think any of us would be happy with those selections too. She is going to be so happy!

lylysa

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

WOWIE!!!!! That's so awesome to hear! You and your family is going to make this gal's Christmas so wonderful! Granted it's not all about gifts and the physical things, but when anyone is down on their luck or just going through a hard time, even the little things that most folks think as trivial or just ordinary can make such a difference! Kudos to you and your fam again for participating in that wonder program!

lissay

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

I have always wanted to do an angel tree!  Every year around the holidays I do a drive for stuffed animals through my direct sales business for our local children's advocacy center. This year I have currenty purchased 102 stuffed animals and will donate all my commission from sales to the center as well. On Thanksgiving day I go with friends to about 5 or 6 families that can't provide a holiday meal and deliver one to them before my family gets together.

gingerblack

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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Wow you guys are awesome. I feel really guilty now that I don't do such things. I guess in my spare time out of school I volunteer instead of work, so I don't really have much money. Instead of working a lot, I volunteer 12 hours a week (at a preschool, youth group for people with brain injury, and a mentor program for at risk youth).  

 

You could get scented candles from BBW, fun school supplies like coloured pens or a cute pencil case, starbucks gift card, a popular book for teens, or more accessories like a beanie or leg warmers you can fit in boots.

Urbie

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

Wow!  That is gonna be one happy 15 year old!  In my family we have a tradition of delivering Meals on Wheels Xmas morning- we've done it since I was a baby, but the last couple of years we haven't been able to for various reasons.

 

I'd love to find an "Angel Tree"- I'm a remote employee for my company so we don't have anything like that.  Anyone know of NYC area "Angel Trees"?

killahbabe

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

What a generous way to spend your holiday morning! I'm sure you and your family have provided joy to a lot of families.

 

Some shopping centers (malls, larger Walmarts and Targets, and other shopping plazas) have variations of the "Angel Tree" may want to call them and see if they participate.

Urbie

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

Thanks Killahbabe!  I got inspired after this post and signed up to "grant a wish" through New York Cares!  Excited to start shopping!

Nicrohr

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

That's great!

 

We don't have huge families or do a ton of xmas shopping here.  When I was little my family's catholic church had an "angel tree" of their own and we always bought for a family off of it.

 

Now, most years I ask my friends and family if they know someone I can buy for.  This year and last year I posted on Facebook and got a perfect fit both times.

 

This year it was a transgender boy in the high school class of a friend of mine -- no money in the family, didn't have school supplies, is a writer.  So we got him a backpack filled with funky notebooks, leatherbound journal, bulk pack of nice gel pens, etc.  I am hoping basic black will appeal lol, I wanted to get something really cool i the backpack but don't know the kid's taste, so went with safe.

 

This is something super fun for me as I love to shop and I love to give gifts.   Thanks for a thread about this :smileyhappy:.

killahbabe

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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I'm sure the boy you're buying for this year will LOVE what you're getting him. The leather-bound journal sounds fabulous. I received a lovely vintage journal when I was younger and still cherish it to this day.

Spoiler
 
bratknits

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

My mother always grabs a few names from the tree where she works and we all go hunting because like all other kids they always want the "hot" toy of the year.  We haven't failed to track them down yet though it helps that we're looking all across 4 states.

killahbabe

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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I can honestly say that hunting for the "it" toy of the season every year is such a fun experience for me. I too have yet to miss out on one! I have two nieces so I'm always on the lookout well before the holiday season starts. haha.

prettyinpa

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

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I donate pet food, older bath towels that I replaced with new ones, brushes, toys and pet wipes to my local shelter- the animals also need a good holiday!

Sephoramusthave introduced me to the Salvation Army's Angel program where you can pick out a child from their list. The child has a wish list and you can supply anything on the list, so you can choose to gift a kid in your price range. Some of them only want really easy things like a coat or anything so it's easy. I got a coat, onesie, blanket and some cute shirts for "my" little girl. It was so easy and such fun, especially since I don't have kids of my own and all my younger relatives are pretty grown up.

killahbabe

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

It's definitely good to remember our furry friends! I have a great local organization that I donate to called Animal Advocacy. They offer low cost spay and neuter services as well as rehoming services (non-kill shelter).

kalex

Re: Holiday Generosity... Do You Give Back?

Every year instead of doing a Christmas gift exchange the children at my kids' school bring in at least $10 to donate towards toys for a nearby homeless shelter.  The 7th and 8th graders then get to go to the store to pick out and buy the toys with the money collected.

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