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Thoughtfully Trendy: Stylish Ways to Spend and Give This Holiday Season

4 Oct

Now that the summer heat has finally decided to dissipate and the colors of the earth slowly fade from green to brownish red hues- a new season is upon us.   With this glorious change of season comes many needs: a need for warmer shoes, scarves and hats and of course presents.  The time of giving has arrived once again and although this year has shown promise, our economic situation is still less than satisfactory.

With an extreme yearning to follow and maintain trends within every category from apparel to technology imprinted in our brains; our culture has remarkably adapted to make certain “chores” such as donating to charity during the holidays not only more convenient but alas vogue.  This slightly chic donation fad is a 21st century invention I can really stand behind. Thus, I’ve conjured up my “Top 5” simplest ways to “spend & give” this year- so go on you cheeky, charitable thing- start shopping.

FIVE: Box Tops for Education

As a child I remember buying box tops to help out my elementary school but just because you’re a grown up (with or without children) doesn’t mean you can’t still collect box tops for education.  All you have to do is pick a school in your area and start collecting.  Box tops can be found on a vast array of grocery products from Ziploc bags to Progresso soup.

FOUR: “One Laptop Per Child”

-Small machine with a big mission- The XO is a potent learning tool designed and built especially for children in developing countries, living in some of the most remote environments. It’s about the size of a small textbook. It has built-in wireless and a unique screen that is readable under direct sunlight for children who go to school outdoors. It’s extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, and fun.

This organization works hand in hand with child laptop manufacturer XO.  These small computers are helping children in developing countries around the world.  For a mere $200 USD (the price of an average iPod) you can really make a difference.

THREE: Tom’s

We all know and love these comfortable canvas shoes so there isn’t much to say here except keep the Tom’s trend alive.  With the company recently celebrating their One Millionth pair donated- all of us who rock Tom’s whether classic or sparkly have something to feel good about with each step we take.

TWO: Charity Credit cards

In a technological age where privacy is an annoyance and social lives dominate both the real and Cyber worlds our culture has taken a fondness to living in the public eye.  Famous or not we want our pictures plastered everywhere for all to see whether it be a digital picture frame on our desk at work, various albums on our facebook page or even our credit cards.  Almost all credit card companies now provide us with the opportunity to choose and upload our own personal photo, which will be displayed on the front of our card.

I myself am guilty or having bright, decorative credit and debit cards.  Thanks to many big branch banks such as Bank of America we can chose a card with a specific design that profits that organization. So this season as you become swipe happy use a card that gives a percentage to the charity(s) of your choice such as The National Children’s Cancer Society or the ASPCA.

ONE: Online Donation Websites

For those of us who would rather write a check to a local charity or organization we truly believe in and support, now you can accomplish this task in a mere matter of minutes (no stamp needed).  Many new donation websites such as Volunteer Match allow you to shop a large selection of online retailers, which once you make a purchase, donates a percentage of the proceeds to a charity of your liking.  But don’t worry these sites also allow you to go old school and just simply give a donation online, no purchase necessary.