Philanthropy As Therapy

The holiday season is an exciting time for many. The joy of gift giving, family get-togethers, company parties, and the winter weather (albeit not so wintry here in Newport Beach) is a wonderful time for us all. Unfortunately, accompanying these exciting times there is often a significant amount of stress. For some, it is he stress over family gatherings and  for others, there isstress over another year passing.  For this reason, ‘the season of joy’ is more aptly called ‘the season of stress.’  To help cope with these added stresses many seek refuge in gift giving as a means for coping.

Unfortunately, gift giving has its own added perils. Shopping for the right gift for someone or simply affording to get gifts for everyone can have ill fated consequences and add additional stress to the season.

A good way to combat the stresses of the holiday season is to extend the spirit of gift of giving to a local charity.  Monetary gifts are always welcomed, but are not the only way to donate.  Donating your time  is often just as rewarding for yourself as it is for the people you are helping. Below is a list of ways to donate this holiday season.

Extend the gift of giving to a stranger:

Donate a toy to Toys for Tots, or donate unused clothing to a local shelter.

Give the gift of time:

There are several food banks and shelters that see a significant increase in need this time of year, donate your time to one.

Stop and say ‘thanks’:

You can gain perspective on the current year by acknowledging the successes and accomplishments of the people around you; remember to give yourself some credit too.

Support a local charity. Following is a list of charitable organizations who could use your support:

The Boys and Girls Club

To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. www.bcga.org

Laura’s House

To reduce the incidence, recidivism and intergenerational cycle of domestic violence through education, counseling, support, case management and life skills training for victims of all ages.www.laurashouse.com

Unicef

UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. www.unicef.org

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of 2.8 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. www.amnesty.org

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. www.girlscouts.org

If not now, when?

You don’t have to go through this alone. Seriously. Let’s get started.

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