Let’s Spread A Little Peace And Good Will

Lets Spread A Little Peace And Good Will

Michael Hogan

With the Winter Holiday season approaching we’re all out there looking for the perfect gift. Many times we find ourselves picking out something shiny and expensive, a little bauble that draws the eye but not the heart. Or, we grab something cheap and cheesy because it is easy and we just can’t think of anything else to get. We’ve all heard the idea of donating money to charity in someone else’s name. This is always a good idea. But, do we always know what that money is going to? No, we have no guarantee that our money is really going to do anything more than buy a package of pens for the office. Well, fret not. This problem has been solved. Gift It Up! is here.

Gift It Up! is an alternative way of giving gifts sponsored by Conscious Consuming, a Boston based consumer group focused on the ways that purchasing and accumulating of material objects is affecting our society. Gift It Up! is an opportunity to give something a little different. When picking out a gift for that special someone why not make a little bit of a difference in the world at the same time. Gift It Up! allows you to make a donation on behalf of someone, but your donation goes towards something you can actually name. You choose the items that you money is used to buy. Should you want to help prisoners here in the States to get their GED or help local farmers by sponsoring an hour of at your favorite farmer’s market you can. If you choose to help the poor in Africa by buying mosquito netting to protect HIV infected children from Malaria or buying a month of gifts and cards for a brain tumor patient you can. No matter what you choose to do with your money at Gift It Up! you know it is going towards a great cause, you know you are making a difference. You could always just make blind donations to nonprofit organizations, which is great, but you have no idea what that money is actually going to. Through Gift It Up! you know exactly what your money is purchasing. With these donations comes a gift card specifying the donation made in a persons name for you to present to them. For $15 you can provide fruit and vegetable seedlings to women’s cooperatives in Mexico and Brazil. $50 will buy two beds for African orphans who are sleeping on the floors of overcrowded houses. A donation of $100 provides veterinary treatments such as vaccinations and spaying/neutering at All Paws Rescue. Groups like Grassroots International, African Health Foundation, All Paws Rescue, Federation of Massachusetts Farmer’s Markets, The Healing Exchange Brain Trust, Girl’s Leap, Mass Bike, The Network/La Red, Prison Book Program, Second World, Spare Change News, and Summerbridge Cambridge offer opportunities to make donations for varying amounts of money. There are international organizations and organizations here at home that one can donate to. All in all, every donation does some good in a world that can really use all the help they can get.

Gift It Up! sponsored a gift fair on the 2nd of December at the Arlington Street Church where buyers could come in and peruse information tables on the items they were choosing to purchase. I know, December 2nd was weeks ago, you’ve already missed the gift fair. But, again fret not, Gift It Up! still accepts donations online at their website giftitup.org. The consumer is asked to donate by the 15th in order to ensure that they receive their cards by the 24th. So, for that socially conscious person on your gift list who already has it all. Why not, make a donation through Gift It Up! and create smiles around the world. As a wise man once said, Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men. Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season.