December is for Giving

Happy December friends!

This month is definitely one of my favorites. It’s just so full of family and friends and joy, December really is the most magical month. Not to mention all the presents we get at the end!

We all love getting gifts, which is perfectly fine! I have no shame in admitting that I have been thinking about my Christmas list for a while now, thus the reason for my Christmas list link up next week! But I love giving just as much as receiving. Even though I haven’t started my Christmas shopping yet {terrible, I know}, I’ve already started thinking of the different places I would love to give to this holiday season.

Not everyone in the world is as fortunate as we are. We love getting gifts for Christmas, but there are so many people in the world that would just like a warm meal for the holidays. There are too many people who don’t even have a roof over their heads, or shoes on their feet. There are too many people, children and adults and the elderly, suffering in ways we can’t even imagine.

It may sound morbid, but remembering these things is what keeps me humble during the holidays, and what reminds me to give thanks for everything I’ve been blessed with in this life.

If you’ve thought about giving to charity this season, here are a few of my favorite places to give:

The Trevor Project

I will always remember the one Sunday this past January as one of the best days of 2011 for me. My dear, dear friend came out to me and my husband and our friend. We were the first person he told, and it meant so much to all of us. This past year has been a crazy roller coaster ride, with one learning experience after another, but it’s also been a year in which my already open eyes were opened just a little bit more.

Unfortunately, there are young people in this country that don’t have the type of support that my friend has. They struggle everyday with their sexuality, and it has come to the point where we are seeing a tragic increase in the number of suicides among LGBTQ youth. It’s heartbreaking and devastating, and I wish there was something I could do to help.

Recently, this same friend was given the opportunity to work for an incredible organization that aims to help youth in the LGBTQ community through counseling and suicide prevention. The Trevor Project does truly amazing things to let these people know that it really does get better.


I’m sure that you all know of TOMS already, but have you thought of giving a pair to someone as a gift this Christmas?

TOMS’s simple mission is this: one for one. For every pair of shoes you buy, they will give a pair to a child in the world. It’s truly an inspired gift, if I’ve every heard of one!

International Women’s Health Coalition

Along with being the month of Christmas, December is also AIDS awareness month. The International Women’s Health Coalition focuses on helping women around the world, and they have a special campaign that targets young women that are in "triple jeopardy": female adolescence, sexual violence, and AIDS.


I’ve been giving to UNICEF {United Nations Children’s Fun} for a while now, because I love their mission, which is to provide for the children of the world. Their focus is in all areas, from health to education to disaster relief, and they really do have an enormous impact. One of my favorite things about UNICEF is that you can donate by giving an “inspired gift,” or purchasing something that would be used to help children, such as polio vaccines, clean water tablets, school supplies, or even toys.

The charity that I’m focusing on this year is UNICEF, and my goal is to raise enough money from my family and friends {and through my own giving} that would buy a bicycle for doctors and midwives to use. How amazing would that be?!

If you are interested in contributing to this little project of mine, just send me a quick email, and I’ll give you more information!

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I know that it’s almost rude to ask people to give right now, what with the economy as terrible as it is, and all the gifts we need to buy for the holidays. But I encourage you to give in any way that you can, whether it be by dropping off a bag of clothes to the Goodwill, donating canned goods to your local food bank, bringing a toy for the Toys for Tots box at work, or even volunteering your time for Habitat for Humanity. There’s something we can all do to help make the world just a little better place.

I truly believe that bloggers are an amazing community, and I know that we can do great things. As part of this social campaign, I would really like to know how much we give, and to what charities. If you feel like sharing that information with me, feel free to email me so that I can keep track of all of this and report on it at the end of the month. Who knows, maybe there will be something in it for you, too!



Christianna said...

This is sooooo awesome! I have heard about The Trevor Project before, but never really knew what it was, so thanks for sharing. I did already know about all the other ones! I think it's awesome that you are encouraging people to give! It's a great reminder and a great list that you have created!

Jenna said...

I looove this post! - and all of the charities you listed. I think Christmas is such a great opportunity to give to those less fortunate than ourselves.

I also have a little giving project this year - one quite close to my heart - I'm going to email you about it to see what you think, maybe you could just mention it here - or I'm thinking of linking it up with your holiday wishlist to get the word out.


Jessica said...

Thanks for this post--definitely important things to remember and consider not just during the holiday season, but all the time. In lieu of traditional gifts, my husband and I are actually donating to a charity in each others' name. I will shoot you an email (post exam today) to let you know more about it :)

MarieHarmony said...

Thank you so much Joelle, this is precious. While we are wandering the shops and buying, buying, we should keep in mind some are fighting for a shelter, some food or a less alone Christmas. Let's spare some time and money to help them.
I love Christmas but since I moved to Ireland I see this period differently, away from family often, I understand many have not the same chance as I have to share a nice diner and have a nice home.
Thank you for reminding it to me.
Have a lovely day!

Carolyn said...

This is so great! It's so easy to get caught up in the shopping/present part of Christmas, and it's things like this that bring you back! :) Thanks!!

Sabrina said...

moving stuff. great thing to bring a spotlight on.


i LOVE that you do wedding wednesday.. definitely will always be looking on Wednesdays and then some..



M. Flynn said...

I love The Trevor Project. So important.