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Money Matters: Finding good charities for holiday giving

By Lindsey Certonio - Special to the Daily Herald | Dec 2, 2023

Courtesy photo

Give generously this holiday season, but do your homework first to make sure the charities you select are reputable.

As we are going into the most joyful time of the year, it is important to embrace the true spirit of the holidays. Giving back to your community can make a great impact on those who may be struggling financially. It may come as a surprise that one in three households worries about how they will provide gifts for their small children. Unfortunately, some end up putting off their own needs to give their loved ones gifts.

Let’s band together this year to help our neighbors not feel the pressure of the holidays. If you have the means to donate to a charity, consider contributing food, toys, clothing or Christmas decorations to those in need. Let’s go through a few good charities and how you can spot a reputable one.

Donating food

Food is at the top of everyone’s list of basic needs, but for 44 million Americans, this need is not being met. This year, instead of pulling out your wallet to give back, try looking in your pantry for some unused canned goods. A few cans of vegetables and meat can go a long way, especially in the cold winter months. A few places to keep in mind include the following:

Before you donate to an organization, you can make sure it is reputable by checking its status on the IRS website. Plus, when you donate, you can mark it as tax-exempt.

Giving toys

Imagine that you’re a little kid again waking up on Christmas morning, running downstairs to find the toy you have been begging Santa for. Now it’s your chance to give another wide-eyed child this same experience. Sadly, 1 in 5 kids won’t receive the joyful experience of waking up to a toy to unwrap. If you have a few extra dollars lying around that you could use to buy a child’s present, consider donating to any of these causes or organizations:

When you are choosing a charity to donate to, make sure you do your research first. You can put in any organization’s name at the Better Business Bureau‘s website to get a good understanding of what it is and what it does, or you can look at reviews on Google or Yelp.

Gift clothing

Who doesn’t love receiving a new sweater to keep them warm on Christmas Day? Giving back to those who are less fortunate is an excellent way to spend your free time. Plus, that means you will get to do a little bit of extra shopping. Below are some charities to keep on your list when you’re shopping:

If you aren’t quite sure what place to donate to, word of mouth is a great way to get recommendations. Chances are good that your neighbor or family member has donated to an organization and could share a few ideas with you.

Contribute Christmas trees or decorations

Bring a little Christmas magic to families that are struggling. There’s no better way to add a little bit of extra cheer than a tree, lights and some decorations. Make this holiday one to remember by contributing to one of these organizations:

Make your heart full by giving back. Choose a foundation that you connect with. Whether your donation is food, toys, clothes or trees, it will surely be put to good use. Just make sure to give to a reputable organization. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, check reviews, ask a friend and do some research on the IRS and Better Business Bureau websites.

We wish you all a happy holiday season!

Lindsey Certonio is a project manager at Stage Marketing, a full-service content marketing agency based in Provo.


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