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Video by Playing for Change
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and 365give has 10 inspiring ideas to help you give the perfect gift for love & social good.
1) The Chocoholic: Does the one you love have a chocolate fetish? Why not give chocolate that creates social change and gives back to the planet with your purchase: One of my favourites is Alter Eco for fair trade and organic chocolate but for a great selection of socially concious chocolate take a look at this Top 10 Eco-Friendly Chocolate Treats list created by Greenopolis.
2) Roses from the Heart: Who doesn’t love to receiving flowers as a gift on Valentine`s Day especially roses as a token of your love. Consider buying Fair Trade Roses. Purchasing Fair Trade roses protects the people working hard to grow these special flowers with fair wages, protection against pesticides, and no child labour. Whole Foods is just one of the many places you can get Fair Trade roses but search online for a retailer near you.
3) The Pet Lover: Shop for the special pet in your life at the Humane Society Store and every purchase will help to support the thousands of animals rescued every year. Even better – buy one for your local SPCA animal rescue shelter and drop it off as a donation.
4) Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend: As most of us know diamonds may be a “girls best friend” but so many diamonds are associated with crime, child labour and environment stripping that it may not be the best gift for social good. Instead why not give the gift of jewellery that truly means something special. The Hunger Site features jewellery that is unique, inspiring and truly thoughtful as it gives back with every purchase.
5) For Kids Only: I still remember the days when everyone made a card for your classmates on Valentine’s Day. Instead of buying pre-made Valentine’s for your child’s class why not give a gift that will truly mean something to your child. Take the time to make cards by hand or home-made cookies that are cut with love. Spending time with your children doing creative projects is one of the greatest “gives” you can do.
6) Breakfast in Bed: I can’t resist sharing this one for the name alone and the taste is even better. Love Crunch: Dark Chocolate with Red Berries. Imagine that for Valentine’s Day breakfast. Here’s the giving kick – they follow the Bite4Bite model: for every bag purchased Nature’s Path will donate the equivalent in cash and/or organic food up to $1,000,000 a year to The Food Bank. Every bite will not only give your mouth love but it will give you love in your heart.
7) A Love Letter: What better way to show someone you truly love and appreciate them than a hand written letter. Get inspired by The Note Project and help them reach their goal of sending 1 million notes of appreciation to make the world a better place.
8) Love Song: You may be the hottest new artist to be discover on YouTube with your love song. Write a love song and load it up to YouTube for your loved one. Make a pledge that for every view you get on Valentine`s Day you will make a donation (even a penny per view makes a difference!) to your loved ones favourite charity.
9) E-Cards: Do you know how much waste is created from greeting cards every year? More than our planet possibly needs. Did you know that Americans spend more than 2 billion dollars on greeting cards alone over the holiday season? Imagine if that money went to charity instead – what if it planted a tree? Send an e-card that will truly make an impact. The Arbor Day Foundation has a selection of greeting cards that will plant a tree with every purchase. Save the planet one e-card at a time!
10) The Valentine`s Day Gift that Truly Gives. The Huffington Post and CauseCast has created the go to site for giving called The Goods. An online destination providing you with brilliant ideas for gifts that truly give this Valentine`s Day. Choose the amount you want to donate and search over 100 nonprofit organizations that truly need our support in honour of your loved one.
We can show our love for another in so many ways on February 14th. Please consider making your love count by doing some social good this Valentine`s Day. We would love to hear your great ideas for giving a gift that changes the world on Valentine`s Day. Leave a comment, send us a Tweet or post a comment on Facebook.
We can change the world one Valentine at a time.
Supporting the homeless has been a passion of mine for years.
My philanthropic career got started a number of decades ago by working with the homeless in Toronto. My work has inspired me on so many levels to give back to the world. It helped me understand a side of life that I had not been exposed to growing up and the compassion that is needed by all of us. This young man in the video has had a very challenged life from the time he was 3. He will inspire you to feel compassion for humanity of all walks of life. He became an orphan at the age of three and has been taking care of himself since the age of 5. As a mother of 2 children that were given up at birth (and put into foster care) I felt for this young person. He has been through more in his life than most of us will ever be able to comprehend but he is following his dream with commitment and passion. You never know who is behind the face of homelessness and if you feel compassion in your heart from this young man take the time to see past the face of homelessness and see the human being that is in front of you. We all have dreams – what if you could help just one person follow theirs.
If you have a video you would like to share with 365give that will inspire more humanity in our world please send us a comment, Tweet or Facebook note.
The holiday season is here. The stress of getting every detail completed before the big day is at a peak and many of us wonder if it will actually come together. The “to do” list is as long as your arm and Christmas seems more like work than joy, love, peace and happiness.
I hit a peak last night while wrapping Christmas gifts at 10:00 pm as the “to do” list in my head was replaying itself over and over. How was I possibly going to get everything done with a 4 year old bouncing off the walls and a new baby in my arms. My list seemed never ending: preparing the house, cooking Christmas dinner, last minute gift shopping…… I was driving myself into a holiday stress frenzy.
There is no one that should be more grateful than me this Christmas. I have been blessed with a beautiful baby boy that we just adopted weeks ago and I was forgetting to take the time every day just to be grateful. I needed perspective and I found it through this video of one person that is so selfless and giving I wanted to share it with you.
It reminded me what Christmas is really about – giving with your heart, being grateful for all you have and counting each blessing as it comes into your day. Narayana Krishnan the gentleman featured for his remarkable work in the video reminded me of just that – he reminded me to stop trying to make Christmas “Martha Stewart” perfect and reflect on my life for all it’s blessings.
I was inspired by Tina Sue this morning from Think Simple Now by a post entitled 20 Ways to Be Grateful. The article in worth a read and will inspire you to find the things in your life you are grateful for and how to share those thoughts with those around you. The greatest gift you could give this holiday season is not the perfectly wrapped present under the tree. Instead try looking your best friend, your brother, your mother. your neighbour, your children – even your pet right in the eye and telling them how grateful you are for them in your life. Here are some of my favourite quotes on being grateful this holiday season.
- The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. The more grateful you are the more you will get. Oprah
- God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward
- Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern
- If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart
- You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. ~G.K. Chesterton
- If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. ~Gerald Good
- Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. ~Author Unknown
- Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward
I am so grateful for everyone that has supported 365give this past year. You have inspired me, made me laugh, supported me when I needed it the most and encouraged me to keep giving even on the days I didn’t think I had it in me. I feel honoured to know you – my Twitter friends, my readers, my Facebook friends and those who have just stumbled upon my site. Giving is my passion and being grateful is something I will remember to do every day of the year.
I wish you a wonderful holiday season filled with love, happiness, peace and gratitude.