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Are you having a hard time figuring out what to buy for your family and friends because they have everything they need? If so, consider making a contribution to a non-profit organization instead of buying Auntie Maile that dashboard hula dancer which will probably end up in the Public Storage rental as soon as January rolls around.
You and your family could choose to donate to the same non-profit organization or pick different organizations to donate to and then talk story about why you chose that particular organization. A great site that lets you to work as a team to help make a difference is DonorsChoose.org http://www.donorschoose.org/ahamblin.
DonorsChoose.org allows teachers around the country to post items that they need in their classroom to help their students succeed. Items may include calculators, dictionaries, newspapers, art supplies or something as simple as Kleenix. You can logon and browse projects by selecting criteria that interests you (school location, subject matter, student grade level, etc). Once a project has inspired you, choose a donation amount. You don't have to fund the entire project. Even a small contribution can make a difference. Your donation along with the donation of other philanthropic citizens or your family and friends will eventually fund the project.
Through DonorsChoose.org, I helped fund the purchase of a projector for a 9th grade, U.S. History class at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach. There were 6 of us that donated to this project. Together, we bought a projector which will allow a local teacher to integrate technology into his daily lesson plans and engage his students in learning.
So I recommend you skip the ornament exchange party; and instead, put the $10 towards one of the many teacher projects posted on DonorsChoose.org. And while you do, remember the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."