By: Kristin Clements-Effner, MSW Training Coordinator/Cofounder
Christmas lights and the big guy in the red suit have been spotted all over the city. Yes, it is that time again. Did you wake up at 3am to get the deals on Black Friday or surf the internet for bargains on Cyber Monday? It is hard to escape the ads and stress of buying the perfect gift for family or friends. We encourage you this season to support the community and we have compiled a list of eight ways to make a difference.
1. Shop at local businesses to finish that Christmas list. Check out this local shopping guide from NUVO: http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/2010-shopping-cityguide/Content?oid=1863077
2. Volunteer at a local nonprofit, such as serving a meal or delivering gifts. Go to http://catalystxchange.org/index.php/us/nae/get-involved
3. Bake cookies for a neighbor and introduce yourself.
4. Purchase a fair trade gift that ensures that the worker received a fair wage.
5. Meet a friend at a local restaurant or coffee shop.
6. Register at one of several international NGO’s and have individuals buy gifts that support a family or community in another country. An example is at www.oxfamgifts.org
7. Pay for someone’s order behind you in line or in the drive thru or another random act of kindness.
8. Ask family and friends to make a donation to a nonprofit, instead of giving you a gift.
What other ways can we make a difference this holiday season? Let us know how you plan on creating community change through the next couple of weeks.