Crayons donated to children in India: Check.
Bra and underwear donated to women in need: Check.
Nontoxic eco-friendly hair conditioner donated to women in need: Check.
Don't forget that other kind of gift-giving this month: Donate. You'd be surprised at how much of what you're not using is needed by someone else and how easy it is to give.
Seriously, will you ever scrapbook again? Find an organization in need. A co-worker collected craft supplies for children in India. Vancouver's Beauty Night —building self-esteem for women living in poverty—accepts felts, paper and stickers for their "creation station". They also take new, unopened cosmetics.
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Another co-worker collected bedding, towels, underwear, socks, tights, coats, hats, and gloves for the WISH Drop-in Centre for survival sex workers. They also accept personal care products (including new and partially-used makeup and toiletries). Are you onto a fourth type of eco-friendly deodorant, free of the Dirty Dozen toxic ingredients found in cosmetics? Donate the other three.
Once I hosted a holiday party asking guests to bring new toothbrushes and underwear! The Mustard Seed (Edmonton and Calgary) urgently needed those items. Or you can do a towel or blanket drive!
Remember, there are many people who have next to nothing and will appreciate the things you no longer use or need, as long as they are clean and serviceable. To be sure, always contact the organization before dropping off donations.
Help spread the word about agencies in your community that are collecting. What and where will you donate to those in need?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green