Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Friday, November 6, 2009

Making a Difference

As holiday season approaches, we are hearing lots of conversation about the economic conditions here in the U.S. Merchants are frantic about whether this years sales will help them avoid bankruptcy. I know that our purchase dollars can have a significant impact on the outcome for many retailers. If your home is like mine, now more than ever, the phone is ring off the hook asking us to contribute to all sorts of causes. Everyone has needs.

Consider this year instead of passing the $25 to $50 gift card to your relatives in exchange for the same $25 to $50 gift card; do something significant with your purchasing power this holiday season. Not only think of the gift recipient, but whether your spending keeps a business afloat, does your gift serve the needs of your community, does your gift serve the needs of someone who might not otherwise receive a gift.

A recent article about what big box stores plan to do this holiday season showed that we depend on materialism. The plot of the story goes, "we will limit supply to increase the demand". Do we really want to buy into this form of commercialism, or do we want to rethink our holiday strategy.
  • Think about giving the $25.00 gift card toward a cause on behalf of someone else. In an organization such as KIVA, you can purchase a gift certificate for someone to invest in a micro-loan of their choice.  This gift is then invested as a micro-loan on behalf of a business in need.   When the loan is repaid, the recipient can chose to either re-invest or withdraw the funds for their own use. Is the gift still worth $25.00?

  • Consider supporting local businesses with your purchase dollar rather than looking at larger discount chain stores.  Let the merchant know that you are doing this because you feel their business is important to the community.

  • Consider making personalized gifts with special meaning from your heart, rather than spending your resources unnecessarily. 

  • Consider the phrase "time is money" and give someone your time as a gift this holiday season.  Create your own gift card indicating what you plan to do, go ahead and print a value and redemption date on the certificate. 
3 Degrees-Connected has set up a KIVA lending group which supports women-owned businesses in other parts of the world.  A link to support this collective giving through 3 Degrees-Connected is found in the left sidebar to this blog.  

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