Everyone is feeling the pinch this year, and not just the usual budget strains we feel at holiday time.
This inevitably means people will scale back – and one of the first areas to go is charitable giving.
At a time when local and national charities are reporting record need, people are cutting back in their giving. So, as you’re planning your holiday spending this year, if you can, consider setting a donation aside for a charitable group.
Or, donate your time and skill. Here are some Web sites to help.
If you don’t know which charity you’d like to donate to, or if you just need more information on a particular non-profit, go to charitynavigator.org. Here you can research thousands of charities nationwide, including background information and financial data.
On a local level, consider donating nonperishable food items to the Community Food Bank. For a complete list of needs and drop-off locations, visit communityfoodbank.org.
If you’d like to donate a new, unwrapped toy to a needy child, go to toysfortotstucson.org.
If you’d rather donate your time and skills, go to volunteermatch.org. This site acts as a job board for volunteer opportunities. It’s searchable by city location and job type.
And volunteering needn’t be a one-man show. You can get the whole family in on the act. Go to www.thevolunteerfamily.org to find volunteer activities the whole family can participate in.
If you have neither time nor money to give this holiday season, you might consider this option: recycling your old cell phone. Collective Good at collectivegood.com takes cell phones and donates them to charities. Many are used to provide affordable wireless access throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, Eastern Europe and India.
Romi Carrell Wittman is a business writer and the communication services director for Trico Electric Cooperative. E-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.