A Season for Giving

Hear ye, hear ye, I have declared December to be a month filled with giving. Okay, so maybe it wasn't originally my idea to focus on giving in December. But go with me here. Maybe it's all the Christmas spirit floating around in the air. Perhaps it's the unadulterated Chicago excitement coursing through my veins. But no matter what it is, I'm feeling incredibly and undeniably generous. I've had plenty of opportunity to recognize how fortunate I (we) are lately and I'm itching to spread a little bit of the goodness around.

So I have another idea that wasn't originally mine.

Recently I was introduced to this really cool, world traveling, entrepreneurial chick named Stephanie. Stephanie is a hammock loving, idea woman who has a dry sense of humor and whips up a mean pumpkin pie. I only had the pleasure of spending one evening with her but I will admit to shamelessly cyber stalking her a few days later. What I discovered is that she's also a humanitarian at heart. I couldn't help but be incredibly inspired by her ten dollar experiment. On her blog, wanderingzito.com, she explains, "I often tell people that 10$ can make a difference to help a cause." In the face of what might be considered an overwhelming variety of causes to care about and support, Stephanie decided to take her own advice. In March of 2011 she decided to give ten dollars to a different charitable organization each day. She liked the project so much she's been doing it ever since.

What a great idea, right? Well, I did tell you that Stephanie is an idea woman. I however, am less of an idea woman and more of joiner. So I'm taking her idea and running with it. I intend to use December as a month for charitable giving with a twist. Each day this month I'll find a new charity and donate at least ten dollars. Since yesterday was World Aids Day I kicked things off by sending ten dollars to support a World Vision organization that provides Business Loans for AIDS Affected Women. According to the blurb on their website, "As the loans are repaid, they are recycled to help other women and children!" That means my small donation will be multiplied. It's hard not to love the thought of that.

I'm looking forward, over the next month, to having my eyes opened to just a few of the countless organizations making a difference in our world. Compiling this list of 31 worthy organizations will undoubtedly be the best "Christmas gift list" I've ever put together.

Anyone else feeling inspired to join in the #give10 project?