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Giving Back for the Holidays :: How to Make Your Donation Count

Giving Back for the Holidays :: How to Make Your Donation Count | Columbia SC Moms BlogThis time of year is a great opportunity to make sure we are giving back and helping other families in our community that need our support. One of the best ways to do this is through charities and non-profits. There are a lot to choose from, and plenty of great ones right here in the Midlands. We’ve put together a list of a some local as well as national charities to consider, as well as tips to make sure your donations really count. 

Local Organizations

Families Helping Families

While it is past the deadline for adopting a family if you haven’t already, you can still go online to donate (or pay by check) and make a big impact. Donations help provide gifts for unsponsored families, as well as cover expenses for families beyond the holiday season. 

Sharing God’s Love

This is a great local charity located in Irmo that works throughout the year in caring for families in crisis. They have a very helpful, regularly updated list of what items they need donated the most, and accept monetary donations as well. 

Toys For Tots

The deadline for Toys For Tots box pickup is December 15, so there is still time to donate new, unwrapped toys. You can find a list of box locations around the Midlands here

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital

While they take donations all throughout the year, donations to the hospital during the holidays are especially helpful. They are used to set up a holiday “store” where parents and caregivers can use provided tickets to shop for gifts without leaving the hospital. 

Salvation Army of Columbia – Online Angel Tree

If you weren’t able to make it in time to pick a name off of the Salvation Army Christmas Tree, check out their online Angel Tree. Your donation can still help make the holidays special for a child and family in need.

Salvation Army Toy Drive 2017

Help make the holidays special for a child by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy at any of the available locations. 

Holidays for Heroes

This program is sponsored by the American Red Cross. It delivers cards of thanks and support to members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. This year’s program will deliver cards from the local communities to local military facilities, veteran’s homes and hospitals and military family support groups.

National Organizations

Operation Christmas Spirit

This national program supports service members in a number of ways. You can adopt a service member, a service family, or donate and they will shop for a service member. 

One Warm Coat

This is a national non-profit that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. They also provide the tools and resources needed to start a coat drive by either an individual, group, company, or organization. 

Tips to Make Sure Your Donation Really Counts

Here are some guidelines and tips from ConsumerSafety.org to make sure you donate to an organization you can trust. You can also find some great suggestions on what (and what not) to donate. 

Avoid Scams 

Charities seeking donations should never be pushy for an immediate donation. It it feels rushed, it may be best to avoid donating. You should also make sure to never click on any links or open any attachments from unfamiliar organizations claiming to need donations. Keep in mind that online donations need to be secure. Look at the URL, check the privacy policy, and make sure the website uses encryption technology before you donate. Also, never send cash or wire money overseas. These guidelines can ensure that you are not taken advantage of, and that your help goes where it is truly needed. 

Do Your Research

Make sure you are familiar with the charity or non-profit you are considering.  You can visit Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and Give to learn more about a particular charity and its’ mission. 

Don’t Get Personal

Never give out personal information such as social security numbers when donating. 

Think Beyond Toys

Remember that toys are just part of what families may need at the holidays. Consider donating non-perishable food items, or clothing that is new or in like-new condition. Other much needed items include diapers, blankets, shoes, and winter coats. 

Giving Back for the Holidays :: How to Make Your Donation Count | Columbia SC Moms BlogHow do you and your family give back at the holidays? 

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