There are lots of ways to give back this season, from volunteering with a local non-profit, to financially supporting organizations you believe in, to buying gifts that give back too! Here is your 2017 Small Forces guide to Holiday Giving.
Gifts that give back
Felix’s Famous Cookies
Felix has been making delicious cookies for good causes since 2014. Every month, Felix chooses a different charitable organizations to donate the profits from his cookie selling business to, and the holiday season provides a perfect opportunity to get someone the gifts of sweet treats while also giving back to a worthy cause, a real win-win! Felix offers a variety of flavors of the traditional Mexican cookies he learned to make from his grandmother and they can be ordered on their website here.
Giving Rocks raises money for LCH pediatric cancer research through the sale of beautiful stone necklaces made from rocks found right on the shores of Lake Michigan. These necklaces make a great gift but even if you aren’t shopping for the jewelry type, they sell holiday ornaments made from the rocks as well! 100% of proceeds will go toward funding research, making this a great way to spread joy this holiday season, while also spreading hope for the future.
Your time and talent
Organize a Book Drive for Open Books
Are you having friends and family over for the holidays? Ask them to bring books they no longer need in lieu of a hostess gift. Or, gather your kids for an afternoon of organizing the family bookshelves, putting aside books that can be donated.
Open Books focuses on expanding literacy and interest in reading by distributing donated books to children in the Chicago area. They strive to spread the “transformative impact of literacy” through reading and writing programs, special events and volunteer engagement Books are some of the best gifts you can give a child as it gives them an opportunity to learn and grow.
Donations that count
Energize for your Christmas Shopping at Curt’s Cafe in Evanston
If you donate $50 or more on Giving Tuesday to Curt’s Cafe and their mission of improving outcomes for young adults in at-risk situations through work and life skills training, you can receive a free coffee and scone at one of their two cafes!
Greater Chicago Food Depository
This charitable organization serves as the principal food bank for the greater Chicago area as a partner of Feeding America. They serve over 160,000 meals a day to people in need and will need the help of both monetary and food donations to make sure that everyone is happy this Holiday season, not hungry. Donations go directly towards providing meals for families in need but also help support job training programs throughout the city.
The Floured Apron
This organization aims to teach professional cooking and baking skills to women in underserved communities in order help them secure a sustainable career in the culinary field and create a better life for themselves. This holiday season, you can purchase cakes or cookies for any occasion from the kitchens of The Floured Apron and all of the proceeds will go directly towards supporting the women in the program.
Exodus World Service
Support this Small Forces partner as they also mount a #GivingTuesday campaign (Nov 28) to raise funds to help refugee families in our communities rebuild their lives. Your gift will help with welcoming new refugee families with housing supplies as well as continue to support other families already settled in the area but still in need. Exodus World Service offers a great way to spread the holiday spirit to even our newest of neighbors.