giving gifts to children

Too often in our rush to help we take our no longer wanted things and gift them to agencies that don’t need them. Sometimes we even buy new things for those affected by a disaster because we think people need them. This has been on my mind recently because we’re in holiday mode and I have request sitting on my desk for school supplies for children affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The first thing I wondered was do children affected by Sandy really need school supplies or do they and their parents need something else, something more valuable? I wonder the same thing about giving toys for Christmas. Yes, children love toys, but maybe what a family needs is for someone to pay the electric bill for three months, or help with medical expenses, or provide some other need.

Over at, a social services veteran provides solid advice for holiday giving. First things first, call and ask what’s needed. That’s good advice for giving at all times. Even if you think someone you know really needs something, a simple conversation may prove otherwise. Enjoy!

One thought to “A Good Read About Giving”

  • Blanc2

    Good point.  Also, in many instances, perhaps most, it’s better to give money than stuff.  For example, an individual could go to the grocery store, buy a box of macaroni & cheese for its $3.50 retail price, and give it to a food shelf.  Or, he could give the $3.50 to the food shelf, which, with its bulk purchasing power and wholesale pricing, could purchase three boxes for the same money.  Money enables the local agency, with feet on the ground, to obtain exactly what they need, and a dollar in the hands of most relief agencies goes much farther than a dollar in the hands of individual consumers buying “stuff” and donating it.

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