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« The Importance of Social Networking to Information Work | Main | The Alignment Gap Between Organizational Structure & Organizational Priorities »

November 28, 2008


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Francine McKenna

Did you see my Retweet today on Planned Parenthood Indianapolis offering gift certificates for its services? Helps a lot of folks who don't have health insurance take care of critical health needs.

Rachel Happe

Francine - I had not seen that - it's a great addition to the list!

Rachel Happe

If you needed a better reason to stop giving stuff that we don't need: watch


I agree that adults swapping trivial gifts is a little soul destroying.

Some suggestions: do something for someone and they do something for you - a task you love and they hate. Personally I am always happy to get a bottle of home made jam. Setting up Skype or Facebook for an older person so they can communicate more readily with their grandchildren?

Do a community project together. This may be a big one before 2009 is out. This year helping out in soup kitchen seems to be in. Next year having a block party so a soup kitchen is not/less needed or so people who can't travel home have somewhere to celebrate might be better.

Giving a mobile/cell phone to an older person and ringing their relatives to get all the numbers so they are up and going. Teach them to text.

Giving a 'job' to youngsters in the neighbourhood to give them some spare cash. Get the youngster to teach the older person?

Organizing a Xmas party for the relatives of people working at factories, firestations, etc. to say thankyou.

Todd Van Hoosear

I love the giving too. I don't mind the getting when it's family or very close friends, but sometimes you're faced with incredible generosity that you're not sure you'll be able to repay--that's a real challenge.

When I left my last job at Topaz, I gave everybody a few nicely wrapped gifts, and a card. The gifts turned out to be silly things that, for the most part, were either a) lying around my office; b) claimed specifically by that person; or c) cost me under $5.

I left them on people's chairs the evening I left for the last time--so nobody would feel any obligation to give back. While I did spend time figuring the right gift for each person, most of the time went into the wrapping and the cards.

I don't think you're alone this season in wondering if money could be better spent on more practical and meaningful things, though!

Rachel Happe

Jo & Todd - Great suggestions! Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

Over the weekend I also discovered a great additional resource to help find local charities called Network for Good - - brought to us by the same find folks who run

Happy Giving!

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