“ It’s better to give than receive — especially advice. ” — Mark Twain
Since long before Halloween it’s been impossible to avoid billboards, sound bites, and even tweets suggesting ways to spend what recession-spared cash we have left for this season of giving. With apologies for yet more advice, consider these little or no-cost “give-back gifts” that can sustain good feelings and good works through the holiday rush … and beyond.
Make wishes come true
Community groups on tight budgets have wish lists of items that help them minimize operating costs and maximize the services they provide. Make a habit of checking out lists posted by deserving organizations including:
- Seattle Children’s Hospital — Expert diagnosis and care to children, teens and young adults throughout the Pacific Northwest.
- Seattle Tilth — Inspiring and educating people to garden organically and conserve natural resources.
- Bike Works (Seattle) — Building sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling.
- Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center (Woodinville, Wash.) — Improving the bodies, minds and spirits of children and adults with disabilities through equine-assisted therapy.
- Seattle Humane Society — Serving the people and animals of King County, with pet adoptions, veterinary services, dog training classes, a pet food bank, and humane education for children of all ages.
Save a life
Every day the Puget Sound Blood Center works to save lives through research, education, and blood and tissue services. PCC will host the Puget Sound Blood Mobile at six of our stores over the holidays. For specific dates and times, please visit our community and store events section. Or call 800-398-7888 to become a blood donor; call 800-DONATE-1, ext. 4388 to host a blood donation drive.
Give meaning, not stuff
The TisBest Charity Gift Card, purchased online in any denomination between $10 and $5,000, works like any other gift card, except it is tax-deductible for the purchaser and the recipient spends it to support a charity of his or her choice. The charity receives the entire amount on the card, less a $1.95 transaction fee and three percent received by the credit card processor.
Repurpose unwanted items
Clothing, books and household items no longer of use to you or your family are valuable gifts to organizations that turn them into year-round education and job training opportunities. Contact the Northwest Center or Reading Tree to find out more.
Give your time and your talent
Volunteering is a gift that is of more value to the giver than the getter … and opportunities to volunteer come in so many forms there’s certainly to be one that’s a perfect fit. A quick call to an organization doing work you admire will get you started, or consider some of the following possibilities:
- PCC Food Bank bulk food packaging parties — Spend a couple of hours with friends and family repackaging bulk food for distribution to neighbors in need. Volunteers age 6 and older welcome.
- iParticipate.org — Find community volunteer opportunities anywhere in the United States, listed by zip code.
- Washington Wilderness Coalition — Be part of the effort to preserve and restore wild areas in Washington state. Volunteers of all ages, skill levels, and interests are needed for public outreach, events, office help, technical assistance and more.
- Girls on the Run of Puget Sound — Volunteer for efforts that use the power of running to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.
- Provail — This Seattle-based organization welcomes volunteer participation in offering services for children and adults with disabilities.
- The Arboretum Foundation — Increase your knowledge of plants and trees while you help protect, maintain and enhance the Washington Park Arboretum, one of the Pacific Northwest’s great treasures.
- Hopelink — Help people and change lives with seasonal and ongoing volunteer opportunities available at this Redmond, Wash.-based organization.
- Pike Place Market Foundation — Volunteer for a special event, provide office support or collect unsold fresh produce from market farmers for distribution to Seattle-area food banks.
Give a lifetime of health
A PCC membership provides year-round benefits in the form of delicious, healthful food; safe and effective products; monthly discounts and the knowledge that each dollar spent helps make possible programs that support our communities and the environment.