Ideas for Charity Giving for the Holidays

This year for Christmas my family decided to skip the gift giving and donate to local charities. I’m looking for ideas — whether it’s “adopting” a family for Christmas, donating winter clothes, food shelves, etc. I know there is a lot out there in the Twin Ports I could donate to, but thought I would ask PDDers for ideas that maybe I never thought of. Thanks for your help!



about 9 years ago

The homeless families and individuals at the Catholic Worker homes  (Loaves and Fishes, Hannah House and Olive Branch) always have needs, especially as they're moving into apartments. But I believe they just recently posted about specific things needed by residents, like men's slippers and winter boots. You can find them on Facebook under Loaves N Fishes/ Duluth Catholic Worker.


about 9 years ago

You could donate your time to a local nursing home and visit with residents who won't have family nearby during the Holidays.


about 9 years ago

While money, toys, clothes etc are important and useful, I still maintain that the most important thing you can donate is your time. Make a symbolic 'gift' by committing yourself to a long term commitment with a charity or group, such as becoming a mentor for a child, becoming a regular volunteer at a nursing home, or volunteering with children at a school. This allows you to make connections and show real people that you care for more than just one holiday of the year, and make relationships that will hopefully have a lasting positive impact, for them, and you. I began volunteering with Minnesota Reading Corp this fall and I LOVE working with the kids, and its easy enough to fit one hour per week into my schedule, and hopefully I'm helping kids learn a lifetime skill. Making a commitment like one semester or one year of volunteering would be an awesome gift to our community!


about 9 years ago

Here's some organizations that I have donated to:

Second Harvest Food Bank
One Roof Housing
Loaves N Fishes - noted in hbh1's post above


about 9 years ago

Animal Allies is an excellent organization, and seems to use donations really well.  Also Wildwoods Rehabilitation (they post on PDD with updates) do great work.

Another idea is the Duluth Public Library.  Their Friends group raises funds.  The DPL can save you tons of money.  We don't buy books at all anymore (and I read a lot) because, between the DPL and the MNLink they provide for statewide book searches, I have yet to not get a book I am looking for.  Same with DVDs:  we just suspended Netflix discs because every single film we want to see is available through DPL and MNLink.  So give the $ you'd spend on that stuff to the DPL instead!

I am not affiliated with any of these groups, I just think they all do terrific work.


about 9 years ago

All of these are great ideas!  Thank you.

Dawn Marie

about 9 years ago

Local nursing homes are a great idea too. Speaking from personal experience as a former employee of one, every year the Activity Department does a "secret Santa" thing for the residents. Employees pick a resident and sign up to buy an inexpensive gift (like $20 max or something). Then if there is any resident whom staff did not pick the Activity staff usually has a few gifts bought to fill in the gaps. I'm sure they would welcome donated gifts, you can call and find out what type of gifts to buy.

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