How to Give Back (and Have Fun While You Do It) This Holiday Season
By Nicole Schnitzler| December 15, 2015 |
There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by giving back—especially when those good deeds are directly in tandem with the month’s most festive events. Between bourbon dinners and wreath-making 101, here are nine of the best ways to support great causes this season, all while having fun.
Meat and whiskey lovers, rejoice: On December 18, chef Aaron McKay (Moto, Schwa, NoMI) and the The Renaissance Blackstone Hotel will host a three-course wild game and bourbon dinner, with 5% of proceeds benefiting Esperanza Community Services, an organization for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Can’t make it? On December 22, they’re continuing to support the cause with their Weingut Keller dinner, a sit-down tasting menu of Vietnamese plates and pairings from the lauded German winery. 636 S. Michigan Ave., 312-447-0955
Online shoppers can now give back when they make a purchase with a variety of e-retailers (from Ann Taylor to Overstock.com). When a consumer's purchase arrives, they can fill that box with items they wish to donate, attach a pre-paid shipping label, and send the box directly to Goodwill.
Calling all coats: Maker’s Mark has partnered with One Warm Coat to offer people the opportunity to donate their new or gently used winter garb. Do-gooders can donate clothes to the Maker’s Mark Give Cozy, Get Cozy truck, which will serve up hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies, and a lot of holiday cheer when it travels through cities like Baltimore, D.C., and Louisville.
Sometimes it pays to be confident. This holiday season, anti-poverty organization Heartland Alliance is teaming up with selfie app Pay Your Selfie on their “selfless selfies” initiative. Every Pay Your Selfie selfie taken in front of your stocked fridge means $1 donated to Heartland Alliance.
The model of this Chicago nonprofit is simple: 25% of proceeds head straight to a different charity each month. That applies to this month’s wreath-making classes, which will be held every Sunday until Christmas and directly support Coalition for the Homeless.
This charity connects kid volunteers with famous chefs to cook and serve globally inspired meals for those in need. For $20, their Cookies to Care program provides donors with a globally inspired cookie recipe from one of their pro chefs, cultural information about the country of origin, and a label template.
True Sioux Hope Foundation and Thrive Market have created a national initiative to raise $60,000 to support 100 families on the impoverished Pine Ridge Reservation. To do so, they’ve crafted four customized $50 boxes of healthy foods and natural, wholesome products, which supporters can purchase to have delivered directly to a family on the reservation.
Hunger and poverty relief organization Family-to-Family offers a variety of giving programs meant to serve both recipients and donors in a meaningful way. Case in point: their Stuff a Stocking initiative, which asks donors to fill a stocking with basic essentials and fun gifts for those in need.
Tea gets a lot more festive this season at The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, where families are encouraged to bring in a teddy bear that will be donated directly to children at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Hit the post-holiday sales for multiple bears—this program happens every day from 2-4:30 p.m. through January 10. 160 E. Pearson St., 312-266-1000