Okay, so many of you have wondered why I haven't been updating in the past couple of weeks. Or, rather, I'm sure you've been wondering, and it's only the fact that you're paralyzed with worry over my wellbeing that has prevented you from at least checking up on me or something.
Anyway. The answer is basically that I've been hella busy with work and whatnot, the majority of the "whatnot" being preparations for the holidays (shopping, decorating, selling my kidneys on E-bay to afford the whole thing). And actually, that's something that you, my darling reader(s), can help me with - I'm looking for charitable swag. Check out Doug's post on the subject at GWBWYPGN?! for the full poop, but basically, we're not doing the usual Christmastime Parade of Useless and Unwanted Crap in the Practically Harmless household this year. Instead, we're taking the money that would have been spent on presents that would, in all likelihood, go unused and/or unappreciated and just take up space in an already cluttered world, and donate that money to a worthy charity.
I'm breaking the rules a litle this year - darling brother pointed out that "don't buy me anything for Christmas" is kind of this family's "please oh please don't throw me in that briar patch," and besides, everyone likes opening up stuff at Christmas, even if it's not a lot of stuff. So here's your assignment: coe up with worthy charities that offer swag. I'm compiling a list of those that I've already found, but as you come across spiffy items whose proceeds go to a charity, throw me a note under Comments, and I'll give you appropriate props. And of course we can't ignore those good causes that don't offer swag - there are multitudes of folks out there who are, in whatever way and for whatever reason, less fortunate than I/you/we are.
Peace. Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah, joyous Ramadan, perky Kwanzaa.
Charities with merchandise:
Until There's a Cure - $25 gets you a silver-plated cuff bracelet with raised AIDS ribbon; feel free to go crazy and drop $400 on the same in 14k gold. Both fashionable and socially conscious, the bracelets have raised over $6,000,000 for HIV/AIDS charities
America's Second Harvest - $25 buys you a pack of five holiday cards that are, in fact, kind of cute - even to me, and I abhor cuteness. And the money goes to feed the homeless.
Miracle Ties from Jos. A. Bank - $49.50 gets you a silk necktie designed by pediatric oncology patients at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. 100% of the profits go to benefit the Children's Center.
Charities that are way worthy anyway:
Wounded Warrior Project (from Ryan) - $99 will buy a backpack filled with clothes, toiletries and "comfort items" for a soldier wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. If that's a bit pricey for you, smaller donations are happily accepted.
American Red Cross - Accepts donations of not only money but also stock, spare change, "in-kind" products, and even airline miles.
Books for Soldiers (from B) - Accepts donations of new and used books and DVDs to hand out to bored soldiers - those deployed and those in VA hospitals. B points out that shipping has actually stopped until after the holidays, but I see that as the perfect opportunity to make a rather important point - chartiy doesn't have to stop just because the dried-out carcass of the Christmas tree is sitting on the curb. Poor people are still hungry, homeless people are still cold, shut-ins are still lonely, troops are still bored, and injured people still need blood, even when it's not a holiday. Bookmark this one for future reference.