My grandfather was the first in my family to declare that we all have enough “stuff” and should try to dial back our consumer behavior at birthdays and holidays. I have made a game of finding new and awesome charitable gifts for him. Sometimes it is a straight up donation in his name and sometimes it is a purchase that raises funds for a cause. My best yet was when The Elephant Sanctuary was raising funds by selling prints of paintings done by one of the resident elephants.
I recently found his Father’s Day gift – although admittedly, I gifted myself first.
Vonate.org is another organization attempting to Harness the Power of the Internet in order to do some good. The mission is:
"To socially enable change in the world with one individual and one dollar at a time."
Taking from the idea "if we all gave one dollar", Vonate picks a couple of worthy organizations each month and each member chooses which to send $1.00. One becomes a member by registering online and paying the $15.00 fee ($1.00 per month for a year plus $3.00 to support Vonate's expenses.)
Obviously, to use the membership, one is required to log in to the website at least once a month to vote. This is no problem for my grandfather, even if he is still on dial-up. Vonate has video introductions to each of the month’s featured causes.
June has two options to help families living with serious illnesses. Cuddle My Kids helps young children whose parents have cancer. Project Angel Heart provides and delivers meals to families dealing with AIDS, cancer and other diseases. How does one choose?
You flip a coin. Then blog about both. There are, of course, options for making additional donations if you choose.
So if your dad has enough golf balls and ties, this is a great idea that won’t break the bank. It is also something that kids can do with their dads each month. To gift a membership, click this link. After you plug in your credit card information for the $15 fee, Vonate will give you a page with the redemption code to print out and put in your Father’s Day card. Then they will send you a confirmation e-mail with the same information (in case you can't print the original) that you can keep for your tax records.
I hope you will join the fun and gift yourself, too!