Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Charitable Christmas Giving
Old 12-18-2014, 03:06 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Car-Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Citizen of Texas
Posts: 2,472
Charitable Christmas Giving

I'm not a huge fan of Walmart (although I do shop there since it's about the only game in town) but I saw something there today that I felt was helping the local community. (as well as Walmart) They had a Christmas tree just inside the store with a bunch of hand cut paper stars hanging all over the tree. These stars had a childs name and age on one side and a modest Christmas gift wish on the other side. (Toys, clothes, etc) There was also a letter attached that explained that the local child welfare service didn't have money budgeted for Christmas gifts and this was a way to ask the community for such help. My wife said she had seen this before but I hadn't. I was really surprised to see how many of the kids were asking for clothes and not toys.

Anyway, we picked several stars off the tree and went shopping. When we checked out we simply gave the paper stars to the cashier along with the gifts we had picked out, paid for them and they were set aside for the child. I had thought about stopping by the local welfare office and making a donation (I probably will still do that tomorrow) but this helped make it a little more personal. No doubt Walmart wins too since we bought all the stuff there, but I thought it was still a nice way to help the local community kids.

Have you seen this at your local Walmart (or other stores) or found other ways to help give a little extra to the needy kids or families in your community at this time of the year?
__________________

__________________
Car-Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-18-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jollystomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,358
I have seen this also at our local Walmart store. Several churches in our area also do this. DW and I like to participate, it is fun for us, particularly as our kids, nieces, and nephews are too old for toys and buy their own clothes now. Sometimes we have also delivered the gifts to the children. The response we get cannot be described in words... it shatters many of the popular "stereotypes" about those in need.
__________________

__________________
Current target FIRE date: Under negotiation, can happen anytime.
jollystomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 03:21 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,412
Yes, I have seen this before. Also, one of my former employers did a similar thing with the Christmas tree in the lobby - you would take one or more stars, go buy gifts, wrap them and then put the wrapped gift under the tree and it would be distributed to the kids.

When I was in Jaycees our local chapter did a Christmas event where we would meet at a local church with kids from needy families and take the kids shopping for Christmas gifts for their family (the retail district was a short walk away) and then return to the church, help them wrap the gifts for their families and then have a Christmas party that Santa would make an appearance with gifts for child. It was one of my favorite events because it captured the giving aspect of Christmas.

When I was in college our fraternity did an event hosting an Easter party for local disabled kids and that was very rewarding too.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,591
Many places around here do this. I've seen it for probably 20 years or so. We're on the edge of Appalachia, so I imagine it's more common here, but I'm sure it's a good idea anywhere.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,567
No I've never seen that at Walmart or anyplace.

My DW's late best friend was the postmaster in a small very poor town(250 people). I'm sure she wasn't technically able to do this. She knew everbody in town and if they'd had an expecially tough year. She provide us addresses, and general information how many family members etc. The local grocery store sold gift certificates, thought they excluded tobacco and alcohol. We'd figure out dollar amounts based on family size, mailed anonymous notes and gift certificates out. Easy for us, unexpected gift of holiday meal for the recipient and we knew where every dime went!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 03:48 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,189
We have those here, too. In fact, we have one for children and a similar tree for elderly adults who are in similar circumstances. They ask for clothes and food and sometimes a large print Bible. I think next year, we are going to change over to the elderly tree.
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,326
Many churches, clubs and organizations do a giving tree in cooperation with a charitable organization that knows who needs what. It's a fine undertaking any time of the year. Personally, I have a wad of $20 bills which I drop in the Salvation Army kettles. I have known several families helped by the SA.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 04:08 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Every year I purchase small quality stuffed animals for Toys for Tots and take them to a designated collection place. I love doing the shopping.

I've noticed the quality of small stuffed animals in the stores has gone downhill over the past few years. So....this year I bid on and purchased 177 beanie baby toys via eBay. I placed the bids over a 5 day period and waited for the emails to come in telling me if I won or not.

I gave most of them to Toys for Tots. The rest were distributed to my VFW friends. We all had a blast lining them up on the bar and I told everyone there that they could pick several "for the grandkids" or themselves.

It was great to be able to create so many smiles with not much effort.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 04:43 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,878
I think that it is nice of Walmart to do this for their employees.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Islands
Posts: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
I'm not a huge fan of Walmart (although I do shop there since it's about the only game in town) but I saw something there today that I felt was helping the local community. (as well as Walmart) They had a Christmas tree just inside the store with a bunch of hand cut paper stars hanging all over the tree. These stars had a childs name and age on one side and a modest Christmas gift wish on the other side. (Toys, clothes, etc) There was also a letter attached that explained that the local child welfare service didn't have money budgeted for Christmas gifts and this was a way to ask the community for such help. My wife said she had seen this before but I hadn't. I was really surprised to see how many of the kids were asking for clothes and not toys.

Anyway, we picked several stars off the tree and went shopping. When we checked out we simply gave the paper stars to the cashier along with the gifts we had picked out, paid for them and they were set aside for the child. I had thought about stopping by the local welfare office and making a donation (I probably will still do that tomorrow) but this helped make it a little more personal. No doubt Walmart wins too since we bought all the stuff there, but I thought it was still a nice way to help the local community kids.

Have you seen this at your local Walmart (or other stores) or found other ways to help give a little extra to the needy kids or families in your community at this time of the year?
Love the idea...but seems Walmart should provide a discount for the items purchased specifically for this cause. IMHO.
__________________
Travelwanted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 05:13 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,318
Our Wal-Mart has the same type of tree for kids. At work, we collect items for the soldiers at the local veterans hospital and gifts for the soldier's family.
__________________
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
Accidental Retiree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 975
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Every year I purchase small quality stuffed animals for Toys for Tots and take them to a designated collection place. I love doing the shopping.

I've noticed the quality of small stuffed animals in the stores has gone downhill over the past few years. So....this year I bid on and purchased 177 beanie baby toys via eBay. I placed the bids over a 5 day period and waited for the emails to come in telling me if I won or not.

I gave most of them to Toys for Tots. The rest were distributed to my VFW friends. We all had a blast lining them up on the bar and I told everyone there that they could pick several "for the grandkids" or themselves.

It was great to be able to create so many smiles with not much effort.

Cool idea. 🌻🎁🎅
__________________
Chief Retirement Strategist
The AR Group
Accidental Retiree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 08:59 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: E. Wash
Posts: 1,057
A local TV stations runs a promo called "Coats for Kids". It starts in Oct and dispenses coats in early Dec/Thankgiving time. They take new and nearly new and provide to those identified by various agencies as in need. Since we are at the 47/48 parallel we have real winters. This winter they have gotten about 11-12k coats donated.
We hit Costco every year when the winter coats come out and pick up several in both boys and girls versions. Much more direct giving without the agency overhead.
Nwsteve
__________________
nwsteve is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 09:48 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,979
DH and I give generously throughout the year so I tend not to go for the tear-jerking appeals at Christmas. I've contributed to Giving Trees at employers but never set foot in Wal-Mart. Too much cheap crap made in China.

What hit me this year, though, was the solicitation from the local metro ballet company asking if I wanted to help send Boys' and Girls' Club members to The Nutcracker. I've taken little kids to The Nutcracker, including my own when he was little and it's magic. I fell for that one!
__________________
athena53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 10:01 PM   #15
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Castle Rock
Posts: 14
We have seen these trees locally, I too noticed the kids asking for clothes rather than toys.
I have found another way to help out the kids in the area that are in need. When I started volunteering at our local small town food bank (open one day a week) I noticed that the kids that came with the parents were given a mini candy bar for a snack. It was gone before they got to the end of the line and all they had left was a smile. So this year I told all of our family members that their gift was going to be treat bags for the kids that accompanied their folks to the food bank.

We went to Costco and started with 4 cases of gallon zip lock bags and ended up with $550 worth of kid treats including out nut bars, applesauce in squeeze bags, fruit rollups,puddings, cookies, cheese and crackers, oatmeal packets and various other junk food items. All in all it works out to about $2 a bag with about 8 items per bag.
Huge smiles today from the kids. I can't imagine how bad these kids feel having to be there in the first place but this really seemed to hit the spot for them and their parents.
New envelope idea, $4 a day to continue to fund this all year.
__________________
ghsebldr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014, 11:29 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 331
This is called an Angel Tree here. This is one of the first charitable actions I remember doing - my mom would pick out a kid each year and my siblings and I would each pick out something for them. I've continued the tradition every year since I was a child. Since I am well compensated and childless, I pick out a handful of kids each year. This year I contributed through my gym's Angel Tree, although I normally participate in the BX's Angel Tree at whichever base I'm stationed at that year.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
FI by 2024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 05:50 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,878
This seems like a nice way to help needy kids have a nice Christmas. I got turned off to Christmas charitable giving about 20 years ago when the Salvation Army had a campaign to fund a needy family's Christmas. When I called and they found I was only offering $300, they were dismissive - saying that might possibly pay for a single mother and a tiny baby - but no more. At that time, my DW and I spent about $100 on each other, so I was puzzled and a bit insulted. Perhaps I just didn't understand the program.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 07:24 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,979
Yeah, I agree; $300 sounds pretty generous to me. We support the Salvation Army and I wonder what they provide; maybe grocery gift cards and other longer- term gifts in addition to a Christmas meal and presents?

On one board I'm on, people reported some Angel Trees where kids were asking for iPads and expensive video games. There were few takers. (One said it was at the school where she worked and that those requests were more expensive than what they were getting their own kids.
__________________
athena53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Charitable Christmas Giving
Old 12-19-2014, 08:44 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 331
Charitable Christmas Giving

Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Yeah, I agree; $300 sounds pretty generous to me. We support the Salvation Army and I wonder what they provide; maybe grocery gift cards and other longer- term gifts in addition to a Christmas meal and presents?

On one board I'm on, people reported some Angel Trees where kids were asking for iPads and expensive video games. There were few takers. (One said it was at the school where she worked and that those requests were more expensive than what they were getting their own kids.

A service group I belonged to in college once spent nearly $300 on a family, but as you guessed we provided more than gifts for the kids. We included blankets, clothes for the parents, and a grocery gift card in addition to the stuff for the 5 kids.

I typically spend about $50/child doing these. That generally pays for 1-2 toys and 2-3 clothing items. This year I noticed quite a few requests for a Wii U system plus games - on the final night, the tree was still crowded with those requests because nobody fulfilled them. Sad, because the kid ends up with nothing because the parents asked for too much. I did choose one boy who asked for a Wii U, but multiple requests were listed and you just indicate which ones you bought, so I bought the clothes and Simon Swipe plus a couple small extras. That way he at least gets some presents.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
FI by 2024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 11:03 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
The small rural community that we live in, has several different organizations and businesses that help make the Christmas holiday season a little brighter for the less fortunate in the community. The local newspaper sponsors the "Red Stocking Fund" that buys toys and clothing for hundreds of children every year. The Lions Club in the next town east of us does the same thing with Christmas baskets for folks in their community. The local Labor Union does the same also.

And one that just wrapped up there big annual drive, our hometown IGA grocery store sponsors "Freezin' For A Reason" for one day every year to gather food and donations for our local Food Pantry. This year the community stepped up to the plate with over 60,000 pounds (30 tons) of donated food, plus over $40,000 in cash donations, during that one, single day last week! Not too shabby for a small town in the middle of the cornfields!

All of those listed, accept donations all year long. And there are quite a few other groups around here that provide gifts for kids and their families, too.

In addition to donating to some of the above charities, I make a sizable annual donation to a wonderful church in SoCal, that is part of the same fellowship as I am, that works primarily with those in society that others have nothing to do with (addicts, gang members, bikers, and the like) to provide brand new bicycles to the children who would otherwise have nothing for Christmas. They also provide the kids and their families with a big Christmas party, other gifts, clothing, and dinner. This is just an extension of what they do the other 364 days each year. My kind of folks!

As for the Trees at WalMart, I don't shop there so I've not seen them.
__________________

__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Charitable giving braumeister FIRE and Money 51 01-18-2011 09:58 AM
Charitable Remainder Trusts/Charitable Gift Annuities friar1610 FIRE and Money 4 10-12-2010 12:40 AM
Something positive: Charitable giving at an all time high REWahoo Other topics 0 06-25-2007 05:59 PM
Charitable Giving........ FinanceDude Other topics 5 04-25-2007 11:11 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:07 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.