My families ask for a gift list each year and this year especially I’m having a hard time coming up with things. So I wrote this, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m posting here as a possible model for others who really aren’t into receiving gifts. In the past I’ve met resistance because “there will be nothing to unwrap” which is why I included the list of smaller items.
This year has been an emotional one for me. While I am very lucky and thankful, I fear for many over the coming years, and am often at a loss as to what to do to help. So in lieu of gifts this year, I’d like to help some organizations. I have a list of small things you can get me below if you want to get me things to unwrap.
1: Help a refugee family
My coworkers and I are sponsoring a refugee family through the Lutheran Family Services. You can read about it here: goo.gl/aMyJSB Basically, we buy all the things a family needs to get a start in Lincoln – everything from toilet paper to beds, and then we go set up the apartment for them before they arrive. We actually have many of the items already (you can take a peek at [redacted, because it’s publicly editable]) but we won’t know many of the items we need until we find out where the family is from and how many children/what ages they have. So the easiest way to make a donation for this is to give me cash, which I will take with me when we go grocery/toy shopping for the family or it will be used towards bigger items, like beds. Also, if you happen to have any good condition beds from a source you trust (they’re understandably worried about bed bugs) those are proving to be some of the harder items to find.
If you’d like to instead go with me/us when we go shopping, just let me know! We’re trying to coordinate a lot of people, but I think the more the merrier.
If you want to give me something to unwrap which I will pass on to the family, the following items would be good in greater quantities:
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- zip loc bags
- trash bags (kitchen sized)
- toothpaste and toothbrushes
Other places to donate:
I believe many of these will be more important in the coming weeks/months/years, and some are always helpful.
Community Crops (http://communitycrops.org/)
Community Crops sponsors community gardens in Lincoln, especially for refugee and low income families
Food Bank of Lincoln (http://www.lincolnfoodbank.org/)
Anything else you want! Really, any money doing good anywhere will make me really happy.
If you want to pick up some items for me to unwrap, the following are always useful:
- Tennis balls (we lose them at the park)
- Rawhide chews, especially the little straw kind.
- Treats! Milkbones or whatever
- Jams and jellies – we tend to like whole fruit, no sugar added kinds, but whatever is good. Sometimes craft fairs are good places to pick up local varieties.
- Good smelling candles – just the inexpensive ones from target, menards and the like. I like ones that smell like baked goods or vanilla, or citrus scents.
- Socks – plain black socks, womens medium
- AAA or AA batteries
- White Cheddar Cheez-its