Holiday Donations on Cyber Monday

This holiday season, some of my family and I decided to take a new look at the way we treat gifts.  Many of us are fortunate enough that if we need something, we just go our and get it.  I for one am very much of this mindset that I don’t need gifts from other people.  If there is something I truly need or want, I simply go out and buy it for myself as does my wife and other members of my family.  With that in mind we decided on a new family tradition that breaks away from the need to run out on Black Friday to fight crowds for deals on clothes and material things.  We embraced Cyber Monday as it were and decided to Point, Click and Donate.

The basic idea is simple enough.  Take whatever you would normally spend on each family member and apply that to a charity on their behalf.  You spend the same as you would have on them, but without shopping for a perfect gift, or something completely useless they will never use.  Why fight the crowds either when almost every charity has an online donation form.  Of course this does not apply to our younger family members, they will still get real gifts under the tree.

As for Julie and I, we also sponsor a family with a combined set of funds that we would have spent on each other.  We do this through a local organization known as the Share Program.  We get a family with a list of things they need, and we go shopping for them.  We are allowed to spend about $60 per family member, and we have a blast doing it.  The real joy for us is knowing we helped out people less fortunate than us both in our community, as well as outside of it.

I have some of my favorite ones listed on this page, but below are some others we decided to use this year.

AARP Drive to end Hunger – on behalf of my mom
The Jimmy Fund – On behalf of my dad
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital – On behalf of my brother-in-law
New Hampshire Food Bank – On behalf of my sister
Share Outreach – Sponsor a family
So, to those that are searching for the perfect gifts for each other, suggest a new tradition and pay it forward.  Sometimes we need to remember that we are not all as fortunate and happen to have good jobs in this fragile economy.  Others have lost their jobs and continue to do so.  Lend a helping hand in your community, you might just feel better about the holidays.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.

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