Advent -8

The gift that keeps on giving

Today is my birthday, so I’m featuring my very favorite gifts of all… and PLEASE, should be be feeling generous, do not be shy (I really like the chick on the Advent calendar, hint, hint).

Not everyone  is in love with the idea, but my family has gotten into the tradition of giving donations in each others name as a gift.

There are a lot of charities out there and it is hard to know where to start. My daughter M started at Le Bon Marche!!! Yes, we realize that LVMH does not need our €€s, but every Christmas a small group of individuals in wheelchairs come out to sell holiday cards (10€) just outside the rue de Sevres / Velpeau entrance. M has been buying her cards from the same gentleman for over a decade now and he still recognizes her despite her metamorphosis from skipping little 5 year old to the teen she is today!

E has a soft spot for Heifer International, so when her Bat Mitzvah came up, instead of gifts, she asked for cows, goats and flocks of chicks (10-25,000$). Heifer International gives the livestock to struggling families in rural areas across the globe. The families receive a potential source of revenue, a source of nurishment and, to ensure that it is the gift that keeps on giving, these families are required to donate one of their animal’s offspring to another family in need. The girls have given Mr French a flock of chicks to support his passion for all things poultry, while any French man would understand the importance of geese, ducks and rabbits (all available). This year Heifer International has a uniquely French idea… the gift of cheese, which includes the dairy producing animals required to make fetas, chevres and mozzarellas. They even have garden gift baskets and honeybees for the vegetarians in your life!

Two other charities I am a big fan of are ;

Arbor Day Foundation
Supports tree planting (4$ +) everywhere from suburban America to the rainforests of Central America, the Arbor Day Foundation is committed to to reforestation; preserving ecosystems and restoring wildlife habitats while fighting global warming. And their gift donations include tangible like chocolate, or wooden blocks your giftee can enjoy.

Doctors Without Borders
I had to include a French organization, and Médecins Sans Frontières maybe the most successful international charity to come out of France (50$ +). Every day, Doctors Without Borders field staff provides urgent medical care to victims of armed conflict, brings emergency relief in the aftermath of natural or man-made disasters and fights deadly epidemics. Your generous support helps make it possible.

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5 thoughts on “Advent -8

  1. Happy Birthday Sylvia!!! E has excellent taste — we have been giving the Heifer International for a while now. Last year we decided no more presents for adults in the family, we’d donate to Heifer in their honor instead. This year that’s what we gave our parents as birthday presents, and we’re donating to the Backpack Program as our presents to adult family and friends. I actually volunteer with our town’s backpack program too, physically picking up the food from the local food bank and helping to stuff 27 backpacks full of food for children in our small school district.

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