Saturday, December 15, 2012

Great Gifting: Give a Little, Get a Lot

Making lists, checking them twice…and don't get me started on the whole naughty or nice thing. It's just all too much to keep track of!

So I say opt out, walk away, leave it at the door. No one I know needs more stuff, and the idea of the holidays (and, come to think of it, life in general) is to give joy, spread peace and love and generally try to make the planet a better place, right?

And who wouldn't like—instead of smiling politely and wondering how long they have to display a gift before it goes in the Goodwill pile—to know that they're helping to further the work of those doing good in the world?

There are lots of folks in our community laboring to do just that every day, and are deserving of support for their efforts. Here are a few of my favorites. Please consider giving a gift in the name of your loved ones!
  • Zenger Farm: A working urban farm that models, promotes and educates the community about sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development and access to good food for all. They also provide training for immigrant and refugee farmers in language and business skills as well as urban agriculture.
  • Friends of Family Farmers: Building a strong and united voice for Oregon’s independent family farmers, food advocates, and concerned citizens who are working to foster an approach to agriculture that respects the land, treats animals humanely, sustains local communities, and provides a viable livelihood for family farmers.
  • Organic Seed Alliance: Advances the ethical development and stewardship of the genetic resources of agricultural seed. This is accomplished through collaborative education, advisory services and research programs with organic farmers and other seed professionals.
  • Farmers Market Fund: Improving access for underserved communities to food grown by local farmers and provide opportunities to learn about the benefits of fresh, local food. The Fresh Exchange program provides a dollar-for-dollar match to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users at three neighborhood farmers markets. In Willamette Week Give Guide under Health & Wellness section.
  • Farmers Ending Hunger: Utilizing the productive resources of Oregon’s farmers to fight hunger, FEH relies on the Oregon Food Bank’s network of social-service programs to distribute locally grown, high-quality food to hungry individuals. To date, more than 7.9 million pounds of fresh produce and commodities like wheat have been donated.  In Willamette Week Give Guide under Social Action section.
  • Xerces Society: Protecting wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. For 40 years, the Society has been at the forefront of invertebrate protection, working with farmers here in Oregon and worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. Perfect for the bug-lover in your circle!


Jen said...

Oh, such a good idea! Thanks Kathleen!

KAB said...

Thought it might be helpful in case folks are looking for local alternatives!