If you're still searching for a passable gift for a friend or family member who seems to have everything she needs, put down that credit card for a moment and consider giving a charitable gift instead. There are amazing charities and non-profit organizations out there doing great work, which could definitely use your charitable gift this year.
For friends and family members who appreciate charitable gifts and have a deep love for causes related to design, architecture, and home, here are 10 gifts they'll be sure to cherish. (These gifts are tax-deductible, too, so you can feel good about your holiday giving and feel good about your taxes.) Of course, this is only a tiny fraction of the charities that need your support. If none of these seem to fit your gifting agenda, make sure to check out charities in your area, too!
- Located in Boston, The Food Project turns abandoned urban lots into productive farms that make nutritious fresh produce available in former food deserts. Around 40 percent of the food grown is donated to hunger relief organizations and homeless shelters, or sold at below-market rates at farmers' markets.
- The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the United States' only museum completely dedicated to historic and contemporary design. With over 250,000 objects, the Museum holds the largest design collection in the country. Contribute with a gift amount or a membership.
- Berkeley's Ecology Center is a public resource for reliable information, tools, hands-on training, referrals, strategies, infrastructure, and models for sustainable living.
- Architecture For Humanity strives to create a more sustainable future through its network of more than 50,000 professionals who lend their time and expertise to help bring design, construction, and development services where they are most critically needed across the world.
- The National Coalition For Homeless Veterans provides advice and assistance to policymakers, Congress and the federal agencies involved with homeless veteran issues and service providers with the goal of ending homelessness among veterans.
- The National Housing Law Project is a law and advocacy center dedicated to housing justice for the poor. For over 40 years, NHLP has used the law to increase and preserve the supply of decent affordable housing, to improve existing housing conditions, including physical conditions and management practices, to expand and enforce low-income tenants' and homeowners' rights, and to increase opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities.
- Habitat For Humanity helps to provide home ownership opportunities through the building of safe, energy efficient, and stable homes, in partnership with the potential home owners through its "sweat equity" program. Habitat For Humanity seeks to "eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action."
- The American Folk Art Museum is devoted to the preservation, conservation, and interpretation of traditional folk art and creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from the United States and abroad.
- West Oakland's City Slicker Farms has been working to create food justice and improve the environment in West Oakland since 2001 through a series of gardens, workshops, and related projects for the community.
- The Good Shepherd Center in Los Angeles helps homeless women rebuild their lives so they and their children will experience a brighter future. Through housing, employment and other supportive services, we offer women hope and the opportunity to achieve independence.
Do you have a favorite cause or charity that you give to each year? Leave the name and link in the comments below.