(StatePoint) The holiday season is all about giving. This year, consider combining thoughtful gifts for loved ones with charitable efforts that benefit the larger community. There are many great ways to do so. Here are a few.
Give a Local Experience
When shopping for a loved one or friend who seems to have everything, planning an experience may have a greater, longer-lasting impact than a gift card, video game, or flowers.
Consider giving tickets to an art gallery, a play at a nearby theater, or a local museum. Many of these venues are non-profit and donate revenues from ticket sales to charitable foundations. At the same time, you’ll be supporting your local community.
Give Books and Donate
Shopping for a bibliophile? Along with the gift of a book, consider honoring your gift recipient while promoting literacy and a love of reading in the wider community. Libraries often have programs that offer gift givers an opportunity to donate a book in someone’s name. Or, you may consider donating books or a magazine subscription to a homeless shelter or school.
Give Clean Water
Unfortunately, these days, safe tap water is not always a given, no matter where one lives. With the incidence of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes on the rise that may displace families and create uncertainty about water quality, consider gifting something essential -- safe hydration on-the-go.
Refillable water bottles that feature built-in filters can give recipients access to safe drinking water from virtually anywhere. Those from LifeStraw remove 99.999999 percent of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella) and 99.999 percent of waterborne protozoa (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium), while reducing chlorine, organic chemical matter, bad taste, and odor.
For kids, LifeStraw Play is a good choice and will offer parents greater peace of mind. It’s the first water bottle with a two-stage filter designed for children. The 10 oz. bottle is dishwasher safe, and its sturdy leak-proof design makes safer drinking convenient at home, school, on camping trips or during emergencies. For adults, consider LifeStraw Go with two-stage filtration that ensures safe hydration during travel, at home, in the office, at the gym, and outdoors.
For those thinking charitably this season, consider that for every LifeStraw product purchased, one child in a developing community is provided with clean drinking water for an entire school year through the company’s Follow the Liters program. As of now, Follow the Liters has provided safe drinking water to 633,000 students at 1,000 schools, and plans to reach one million students by early 2018. LifeStraw products are available for purchase at specialty retailers and online at www.lifestraw .com.
This holiday season, you can spread cheer to loved ones and beyond with thoughtful gifts that make the world a better place.