UnScrooge This Holiday

Note in the Pocket

With so many requests for donations this time of year, it’s no wonder our giving spirit sometimes starts to sag. What if you commit to doing just one thing this season? We’ve even got a few easy ideas – because we think there’s more Santa than Scrooge in all of us.

Chip in

You’ve always wanted to be a Fairy Godmother, right? Note in the Pocket provides clothing to impoverished and homeless schoolchildren in Wake County. Because the more than 200 monthly referrals come from social workers and agencies who in turn make the deliveries, Note in the Pocket never has contact with the kids it serves.

Brown paper sacks are filled with two weeks’ worth of necessities: jeans, shirts, coats, socks, underwear and, sometimes, shoes. The socks and underwear are always new. A note reading “You are Loved” is tucked into each bag, says Dallas Bonavita, the group’s executive director.

But back to the godmothers. Bonavita says that as bags are filled, there are sometimes missing items. So an email blast goes out to the Godmother Club with the hope someone will come through with a small gift card or will pick up the needed item while out shopping.

By the way, club members don’t have to be women. Men make mighty fine godmothers, too. To sign up, visit www.noteinthepocket.org

Selfless swap
Grocery cart

We all buy more than we need. Take one item out of your cart and replace it with something that can be donated—maybe a gift to put under an Angel Tree.

BOGO

Take advantage of those BOGO offers by passing on your free item to someone who could use it. Often, there’s a barrel at the front of stores to collect non-perishables for local charities. You could give your gift before you get back to your car.

BackseBackseat bagat bags

Remember that little drawstring backpack you got from a giveaway? The one shoved into the corner of a closet? It’s time to put it to good use. If you don’t have a backpack, a clear, resealable baggie will work just as well.

Fill a sack with a few extras you have around the house—little tubes of toothpaste and a new toothbrush, soap, crackers, new socks, maybe even a small gift card to a fast-food restaurant. Toss it in your backseat and, when the opportunity arises, pass the bag out the window to someone in need.

Cindy Schaefer

Cindy Schaefer

Cindy Schaefer spent 15 years as a copy editor for The Raleigh Times and The News & Observer before embarking on a freelance career in 2000. A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism, she writes regularly for several local publications, has been the principal editor for several books and serves as a writing coach for high school seniors. She and her husband of 30 years live in Cary, where they raised their three children. Much of her free time is spent advocating for families affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy, including her own.
Cindy Schaefer

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