December 1, 2008 1:29 PM
Happy December! It's pretty incredible that there's only about 10 days left of actual classes before Finals. Most of us have a lot to think about: school, family, friends, and the holidays. I was thinking about this last point today--more directly, about gift ideas. Many of us, though, being students, are short on cash. Given this, I started to think about what gifts have meant the most to me and what gifts I would most like to give this season. Sure, there are books, electronics, and video games that I really enjoy. In addition to these, however, there are gifts that I've enjoyed even more because they were meaningful to me.
Look into adopting an endangered animal, a plot of land, or tree, for example, in the name of someone you care about who cares about these issues. Some organizations include: Defenders of Wildlife (I adopted a Dolphin for my girlfriend here a couple of years ago and had someone adopt a Panther in my name last year!), the World Wildlife Fund (we adopted a Polar Bear for my girlfriend's sister), and Adopt a Tree.
Being socially conscious individuals at Berkeley (for the most part), another great idea is to gift in someone's name to a non-profit that works for a personally--from the perspective of the recipient--salient issue. One local non-profit I found is Seva. They're located in Berkeley and have programs in 10 countries and Tibet that range from sight restoration to women's empowerment. They also focus on healthcare and education--two particularly important areas in development. Check out Seva's Gifts of Service page.
So this holiday season, give a meaningful gift if you can! Your recipients will enjoy them. I know I did! If you have any other gift ideas, post them up. I'm always looking for useful, relevant, and purposeful ones.
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