I have a love-hate relationship with charitable giving around the holidays. On the one hand, I really want to do it. On the other hand, I really want to spend all of my money buying really nice gifts for friends and family (and – fine! – myself). Every year I wage a war in my head over giving a charitable gift in someone’s name instead of giving them an actual gift. It wouldn’t be a substitute for all my actual gifts, (I tell myself) just those for the people I actually don’t like that much.
Hey, I'm just being honest.
But if there is one thing I learned from the show Seinfeld, it’s that a charitable gift swaparoo is a terrible idea. (The “Human Fund” anyone?) This is the season of giving, right? I should give and be happy.
Lucky for me the USO is out there making giving to a cause I would pour everything into any time of the year a snap. Ta-da! The USO Wishbook. Check it out. From the USO:
A first of its kind, the USO Wishbook is the most comprehensive alternative giving website that solely supports U.S. troops and their families. USOWishbook.org features dozens of symbolic gift items our troops and their families need the most. Consumers can find a gift that not only supports our brave men and women in the military, but also to honor their own friends and relatives with a gift.The Wishbook is full of some pretty cool gifts – stuff that I would be thrilled for my servicemember or his unit to receive downrange any time of the year.
With gifts to suit every budget, the USO Wishbook offers items priced from $15 up to $5,000 for extraordinary gifts. For $25 or less, you can purchase a care package that helps get a service member through the initial days of deployment, a kit to help a military child cope with the stresses of military life, or a calling card to keep a service member and their family connected.
Even if you don’t use this resource, it can be a great one for friends and family who really want to do something for the troops this holiday, but aren’t sure how. Instead of getting wrapped up in misinformed cards for troops pushes, they can get actual, helpful stuff out to our guys overseas.
If you or anyone else you know is interested in using the USO Wishbook as a resource, you can check it out here.