(Illustration by Hannah Agosta Illustration, based on a photo by Jessie Fox)
How to Give is a biweekly column by local philanthropy wizard Lansie Sylvia. In it, Lansie answers readers’ questions about millennials, philanthropy and engaging the next generation of givers. To ask her a question, tweet @FancyLansie.
And, we’re back!
So, here’s something fun: Last week’s post was my most successful one so far. While I’d love to claim my charm and wit and writing prowess as the reasons for that success (for real — I would love that), I think it’s far more likely that you’ve simply looked around at this bonkers world and want to give something kind to the people you love.
Good call, you guys. I couldn’t agree more!
First things first — remember, you can always do the following:
- Donate to a favorite cause in honor of your loved ones.
- Become a member/subscriber to your favorite organization.
- Buy beautiful things from local makers.
- Shop online using Amazon Smile.
But what about the wrappies and the tearies? The jumble of boxes under the tree? The gleeful, pig-in-the-python silhouette of a well-stuffed stocking? Don’t worry. I gotchu.
For the Analog Conversationalist: Handmade Paper Cards with Flowers, benefitting The Village of Arts and Humanities
Look how thrifty and beautiful this is! Every Monday, the South Street Whole Foods donates its “floral shrink” — wilted flowers that would otherwise be trashed — to the People’s Paper Co-op, which then uses those lovely roses, sunflowers, etc. to create bespoke paper. The PPCO is a social justice and entrepreneurial project that brings individuals with criminal records together to run a craft-based business. All profits go directly into the co-op! [$15 for a set of five cards]
From our Partners
For the Bibliophilic Broadcaster: The Free Library of Philadelphia’s 100 Essential Novels Scratch-Off Poster
What do you get for the person who’s read everything? Why not start with a monument to their literary acumen? Trust me — bookish people love telling everyone about what they’ve read. Buy the august bookworm in your family this cool poster, and the proceeds will go to support the Free Library of Philadelphia. Think of it like a giant lottery scratch card, only instead of eroding your wallet, it actually feeds your brain. [$38]
For the Amateur Arborist: Plant a Fruit Tree, benefitting the Philadelphia Orchard Project
With a “Plant-a-Tree” Donation, POP will send a certificate to commemorate a tree planted in honor of your sweetie (or whomever — boss, maybe?). Brings to mind that ancient Greek proverb: Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. Same goes for the holidays, and some fruit your dad won’t get to eat. [$60]
For the Vegan Ron Swanson: Make Your Own Laser Cut Animal Head Class, benefitting the Hacktory
Got a little dead space between your diploma and that bangin’ new Star Trek cat poster? There’s no better addition to a room than a laser’d, cardboard animal head. This class will teach you to fabricate and decorate one of your own. Choose from among the traditional triumvirate of wall-mounted fauna (rabbit, deer or T-Rex). Proceeds support the mad geniuses at The Hacktory. [$45 for a class, all materials included]
For the Itty Bitty Aesthete: Dear Fleisher 4” x 6” Artwork
Dear Fleisher invites over 300 artists to donate original works of art in postcard size. But here’s the catch — every postcard, by every artist, is displayed anonymously until sold. So you could walk away with a priceless artlet in your pocket … for $50. Isn’t that fun? Tiny art! All proceeds benefit Fleisher’s arts education programs. [$50 plus $6.50 shipping]
For the Festooned Perambulator: Enamel Pin, benefitting the Friends of the Rail Park
Enamel pins? So hot right now. And the Rail Park is (fiiiiinally) on its way, and looks to be supercool. So get yourself a $25 membership and a new addition for your Madewell jean jacket. Or your post-ironic, kaleidoscopic ’90s fanny pack. (I have one. It’s black leather. #OG.) Plus, you’ll help bring great educational programs, cultural events and public art to the future Rail Park. [$25 for membership]
For the Junk Junkie: Cinder Block Pendant, benefitting RAIR
It’s a scientific fact that the smaller things are, the cuter they become. Take this necklace for example, which elevates the humble cinder block into a decorative piece of neckwear. Tiny blocks! Made out of reclaimed wood! Each necklace come with a 30″ gold or silver ball chain. Proceeds benefit RAIR, a nonprofit organization that builds awareness about sustainability issues through art and design. [$30]
For the Philly Fanatic: Jawnament, benefitting the Workshop School
After the year we’ve had, I’m willing to guess that any Eagles ornaments you owned have long since been flung to sparkly obliteration against your wall. And so I ask you: Is your tree Philly enough? This laser-cut Jawnament, made by the awesome young people at Workshop Industries, will bring that warm, wholesome Philadelphia feeling back to your tree. (By which I mean it’ll tell those New York trees to get their crumb-bum keisters outta here.) [$4]
Do you have other awesome gifts that give back this holiday season? Please add them to the comments!-30-
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Beyond Literacy: Combining nearly 90 years of history into one org
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What the $25 billion the biggest US donors gave in 2020 says about high-dollar charity today
5 ways MacKenzie Scott’s $5.8 billion commitment to social and economic justice is a model for other donors
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