CaringBridge Provides a Guide for Giving Back During the Holiday Season

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The nonprofit social network doing social good offers ways for you to create meaningful traditions and fill loved ones stockings with gifts that give back.

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Many businesses and corporations rely on holiday shopping to boost revenue with consumer-driven holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the holidays also are a time to reflect on the year and give back to the community. This December, CaringBridge, the nonprofit providing patient websites, is providing a meaningful gift guide for people wanting to recognize deserving charities by giving philanthropic gifts to family and friends.

Natural disasters and the economic recession have put many people in need of help and the holidays are a great time to start, or continue, traditions that give back. According to a 2011 study conducted by the American Red Cross, four in five Americans agree that helping someone less fortunate is an important part of their holiday tradition.

“The holiday season is the perfect time to extend the spirit of giving to those who are in need of community support,” said Amy Nelson, CaringBridge Development Engagement Officer. “People everywhere can join our mission to amplify love, hope and compassion in the world by giving a gift that gives back and dedicating time to the community.”

Some may question the appropriateness of giving philanthropic gifts to those who are hoping to receive gaming systems, tablets and other hot ticket items throughout the holiday season. However, people can support local, national and global nonprofits on a variety of different levels – most in ways that will bring a smile to the faces of those on the shopping list.

“We offer a variety of ways for people to support CaringBridge during the holiday season. The generosities of those who donate allow us to continue developing and expanding our services – connecting loved ones around the world during health journeys,” said Nelson.

The benefits of giving philanthropic gifts aren’t reserved for the nonprofits they help support and boost. The giver can feel good about supporting a nonprofit near and dear to his or her heart and the recipient can enjoy his or her unique gift, while feeling the residual pleasure of knowing their gift benefits others.

Consider these ideas from CaringBridge for giving meaningful holiday gifts and supporting your community.

Donate – Brighten the holidays for families everywhere by making a donation, of any size, to a nonprofit organization that’s made a difference in your life or the lives of those around you. You can make your donation in the name of someone who was impacted by that organization, or simply out of the goodness of your heart. Many nonprofits allow you to honor, celebrate or remember someone special with a public tribute message like that Heart Gallery provided by CaringBridge. Donations allow many nonprofits to serve more people and expand their offerings.

Have your cake and eat it too – Choose a gift that’s twice as nice and pay it forward by shopping for charitable gifts this holiday season. There’s something for everyone on your list. You can support deserving charities around the country and world: from shoes and eyewear that donate a pair to a person in need for every pair purchased, to music boxes that support St. Jude’s, to The Giving Keys, a unique key necklace that carries an inspiring message and benefits those transitioning out of homelessness.

Spread the holiday cheer – Don’t stop at giving gifts. Get into the holiday spirit by volunteering to help those in the community who may be less fortunate or have fallen on hard times. A small act of kindness can go a long way. Sign up to serve dinner at your local homeless shelter, plan an office food drive or donate to a local toy drive. The opportunities are endless and helping others will leave you with an ample feeling of holiday cheer.

Give back while you shop – Consider supporting nonprofits during the holiday season by shopping with a credit card that benefits your favorite organization, like the CaringBridge Visa Platinum Rewards card. It has many of the same benefits as any major Visa card, but CaringBridge benefits from every purchase made – making it possible to help families connect with each other while shopping for loved ones.

About CaringBridge
CaringBridge is a nonprofit offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event. Its mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. To see how CaringBridge brings family and friends together, check out the holiday video.

More than 500,000 people connect through CaringBridge every day and users have created more than 388,000 CaringBridge Sites and SupportPlanners since the service started in 1997. The CaringBridge services are available to anyone, anywhere, at no cost and offer protected online spaces with multiple privacy settings. For more information, visit

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Melissa Maggio
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