Substitutes for the giving subreddits, please!
November 10, 2016 2:58 AM   Subscribe

I usually give via lots of subreddits like r/assistance, random acts of and santa's little helpers. I don't want children to go without, but I just don't have it in me to use Reddit anymore.

I don't have much, but I have a huge debt of gratitude for the people who helped me and my mother when I was growing up homeless (Christmas dinner cardboard welfare box FTW!). Every year I save a little each week to buy things for other families.

I like the personal interaction of the subreddits because I can involve my 6-year-old. She doesn't understand charity giving on a practical level (you put money in a jar and it disappears. And you don't get anything in return! Why on earth would you do that? Yes doctors are good but we didn't give to a doctor, we gave to a jar!) But on posts, we can talk about a family with two little girls her age who don't have much but together we can choose a toy for them! It's helped her understand why we volunteer and give to charity because she can see she made an immediate, personal difference. We already make general, impersonal shoe boxes but the person on the other side is as imaginary to her as the person who gets our MSF donation.

Is there anything comparable online that you know of?
posted by katiecat to Human Relations (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The Bloggess does a coordinated holiday gifting thing every year, where families in need make a wish list and other members of the community fulfill those wishes:

(Sorry for format - on mobile)
posted by okayokayigive at 3:34 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Modest Needs (families and individuals who need modest financial assistance to keep from sliding (further) into poverty, often things like car repairs or medical equipment)

One Simple Wish Gifts for foster youth or at-risk youth (ie, have recently aged-out of foster care, been reunited with their families, or in family preservation services). Usually toys for the younger kids and school supplies or job search supplies like formal clothes, laptops, etc. . You can fund individual children's toys as well as giving a general donation. If you fund a child's entire wish, you can write a message of support to them as well, which might appeal to your daughter.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:49 AM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

There are a lot of schools, local charities, and Walmarts (at least, around where I live) that do a giving tree every year. Kids/families in need put their needs on a little paper ornament, and you can pick that ornament and buy the stuff for the people. How much detail they give you varies from organization to organization, but I remember as a kid helping my mom pick out Barbies and winter coats for a local family with two girls (although we didn't get their names or anything like that).

You may just want to google Christmas charity in your area and see what comes up. Even if you want to give post-Christmas, it's often going to be the same organizations, they just do a push around the holiday.
posted by possibilityleft at 4:50 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

My kids' school has a "holiday helper" program where you can adopt an anonymous child/family from school. My kids really enjoyed participating and it helped them understand why it was important to give. "Ok, the paper says our family has a 7-year-old girl who likes crafts and needs a size M coat. Which of these craft kits do you think she'd like? Should we get the purple or the green coat for her?"

So I'd suggest checking at your child's school, to see if you can keep the giving close-to-home. If they don't have a similar program, then local food pantries and homeless shelters/domestic abuse shelters often do.
posted by belladonna at 5:22 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh - another option would be a local organization that helps refugees. They often need donations of winter clothes and toys for the families they are assisting.

(I know my suggestions aren't "online" resources, but that's because I've chosen to try to keep our giving local and physical.)
posted by belladonna at 5:35 AM on November 10, 2016

It's almost time for this year's Metafilter Cares, our annual gift drive for NYC Cares. You can see how it works in those MeTa threads.

Tell me it's still happening, houseofdanie.
posted by zamboni at 6:25 AM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

There are Facebook groups in some places. There's one called The Giving Tree (Region name) in my area, so it might be in your area as well.
posted by slidell at 7:16 AM on November 10, 2016

Kiva does this, but in the form of sort of swarm-sourced micro-loans.
posted by cmoj at 8:14 AM on November 10, 2016

Seconding Modest Needs. They provide personal narratives, so your little one can understand that you're helping a lady fix her car so she can drive her mom to her doctor's appointments, or a family stay in their house until the dad who was sick can get back to work.

Wherever you live, your local newspaper probably organizes a Christmas gift drive, which may not involve direct "matching" with a recipient but will usually involve running articles about some of them, so she can see the concrete effect of her actions. You can also see if you live near a post office that offers Operation Santa, which allows you to respond directly to a family's request for a gift.
posted by praemunire at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2016

The Mefi Cares 2016 Winter Wishes Care Drive has started!
posted by zamboni at 6:37 AM on November 13, 2016

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