I haven't really done the gift giving thing during the holiday season in awhile but I do try to give what I can to charities and organizations that I believe in or that I think are doing something worthwhile! As someone who lives and works in the arts I tend to send some of my (small) donations to orgs whose creative pursuits are above & beyond and to places who are supporting the basic needs of survival/preservation around the globe, both feeding humanity in very different ways! Here are some suggestions on where you can spend some love this holiday season!
Starting today, and on into tomorrow, The Cinefamily, a California movie house of awesomeness, is having a 24hr telethon! In the traditional style of bow ties, orversized mics and questionable humor, this org is live streaming the event and selling tickets to those lucky enough to be out in L.A.! Cinefamily programs lost film gems, progressive film events (like hosting Gravity way back when!) and has an overall cinephile summer camp feel that just makes me happy (The Last Unicorn Sleepover party anyone?). Head over to their site to make a donation and to watch as eyes get redder from lack of sleep and glazed from the projection glow into the wee hours of the telethon (Stephen Merritt of The Magnetic Fields sings lullabies at 3am & an Elliott Gould Q&A caps it all off tomorrow!)
This online culture magazine is as forward thinking as they come. Each issue is full of new platform art projects, well researched essays (ranging from the trafficking of human hair to the legacy of Mark Rothko) and a general desire to want something more/intellectual out of the new class of culture makers. They have even partnered with the cinematic org Light Industry and the teaching center The Public School to open a utopia for ideas in Brooklyn, expanding into a physical hub of progressive thought! Triple Canopy is trying to move from being a free resource to a donation based one, urging people to value creative ideas as they should, so support them during this transition and beyond!
I remember seeing the Heifer catalogs strewn throughout my house as a kid, urging me to buy a goat. Or a cow. Or a flock of geese. But they weren't for me of course, they were for those in need all over the globe! Heifer seeks to foster agricultural development in countries that need it, giving communities the tools to form a sustainable way of life. There isn't much else to say other than: buy some kids some chickens! Do it!
Your Local Food Bank
Even if you don't see it, and maybe you do, chances are there are people in your own community who are in need. The American economy has been so ravaged lately that the numbers of those without has steadily risen over the last few years. Our local food bank has a great program where children are given a bookbag of food to take home with them, assuring that they will remain healthy and in school regardless of whatever economic turmoil is going on at home. Find your local food bank! See what you can do!
Everytime I see a dog shaped piggy bank at any store I throw whatever change I have from my wallet into it! Civilized man has created pets so it is collectively our fault if one is abandoned, abused, or just plain lost! I try to support my rural SPCA (which takes on horses and other farm animals that can no longer be taken care of as well as acting as a no-kill home for dogs & cats) in whatever little way I can and when you encounter that animal shaped piggy bank you should feed him some coins too! (Pics from last winter when we found a petting zoo hidden behind a truck stop. And yes, I did put a quarter into a machine to give them some feed!)
Of course there are tons of other organizations worthy of your attention and support so...give a Merry Christmas to someone else this year! Ho ho! And, if you are feeling particularly generous, I do accept any and all edible presents....! Stay well & warm folks!