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Give Something Back This Christmas!

A Mamanista is first and foremost a Mama…and so we support important causes, especially those that help out the most vulnerable.

We posted before about ways to teach children charity at Christmas. One important way to teach your children charity is to give something back yourself by donating your time, money and gently-used items.

If you are looking to make a holiday donation, here are some of our favorite charities:

Candace’s daughter was born with a congenital heart defect. She is thriving and healthy today thanks to life-saving surgery. We encourage you to visit Baby Diva’s Tribute Page at the American Heart Association, read more about her story, and consider making a donation (every little bit helps) to assist the American Heart Association in their research and outreach.

For Hearts and Souls – gives children in impoverished communities an opportunity to receive life-saving treatment. This charity is run by Baby Diva’s cardiologist.

National Down Syndrome Society – enhances the quality of life of people with Down syndrome and provides resources to parents. New and expectant parents should check out the NDSS Parent Guide.  

Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund – provides college grants and financial assistance to surviving children and spouses of our U.S. military service members who have lost their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Candace and I were both military wives, so this is another cause close to our hearts.

First Candle – works to stop SIDs and Stillbirth by promoting infant health and survival during the prenatal period through two years of age.

Make a Wish – helps make wishes come true for children with life threatening illnesses.

Ronald McDonald House – provides services for families of seriously ill children.

Angel Notion – provides urgent medical care and surgery to children in need.

Operation Smile – provides reconstructive facial surgery to indigent children and young adults

Toys for Tots – gives new toys at Christmas to needy children.

WWF Animal Adoptions – helps save some of the world’s most endangered animals from extinction and supports conservation efforts.

International Heifer – works with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth by providing appropriate livestock, training and related services to small-scale farmers and communities worldwide.

Autism Research Institute  – funds research on autism triggers and treatment.

We also encourage you to look for charities in your local community. Even a small donation can make a big difference. If you don’t have any money in your budget to give, consider other ways of giving. Donate food to your local food bank, prepare some homemade meals for delivery to the homebound (most churches collect these), bring your gently-used clothing and toys to a local charity thrift store, or donate your time to a worthy cause. 

Don’t know where to start? Check out or  to research charities in your area. Both websites even provide reports showing the efficiency of each nonprofit.

Written by

Debbie Bookstaber started Mamanista in 2007 with her friend Candace Lindemann. Debbie and Candace also are the co-founders of, which empowers bloggers to become philanthropic leaders in their communities. Through their annual awards, recognizes bloggers who effectively use social media for social good. Debbie lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband and two young sons. She's an active volunteer in her community and a working mom. Debbie is a partner at Element Associates and the Social Media Director at Child's Play Communications. You can follow Debbie on Twitter @buzzmommy or meet her at a future blogging or tech conference, where she frequently speaks about social good efforts, SEO or affiliate marketing.

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