Tuesday, November 30, 2010

These are a few of my favorite Lehigh Valley things...

I'm no Oprah, but when I find something I love, I have to share it.

Over the next month, not in any specific order, I'll share some of my favorite things in the Lehigh Valley, just in time for the holidays. Some are specific to the holiday season, and others can be enjoyed year-round. My mission is to share some of the great local events, features and gift ideas that make the Lehigh Valley special. There are scores of local traditions surrounding the holidays, organizations with small marketing budgets, and opportunities to give back and/or enjoy the Lehigh Valley. I hope you'll take advantage of some of them.

Please share your favorite things here on the blog, on the Lehigh Valley Transplant Facebook page, or on Twitter (@lvtransplant).

Favorite Thing: Volunteering and Giving Locally
It's the time of year when your family or workplace might be thinking about doing something nice for the community. Adopting-a-family, serving in a soup kitchen, and donating toys for kids are three traditional ways to give. It's hard to know the kinds of needs that community organizations have, particularly because they are frequently so understaffed that they can't return your call. I'm experiencing this right now with one well-known nonprofit in the region.

A couple of organizations in the Lehigh Valley have responded to the needs of the organizations and the community's desire to support them.

The Volunteer Center's web site features a search function, where would-be volunteers can see the kind of work that's available, appropriate and possible for them or their group. Or, check out the Holiday Opportunities page (more organizations are added daily). Highlights: Ring a bell, collect donations, transport seniors to holiday parties, lend a hand at a tree-lighting ceremony.

The Morning Call newspaper compiles a list of organizations that need donations through their "Be an Angel Campaign." The printed version was in this past Sunday's newspaper and is printed more than once during the season. Their web site also provides a helpful tool that can narrow your search. Got a ton of pet supplies you don't need and want to give to an organization in Allentown? There are five groups matching this description that are registered with "Be an Angel," and so far, none have indicated that their wishes have been fulfilled.

Instead of giving a wrapped holiday gift to my parents, I make a donation in their honor to their charity of choice: Equi-librium's therapeutic horseback riding programs. Sometimes I'll pick up a book or CD I think they'd like, but I never have to troll the malls looking for gifts for them, because I know that's what they really want. I recommend this method of celebrating the season: it's much easier than shopping, thoughtful, useful and tax-deductible!

No comments:

Post a Comment