Saturday, December 12, 2009

Green Holiday Gifts

Holiday Green Action #12

Looking for a unique gift? For the next couple of days I'm going to focus on green gifts because that is what many of us are thinking about.

How about a Green Action Gift? Many local conservation organizations are doing important work in your neighborhood as well as around the world.

Every region has dedicated individuals who are rescuing and rehabilitating local wild animals. You probably also have at least one animal or plant in your local area that is threatened with extinction. These small nonprofit organizations survive primarily on the support they receive from their local community. Many provide giving opportunities that offer unique connections to your local environment. Here are a few of my local favorites:

Friends of the Island Fox, Inc. ( Working to save the endangered island fox and providing community education in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. $250 funds a radio collar for an endangered island fox with quarterly reports on how that island fox is doing for a year; $10 funds annual vaccinations for a single island fox against rabies and distemper. (I am partial to this organization as I am on the Board of Directors.)

Ojai Raptor Center ( Rescue and rehabilitation of birds of prey in the Los Angeles area. Adoption donations help to feed unreleasable birds that are used in education programs.

Nature of Wild Works ( Cares for nonreleasable wildlife and provides community education in Los Angeles. You can support the welfare of specific animals.

Catalina Island Conservancy ( Managing and preserving the wild areas of Santa Catalina Island, including the endangered island fox. You can support specific island projects.

Habitat Works ( Volunteers participate in local wildlife habitat restoration in the Los Angeles area.

Ocean Conservation Society ( Studies dolphins in the Southern California Bight off Santa Monica. Adopt a local dolphin.

These are just a few in the Los Angeles area. If you give close to home you have a better opportunity to know how your donated funds are spent. Look for organizations designated 501 (c) 3 non-profits, that way your donation will be tax deductible. And ask your friends for the names of groups or organizations where they have volunteered.

Tomorrow Recycled Gifts and then Giving From the Heart.

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