Annette White & HusbandUPDATE 12/22/09: We collected 108 toys for Toys for Tots!! Yeah to us!!

Every year around the holidays, I begin to consider donating my time, toys or money to a worthy cause. I make a mental list of where I can be of help; childrens hospital, soup kitchen or  homeless shelter? I go so far as doing an internet search to narrow down my choices and begging friends to accompany me on my ventures. But then, Poof! The idea disappears and is followed by the reality; so-and-so is calling in sick with that nasty flu (thank goodness not the piggy one) and I will be covering the coveted dishwasher shift and instantly what was a 60 hour work week has turned into 70, the commercial oven just broke on a Friday night when it will cost overtime for anyone to come out to fix within the next 24 hours and I am responsible for making the entire Christmas Eve fish dinner, but someone is a vegetarian. Yes…I am well aware…all excuses! Contributing is just a matter of prioritizing and my priority has been on me and my woes otoys for tots logof the hectic life I lead.

This Christmas is the year! The year that I am actually going to follow through on donating toys for tots to the underprivileged children in my neighborhood. With the help of a marketing friend, we created a fantastic event at our restaurant called the “Grub for Gifts Exchange” to benefit the Toys for Tots organization. Basically, anyone who brings in a new, Artichoke Pesto Bruschettaunwrapped toy to Sugo Trattoria will receive a free order of our most popular dish, the Bruschetta Trio.

I was stoked when we got our first toy for toys for tots, the Sea Monkey Castle.

Come on, doesn’t everyone want one of those?  Love it! We also got a huge fire engine that I know is going to make some child so happy. There is still a week left and I am hoping to have at least 25 toys to donate. But, no matter what, it is going to be a great feeling to contribute anything this holiday season.

Ms. Listologist Grade: A+

TIPS ON VOLUNTEERING
1.
Research the causes that are important to you.
2. Consider the types of skills that you have to offer.
3. Start applying early, many organizations to not accept “drop in” volunteers.
4. Ask a friend or family member to volunteer with you.
5. Decide wether you want to volunteer year-round or just short-term.

FACTOID
Over 441,000 more young adults (age 16-24) volunteered in 2008 than 2007, representing an increase from about 7.8 million to more than 8.2 million.

RESOURCES
100 Volunteer Vacations100 Volunteer Vacations, book on vacations to enrich your life. Become a voluntourist by combining your next vacation with a fabulous volunteering opportunity.

 

 

Volunteer Match
DoSomething.org
Oprah’s Angel Network