Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, June 16

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Andrew / December 8, 2006 11:18 AM

Question suggested by Michele.

Sue / December 8, 2006 11:43 AM

1. Misericordia- A wonderful home for mentally challenged people
2. The Chicago Tribune Holiday Fund
3. The American Cancer Society
4. Local women and children's shelter

kiki / December 8, 2006 11:50 AM

i always give to oxfam international and the red cross.

Blagg the Axman / December 8, 2006 11:58 AM

I drop a few gold pieces into the cups of the beggars and paupers, wherever I may encounter them; this is not solely a holiday practice. Most of the gold that comes my way is retrieved from the hoards of goblins and similarly foul creatures, and returning it to innocent hands seems only just.

D / December 8, 2006 11:58 AM

I don't give to any charities, at Christmas or ever.

When I hear others talk about giving it does makes me wonder why I don't.

Y A J / December 8, 2006 12:19 PM

I buy gifts for women at a domestic violence shelter during the holidays.

I don't donate to charities around the holidays, even though most of my usual charities do an extra ask at this time.

Strawberry / December 8, 2006 12:20 PM

Anti-Cruelty Society. Animals shouldn't be alone on the holidays.

Marilyn / December 8, 2006 12:24 PM

We've done charities before in Fuel, but I guess it never hurts to remind people about the needs out there:

Doctors Without Borders
Amnesty International
The Greater Chicago Food Depository
Kid of Katrina Fund (PTA)
Anti-Cruelty Society

and I always buy Streetwise.

amyc / December 8, 2006 12:29 PM

I always give a little extra to Greater Chicago Food Depository at the end of the year. Also this year, I'm going to buy a bunch of phone cards for wounded Iraq War vets so they can call their loved ones 'round the holidays. I kind of wish I'd found out about that project before I did most of my shopping, because I totally would have bought some in the names of all my friends and family. It seems like a far worthier way to, you know, "support the troops" than just putting a fucking magnet on a car or thinking only happy thoughts about the Bush Administration.

Timbo / December 8, 2006 12:43 PM

I donate to America's Second Harvest because they use 98% of all their donations for the cause. I also support Chicago Public Radio because they rock.

p / December 8, 2006 1:05 PM

St. Vincent DePaul.
Chicago Catholic Charities.

fluffy / December 8, 2006 1:34 PM

Since I'm not religious and don't have family nearby, I have extra time on my hands, so I volunteer for different things- handing out gloves, coats and scarves to homeless people by the YMCA on Chicago Ave; drop off clothes & stuff at the Women's shelter; and whatever else I'm asked to do to help the homeless, abused, or disabled (people and animals).

Does anyone know of an organization that is collecting Christmas toys?

I already give to America's 2nd harvest and and other charities on a monthly basis.

Robyn / December 8, 2006 2:01 PM

I donate to Meals on Wheels so that we can all get our eat on.

George C / December 8, 2006 2:14 PM

I donate to the Human Fund.

waleeta / December 8, 2006 2:16 PM

Assyrian Aid Society and Assyrian Academic Society, which donate hundreds of thousands to the Assyrians of Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Christmas time is especially important - children are given presents through these organizations.

spence / December 8, 2006 2:52 PM

Just an FYI, is a great resource to make sure your money is being spent on programs and not just fundraising and management. Every year the IRS gives them a copy of 990 tax returns of all charities that file a return with the IRS. So you can check your charity and see if they're using your money wisely. You need to sign-up, but it's free. After you're signed up, you can search for your charity. The 990's are at the bottom of your selectedcharities page in pdf. format and go back several years. If you've never looked at a 990, flip to page 2 look at Part II (Functional Expenses) and Row 44 contains total expenses, program expenses, management expenses, and fundraising expenses (column a,b,c,d respectively). Compare program expenses to total expenses or fundraising and management to total expenses to see the ratio of how one donated dollar is used.

michelle / December 8, 2006 2:53 PM

I always try to give money to cancer causes and research funds in memory of my grandma and grandpa. This is throughout the year, not just at Christmas.

eep / December 8, 2006 3:39 PM

I give monthly to Children International and donate twice during the holidays. (I need to also donate more to support rebuilding efforts after the typhoon in the Phillipines.) And I always drop money in the Salvation Army buckets whenever I see them.

kate / December 8, 2006 4:29 PM

Pay my rent fund.

Sorry fools, I'm broke and before I start dishing out to others I gotta make sure I have my own shelter first.

mew / December 8, 2006 6:39 PM

The Humane Society ... MEW!

Cook County Taxpayers / December 8, 2006 7:15 PM

The Bobbie Steele Retirement Fund.

We'd wish the Bobbies Steele a very merry Christmas, but we're pretty certain they've seen it already.

Robin.. / December 8, 2006 7:50 PM

I donate in my grandparents' names as Christmas gifts, to Heifer International. At least, until I became completely unemployed and broke as hell. This year, no one gets nothing!

Flips / December 8, 2006 10:01 PM

Lately it's been Meals on Wheels since I've not got grandparents left and it breaks my heart to think of lonely older folks who might not be fed.

Also, usually give to Heifer in the name of some relatives who have everything they need already.

Also buying some supplies for a local school instead of swapping gifts w/some friends.

jj / December 9, 2006 2:03 PM

Specific to Christmastime giving:

My family adopts all the kids in my mom's classroom and plays "secret santa" to them (she works in a 99% low income school)

My family provides a lunch tray "treat bag" for all the kids at Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children one day in between Christmas and New Years (I recieved medical care there as a child)

I'm doing a holidaytime book drive for my friend who is stationed in Iraq. Anyone can do one through

I donate to Rock For Kids, which provides music lessons and holiday gifts for kids in the homeless shelters of Chicago.

And I'll probably donate to a half dozen other causes here and there by attending events or getting asked by friends or buying something as a gift that benefits someone, etc. I prefer to stick with things I have a personal connection to and can directly witness how my time and money is being used.

You know who I don't donate to, The Salvation Army, as they discriminate against the gays, and I love the gays.

Eamon / December 10, 2006 9:23 AM

I've posted before about the charities I give to, so I won't rehash all of those, but this season I'm also an official grower with Mustaches for Kids, benefitting Off the Street Club, Chicago's oldest boys and girls club (since 1898!).

And remember, blood donation is the gift that keeps giving!

meems / December 10, 2006 10:26 AM

I try to give to the homeless when I have spare change and my work does food and clothing drives that I participate in. I'm fairly broke but I give what I can.

PMan / December 10, 2006 1:55 PM

Catholic Relief

I started while watching news of the tsunami and feeling powerless.

I volunteer locally and there are many worthy causes out there, but I consciously give what limited money I can afford to overseas causes.

Also, while I'm not very religious, I'm not anti-religious. I guess it's also an expression of faith.

*kara* / December 10, 2006 4:11 PM

A few years ago, my sister lost almost everything in an apartment fire. And this was in North Dakota, the day before Thanksgiving (i.e. cold as hell).

The Salvation Army folks were there immediately, giving her and her roommate coats, blankets, and whatever else they'd need for the time being.

So, i always make sure to give to the bell-ringers every holiday season.

Sarah / December 10, 2006 10:32 PM

I'm always strapped for cash at the holidays but try to give a small amount of money ($5-10) every month to my favorite charities and arts organizations. I donate to Crossroads Fund, a foundation that supports social justice work and grassroots activism in Chicago, to Links Hall, an arts organization that supports the development of work by emerging artists, amongst others, and to the MCA. I do sometimes make donations in other people's names if I'm not sure what to get them, or if they're moving and don't really need more stuff to haul around.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15