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15 of Chicago's Most Creative Share Their Gift Ideas and Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 02.17.2013 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

Tired of giving the same old thing around the holidays? In a bind for some gifts as the deadline draws near? Before you settle, get a pinch of inspiration from some of Chicago's most creative artists and entrepreneurs on the list below.

Are You a Proactive Giver, or a Reactionary Giver?

Gary A. Officer | Posted 02.16.2013 | Impact
Gary A. Officer

The holiday season has increasingly taken on an air of unbridled consumerism. Holiday spending by consumers during this period is often used by economists as a barometer on the health of our economy.

Surefire Stress Relief, Part 7: Giving From the Heart

HeartMath LLC | Posted 02.16.2013 | Healthy Living
HeartMath LLC

Don't let your inner Scrooge short-change what should be one of the happiest times of the year. Make an inner decision -- a heart commitment -- that you're going to do things differently this year.

Grinching the Inner Scrooge

Terry Kelhawk | Posted 02.13.2013 | Healthy Living
Terry Kelhawk

Working as a professional, being a mother with lots of friends and family, and carrying the local reputation of social doyenne meant that the busyness of shopping, wrapping, and party-throwing ran my elf legs ragged. For years, the days between Thanksgiving and mid-January were a battle.

Will You #Hoot2Give This Holiday Season?

Craig Newmark | Posted 02.12.2013 | Impact
Craig Newmark

Hey there -- here's the deal: my team and I worked with the good folks at National Wildlife Federation this past summer to help raise money for their ...

Making a Difference: The World of Giving - The Holidays and Theft

Lisa M. Dietlin | Posted 02.12.2013 | Impact
Lisa M. Dietlin

Did you know December is Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month because of the increase in instances of theft in the last few months of the year? Theft comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and it is important to realize we are all susceptible.

How To Make The MOST Of Your Holiday Giving

Bill Gates | Posted 02.11.2013 | Impact
Bill Gates

This holiday season, we decided to list several of the charity initiatives that have sparked our interest. Each of these projects takes a different approach, but they have three things in common: they're innovative, committed to transparency and accountability, and they're getting good results.

Making the Most of Your Holiday Giving

Impatient Optimists | Posted 12.12.2012 | Impact
Impatient Optimists

This holiday season, we decided to list several of the charity initiatives that have sparked our interest. Each of these projects takes a different approach, but they have three things in common: they're innovative, committed to transparency and accountability, and they're getting good results.

A Holiday Without Presents ... Would You Try It?

Terri Cole | Posted 02.10.2013 | Healthy Living
Terri Cole

If you are tired of your holiday experience being too focused on stuff, I challenge you to do it differently this year. Concentrate on how kind, generous, and present you can be during the holidays.

It Takes a Village of Donors

Judith Sandalow | Posted 02.09.2013 | DC
Judith Sandalow

You've heard the familiar adage that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to support the work of the many terrific nonprofits that serve our most vulnerable neighbors. A gift of any size is worth giving.

Legacy Gifts From Angels

Rachael Freed | Posted 02.09.2013 | Healthy Living
Rachael Freed

Not long ago I was reintroduced to angels -- not the kind with rosy cheeks or gauzy, transparent wings, but the angels in real life. You know, the people who come into your life with special support, a gift of wisdom, full-hearted support.

Sending Clowns

Sam Lee | Posted 02.05.2013 | Impact
Sam Lee

In 2008, I bumped into two clowns on a rooftop in India and was both surprised and intrigued when they announced they were from an organization called Clowns without Borders.

Why #GivingTuesday is the Antidote for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

HooplaHa | Posted 02.05.2013 | Good News

"We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals...Wouldn't it be great to have a day for giving back?" reads the web...

The Poor, the Elderly, the Disabled Stand to Lose the Most

Marc Joseph | Posted 02.03.2013 | Impact
Marc Joseph

In reality, giving has got to come from the heart, not because you are saving some money in taxes. In actuality, though, movements by the government to guide how we live and spend our money are a major influence on how non-profits get funding.

Homelessness and the Holidays: A Wake Up Call

Bobbie Ibarra | Posted 02.03.2013 | Impact
Bobbie Ibarra

This past week a young NYPD officer's random act of kindness toward a man experiencing homelessness captivated national media headlines and the hearts of many Americans alike.

Homeless for the Holidays

Jean-Michel Giraud | Posted 01.30.2013 | Impact
Jean-Michel Giraud

Well, Turkey Day is over and the malls were packed on Black Friday, and through the weekend, with shoppers trying to catch those quickly vanishing best bargains of the year. But, what does the holiday season really mean to us and to people living on the streets?

10 Holiday Gifts That Give Back | Posted 01.29.2013 | Impact

If you're looking to spread joy at home and around the world this holiday season, there's no gray area when it comes to the many ways these stylish items are making a difference.

Phoenix Kids Give Africare a Lot to Be Thankful For

Kendra Davenport | Posted 01.28.2013 | Impact
Kendra Davenport

The philanthropic enthusiasm represented by younger donors gives us pause and compels us to feel optimistic about the future. More and more, the importance of "giving back" and "paying it forward" are becoming the ethos of an educated, aware, empowered younger generation.

Exclusive: Melinda Gates on Family Planning and Changing the World

Marianne Schnall | Posted 01.28.2013 | World
Marianne Schnall

Controversy over reproductive rights has been at the forefront of our national conversation, but philanthropist Melinda Gates would like to take the controversy out and transform the narrative into a global one through education and advocacy.

Hailing Humanitarian Heroes On #GivingTuesday

Sue Pleming | Posted 01.27.2013 | Impact
Sue Pleming

As a reporter, I've come across humanitarian heroes in places from Afghanistan and Burundi to Somalia, Indonesia and Haiti. One person who made a strong impression was a gutsy South African woman who reached millions of chronically hungry people during the apartheid era.

Reinventing the Season of Giving

Carly Fiorina | Posted 11.27.2012 | Impact
Carly Fiorina

On the heels of a hard-fought election cycle, it's hard not to reflect what divides us, but so much more unites us. I can't think of a better time to rally around an ideal that we all can agree on -- the importance of giving.

Can Children Really Learn To Give Charity In Front Of A Computer? | Posted 11.26.2012 | Impact

More than one parent is challenged this time of year by how to instill a sense of charity in a child. The holiday season seems to every year become...

Volunteers Change Lives, While Enriching Their Own

Demetria Arvanitis | Posted 01.26.2013 | Impact
Demetria Arvanitis

One of the enduring traits of the American people is our spirit of volunteerism. We see it every day as people give of their time, energy and compassion to serve communities, participate with countless organizations and help those in need.

Living Thankfully

Leigh Anne Tuohy | Posted 01.22.2013 | Impact
Leigh Anne Tuohy

Dig deep the next couple of weeks and finish this year doing things that aren't so frenzied and frustrating but are life changing. Think hard about what really matters and make someone else's holiday season merry and bright!

Receiving and Giving

Tiffany Stephenson | Posted 01.20.2013 | Impact
Tiffany Stephenson

I had a relatively normal, American, middle-class upbringing. I've been very blessed. My parents worked hard and built relatively successful businesses to provide for us. They gave me many opportunities, including a college education. But how different my life could have been...