For too long, this blessed holiday season has been focused primarily on spending money. (If you don’t believe me, listen to my podcast, “The Parable of Fall Decor & Prepping“.) We spend money to decorate our homes, inside and out, spend it on new clothes for holiday photos, over-spend on gifts, and then there’s the expense of traveling to see relatives or hosting them. It’s not unusual for families to spend a couple thousand dollars or more between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But what if your spending was also a way to give back? What if some of your purchases benefited others in a way that went beyond dollars and cents?
One group that does that is Children’s Art Project at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center that provides therapy through art classes. A cancer diagnosis is life-altering. My brother was diagnosed with Hodgkin Disease when he was young and its impact lasted a lifetime. As a way to help children cope with the fear, the pain, and spending long periods of time away from home and friends, Children’s Art Project provides not only a distraction but a means for children to express emotions and reduce stress.
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Children’s Art Project takes the artwork of many children and features it on products, such as holiday and note cards, Radko ornaments, kitchen accessories, mugs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, and tote bags. When these are purchased, the proceeds return to MD Anderson to fund additional art classes, as well as camps and support groups.
Ksenia, now 16, traveled from her native Russia to Houston for cancer treatment at MD Anderson. While she was there, Children’s Art Project classes gave her an outlet to illustrate small little worlds that are often overlooked in today’s busy world. You can see a few of her designs in this photo.
There are many similar gift ideas you’ll discover over the holidays that return a portion of the proceeds to organizations that care for the homeless, abused women and children, animal shelters, and veterans. Keep an eye out for opportunities to make those purchases as gifts, either to others or yourself. While you’re at it, be sure to tell your kids and grandkids the story behind the purchase. It’s a great way to help them develop empathy and the desire to help others.
Be sure to check out more from Children’s Art Project and get 20% off by using the coupons code ESB20 at checkout!
This content was sponsored by MD Anderson Cancer Center. I was given samples of products and compensated for my time and research.
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