Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

creative gifts

Creative Christmas Gift Idea: Feed The Hungry

December 14th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh

Feed the Thousands

Looking for a creative Christmas gift?  How about donating food in honor of your recipient?    Project Feed the Thousands and the Vermont Food Bank are two great organizations you can donate either money or food to this Christmas season.   This donation location is at the new and fabulous Brattleboro CoOp located on the corner of Main and Canal streets in Brattleboro. 

Looking for creative Christmas gift idea?  Here’s a stocking stuffer for the person who has everything.  Skip the Charlie Brown tie or paisley pashmina and give the gift of a food donation in honor of your hard-to-shop-for friend or family member.  They’ll be happy (and surprised) to know that your gift to them is helping the 1 in 5 children in Vermont who experience hunger on a regular basis.  It’s hard to believe that hunger is a daily reality for so many Vermonters but according to Hunger Free Vermont, 13% of all VT households are food insecure with 85,000 Vermonters unable to afford enough nutritious food.

In Brattleboro, you can find several locations and agencies taking food donations during the holidays.  Perhaps the easiest way to donate is to visit any grocery store (like the Brattleboro CoOp shown above) where you’ll find donation baskets at the front of the store.   If you don’t want to leave Vernon, stop by our offices at Vermont Woods Studios and drop off your food donation here.  We’ll be taking all donations to the Brattleboro Food CoOp on Friday, December 21.

Not in Brattleboro or Vernon, VT?  Elsewhere in VT you can find out who’s taking food donations on the Vermont FoodBank website with this nifty Food Shelf Locator.  And Feeding America has a zip code locator on their website to help you find locations all across the country that are accepting food donations.  Merry Christmas!  Let’s hope no one in our communities has to go hungry this holiday season.

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Christmas – Birth Of A New Tradition

November 9th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Reprinted with permission from a letter by Rita Settle to the editor of the Orlando Sentinel

American-made-christmas

 

My friend Deana clipped this letter out of the Orlando Sentinel and sent it to me after reading about our American Made Holiday Gift Challenge.  We thank Rita Settle for her creative holiday gift suggestions.

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

  • Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
  • Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
  • Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
  • Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
  • There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
  • How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
  • Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
  • My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
  • OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
  • Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
  • Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

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