Everybody loves a good deal. You don’t need to look much further than Black Friday to see just how much. I can’t think of a person I know who is not disheartened by the stories of Black Friday deals gone bad, although I’ll leave it to our local news channels to capitalize on the details.
Even so, I am not ready to abandon the notion that shopping can be fun (conceding simultaneously my spouse need not concur). A few weeks ago, I joined a few thousand other folks who descended on the Outlets at Silverthorne for the annual shopping ExtravaGANNNza. I’d not been around for the event in the past so was not sure what to expect. It was a true zoo — but of the liveliest sort, and not just because of the liquor-infused whipped cream. Somehow, it was more fun to search for deals in the good company of friends, for good causes galore. While I can’t go so far as to say I was shopping for charity (lest the aforementioned spouse really cringe), seeing so many folks out smiling as they supported our economy with their hard-earned cash was worth the price of admission.
Relief from holiday stress always is welcome because much is asked from all of our families this time of year. Between programs and presents, the spirit of the season can evaporate quickly, slipping silently away amid the wrapping and ribbons. I am therefore grateful to my sister and her husband for lifting part of the holiday shopping load. Years ago they let us know that there was really — truly — nothing they needed in the way of presents, leaving me to ponder options. Their proclamation coincided perfectly with an article published by a beloved local writer extolling in verse the virtues of Heifer International, the place where you can give anything from a goat to an arc, and along the way make inroads at eradicating world hunger. While my sis does not live on a farm, she has an affinity for pigs, and as a family we were able to pick out the perfect little porker. In the ensuing years she and her husband have become more involved in stopping hunger locally, working with Community Food Share. Still, my shopping remains blissfully easy because making a donation that means something to them beats out finding just the right sweater.
Leave it to someone far more enlightened than me to figure out a way to combine the feel-good experience of getting a good deal and giving. Colorado Gives Day, just around the corner on Dec. 10, 2013, provides a great option for a different kind of shopping rush. Through the efforts of ColoradoGives.org, gifts given to charities all over the state are leveraged, sharing proportionately in FirstBank’s generous donation of $250,000, given out in matching funds for donations received next Tuesday. Charities also have a shot at donation prizes — additional pops of $5,000 each if they receive 30 total donations statewide. Gifts can be given in honor of, or in the memory of, anyone you choose, breathing the spirit right back into the holiday season.
Fortunately, too, the Colorado Gives website is easier than shopping Cyber Monday deals, and a donation of even $10 is gratefully accepted, with the added assurance of knowing the entire amount makes its way to the charity you choose. I do love a good deal, and this is a deal of a day not to be missed. Check it out on coloradogives.org — Colorado Gives Day.
Cindy Bargell is an attorney and mom who lives outside of Silverthorne with her husband and two daughters. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com.