Give a little (or a lot!): 75+ gift ideas to get your holiday shopping in gear

If you’d rather contribute your money to a good cause, considering donating to one of these local charities.

Service Dogs of Virginia
Founded in 2000, Service Dogs of Virginia matches trained canines to masters with autism, diabetes, physical disabilities, Since it costs about $20,000 per year to purchase, raise, train, and place a service dog, your holiday cash could make all the difference. Give a straight-up donation, or visit the organization’s site for its wish list of supplies and services.
To give, visit

Music Resource Center
A universal language, music has the power to inspire, empower, and educate. At the Music Resource Center, local young people learn to work together while getting a taste of producing, recording, and performing music. In 2011, MRC provided music education, mentoring, and supervision to 649 students and your donation—of money or equipment, which the Center can always use—can help continue its meaningful work.
To give, visit

Common Ground Healing Arts
Though its doors aren’t quite ready to open yet—that’s where you come in!—Common Ground, a contemporary health services center in the Jefferson School City Center, is currently in the throes of a capital campaign to raise $185k by December 15. With only $45k to go, the center is on track to open at the start of 2013, with plans to provide acupuncture, yoga classes, mindfulness training, and more.
To give, visit

Hospice of the Piedmont
Hospice of the Piedmont, one of the nation’s oldest community-based nonprofit hospice organizations, admitted 858 patients last year, providing end-of-life care, counseling, and a wide variety of support services to local families. The organization gave away over $350,000 of core services and relies on community contributions for 10 percent of its operating budget. You can’t measure the impact of helping a family deal with the end-of-life transition in a healthy way.
To give, visit

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