Charity Checks make the perfect holiday gift

Written by on December 4, 2009 at 11:49 am

Charity Checks let your loved ones choose their favorite non-profit to benefit from your holiday generosity. That charity just might be the NMSS!

This month, you may find yourself exhausted from shopping expeditions for the latest knick-knacks to give the loved ones in your life. Or maybe you'll be regifting what you received last year and never found a use for, making room to receive more well-intended but useless junk. Buying more "stuff" and "things" can leave you feeling disconnected from the spirit of the season. So why not give a gift that not only everyone can use and appreciate, but actually will make the world a bit of a better place?

Charity Checks are gift certificates that can be redeemed only by registered 501(c)(3) non-profits. When you order checks — which come in denominations of $25, $50, $100, and $250 — the recipient field is blank. You can then give a Charity Check to anyone as a gift, and they'll fill in their favorite charity's name and mail it to that organization. There is no additional cost or hidden fees or caveats, other than the cost of shipping (usually only $5). Checks can be ordered by check or credit card and ship US Priority Mail usually within two days, in time for the holidays. Plus, your gift will be tax-deductible.

Charity Checks let your loved ones choose the non-profit to benefit from your generosity.

Charity Checks let your loved ones choose the non-profit to benefit from your generosity.

I've been giving Charity Checks every Christmas for six years, and the response has always been phenomenal. They are not only a thoughtful and moving gift, but a timely one, as in today's economy, not all of us are able to give to charity on the scale we'd like. And though it may not be your intention, you may be doing yourself a favor as well: You'd be surprised how many of your loved ones will be so moved by your thoughtfulness that they'll return the favor by donating their newly received Charity Checks back to the NMSS.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is one of over 800,000 non-profits in the United States. Every year, MS Challenge Walkers ask their friends and family to support our cause above 799,999 others. This holiday season, consider returning the favor.

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

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