The Hail Mary of Holiday Gift Giving

Christmas is over, so is Hanukkah. And you missed your aunt’s birthday last week, too. At this point, you need to give the gift that will salvage your reputation. The Shop Tart has an idea! A charitable donation in someone’s name is always an awesome gift.

If the recipient is already personally involved with a charity, the choice is easy (unless it’s one of those crazy town charities you just can’t support*). If not, taking their preferences into account makes the gift more personal.

According to the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Talk About Giving initiative, “Research shows that while 90 percent of us want our children to be charitable, a shocking 77 percent of children under the age of 17 are either totally unaware that their parents give charitably, or they are clueless about how and to whom their parents give.” Getting the kids involved with choosing charities for grandparents is a great way to show them the importance of giving. Bonus: YOU get the tax deduction! Hooray!

(The Shop Tart is a real charmer. She gave her father and his wife a lovely card, with the following note:

Dear G. and Dad,

Merry Christmas! This year, we have made a donation in your name to the South Carolina Arts Foundation, which will not only give us an extra deduction on our taxes, but will help fulfill my financial obligation as a board member. Congratulations on being arts supporters!



Classy? So classy.)

If you are at a loss this year, the Shop Tart has a suggestion. She and the Tank are part of the Columbia Museum of Art’s latest campaign: Be the Curator. They were allowed to go into the vault at the museum and choose a piece. The Tank carefully considered his options.

His mother let him choose, because 1) What does she know? and 2) She totally loves his taste. He went with Slanted #7, a contemporary sculpture by Ida Kohlmeyer. His mother had absolutely no objection. Love!

Now, they will compete with five other cool Columbia cats — the Shop Tart isn’t going to help you out here, you’ll have to look them up — to see who can raise the most money for the museum. She is honored to have been asked and really hopes to do a good job! The “winner” will have their piece brought out from the vault and displayed in the museum. (To be fair, there is no loser, because the good feeling you get from helping raise money for a good cause is always a win. Truth.) Want to vote for the Tank with your dollars? There are donation boxes at the museum, or you could donate right now online. So easy! Want to know why the Tank chose Slanted #7? Check out his video:

You can also see it here. So, this is shameless self promotion. (Or…is it? Since it’s really for the museum? Hmmm…don’t think, just donate!)

And the Tank recognizes that there are many other worthy charities around town. Looking for a last minute gift? Here’s a great list, and many of them accept online donations, making this gift an easy one to give!

Where to Give: Local Non-Profits, Serving Local People:

St. Lawrence Place
Columbia Family Shelter
Jewish Family Service
Palmetto Health Foundation
Katie and Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center
Winston’s Wish
Family Connection of South Carolina
Share Our Suzy
Harvest Hope
Palmetto AIDS Life Support
Epworth Children’s Home
Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands Oliver Gospel Mission
Palmetto Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Hannah House
The Nurturing Center
AIDS Benefit Foundation of SC
The Nickelodeon Theatre
Columbia Museum of Art (Ha, ha! Yes, that link is to the Shop Tart and the Tank’s “Be the Curator” page on the museum’s website! But you should donate to the museum anyway, even if you don’t care about the Tank’s feelings at all!)
701 Center for Contemporary Art
Conservation Voters of South Carolina
Pawmetto Lifeline
Sustainable Midlands
The South Carolina Wildlife Federation
Congaree Land Trust

That is by no means an exhaustive list! Don’t see your favorite? Please give it a shout out — with a link, please! — is the comments section below.

Happy Giving and don’t forget to tell them you read it on the Shop Tart!

* And if it is a crazy town charity, and you want to be a little passive aggressive, but not over the top, just give a donation in their name to the Riverbanks Zoo, and chuckle to yourself, thinking that the recipient is such a silly monkey, or screaming hyena. Not that there’s anything wrong with monkeys or hyenas.

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5 comments on “The Hail Mary of Holiday Gift Giving
  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks, Anne, for the fun read on end-of-year giving. Can I add one? The Lourie Center is a non-profit recreation and wellness center for older adults. We’d love to share in the donation love. Donate here:

  2. becca says:

    Thanks for including St. Lawrence Place!

  3. A great way to give locally is to donate to one of the myriad of programs at Providence Hospitals. Through our Development Foundation you can give local, support faith-based, high quality health care and direct how the gift is used and 100% of all donations support the mission of Providence Hospitals. Learn more about donating on behalf of a caregiver, friend or loved one today:

    Thank you, Shop Tart, for highlighting a GREAT way to give a gift that matters — though at Providence, we’d never say this kind of gift is a hail Mary. For us, it is a “sure thing.”

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Photo of Anne Postic

Anne Postic

The Shop Tart

Local arbiter of all that is fresh, fashionable and flavorful in Columbia, the Shop Tart has been blogging about shopping, eating and having a great time since 2008.

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