Archive for : Hanukkah

#8Nights of Hanukkah Service: Give Unexpectedly

Join Repair the World in celebrating the #8Nights of Hanukkah service as we dedicate the Festival of Lights to helping others. Each day we will suggest a service project, donation opportunity, or other way to spread tikkun olam and get involved for the holiday. After all, Hanukkah is a holiday of miracles – why not make some? Tonight: Give unexpectedly.

We’ve all got long holiday shopping lists. There’s mom and dad, bubbe and little sis. Add on best friends, teachers, and your significant other and that’s a lot of Hanukkah prezzies to coordinate.

But this year, we invite you to think about your Hanukkah gift list a little more broadly. There are so many people who make a huge difference in our daily lives in little ways. There’s the barista who always remembers your order. There’s the UPS driver who walks your packages up to your door, and the blogger you’ve never met who writes something that makes you cry tears of relief/recognition/happiness.

There’s the teacher you had in 5th grade who’s voice and wisdom you still hear in your head all these years later. There’s the nurse at your doctor’s office who comforted you at your last appointment, and the guy in the subway who makes your commute better by playing his fiddle.

Whatever and whoever these people are, our interactions with them make our days a little brighter. And these moments of tiny, quiet kindness bring light into our year the way the Hanukkah menorah brings light to our homes.. So this year, be ready to surprise them with a Hanukkah gift when they least expect it.

There are a million ways to achieve this goal, but here’s one idea: Make up a bunch of cards (MOO lets you make super stylish ones – or just print out something simple out on your computer) with an image you love on one side and the words “Thanks for making my day brighter. Happy Holidays” on the other. Carry a handful of them around in your bag along with some chocolates. Whenever you have an encounter with someone kind, hand over a card and a chocolate along with a smile.

You’ll make their day – and their holiday – as much as they make yours.

Keep your eyes peeled for each service gift idea – and this Hanukkah, let your spirit for volunteering last for eight days and nights!

#8Nights of Hanukkah Service: Give Information

Join Repair the World in celebrating the #8Nights of Hanukkah service as we dedicate the Festival of Lights to helping others. Each day we will suggest a service project, donation opportunity, or other way to spread tikkun olam and get involved for the holiday. After all, Hanukkah is a holiday of miracles – why not make some? First up: give the gift of information.

Let’s face it, the news these days can be more confusing then illuminating. On this first day of Hanukkah, give your loved ones and the people in your wider community the chance to get informed and empowered with knowledge. Here’s how.

Give: Magazines. Purchase your friend a yearlong (or two years!) subscription to The New Yorker, the Economist, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Tablet Magazine, or another magazine that offers in-depth, reported pieces on stories that matter.

Give: Books. Same idea as above, but replace a timely, thought provoking book in the place of a magazine. Ta-Nehishi Coates’ Between the World and Me and I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai are two great options.

Give: Education. Make a donation to DonorsChoose, a website that lets classroom teachers crowdfund supplies and educational resources they need for their classrooms.

Give: Experience. Nothing teaches quite like reflecting on one’s personal experiences. Volunteer at an organization like 826, a writing and tutoring center that gives young students the incomparable opportunity to share their stories.

Keep your eyes peeled for each service gift idea – and this Hanukkah, let your spirit for volunteering last for eight days and nights!

Spotlight On: Divine Chocolate’s Sustainable Gelt

Chocolate gelt is a fun part of any Hanukkah celebration. Who doesn’t love unwrapping a glinting gold or silver foil wrapper to find a piece of chocolate inside? In recent years, a handful of chocolatiers have started turning out artisanal versions of gelt – “gelt for grownups,” as they call it, which focus on using high quality ingredients.

But we are particularly enamored with the coins made by Divine Chocolate. Available in both milk and dark chocolate, they are creamy and sweet – just about as tasty as gelt can get. But even more excitingly, they are made from fair trade sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. That means, the farmers who grow the ingredients get paid fairly for their labor. (It is also kosher certified by the OU.)

Recently, Divine started partnering with Fair Trade Judaica and T’ruah to make their gelt available to a wider audience. 10% of all sales will go directly to these organizations’ work to end child slavery in the cocoa fields.

Delicious gelt without the guilt that also does serious good for the world? Sounds like the formula for a happy Hanukkah to us.

Find out more about Divine Chocolate’s Hanukkah gelt on their website.

On Chanukah: 8 Nights, 8 Gifts That Give Back

Adam Sandler got it right with his famous Hanukkah song on SNL: “Chanukah is the festival of lights. Instead of one day of presents, we get eight craaazy nights!” Well, almost right. It’s true that there are 8 nights of Chanukah, but this year, instead of giving the same old presents, delight your friends and family with meaningful gifts that really give back. Here are some of our faves for 2014:

1. CSA Subscription
Give your loved one a season’s worth of delicious veggies and fruits by joining together with a couple of friends to sign them up for a CSA. Your friend will get lots of great food, and you’ll support the work of a local farmer.

2. Krochet Kids
Support this international non-profit that empowers people through the creation and sale of knit and crochet hats. Keep your loved one’s warm, and make a difference while you’re at it.

3. Donate in Their Honor.
Got a friend who feels passionately about an organization’s mission? Make their holiday by making a donation in their honor to support the org’s work.

4. Give a Goat
Heifer International empowers people to purchase livestock for families in developing rural countries. Make a difference in a community’s life by donating to “give a goat” in honor of your loved one.

5. Membership to Botanical Garden
Buy your loved one a year long membership to their local botanical garden. They’ll have fun wandering through the trees throughout the whole year. Meanwhile, you’ll support the gardens’ ecological and educational initiatives.

6. Punjammies
Get a pair of these beautiful, sari-inspired pajamas sewn by women in India who have been rescued or who escaped from a life of forced prostitution. Your purchase will have your loved one sleeping in style, and will support the work of an amazing organization.

7. VWU Certificate
You have heard of an IOU certificate. Do one better and make them an VWU (volunteer with you) certificate, good for one day (or more) of volunteering together at the organization or cause of their choice.

8. Beauty + Ethics
Have a friend who is obsessed with lotions or fancy soaps? Buy them something delicious (and certified cruelty free!) at The Body Shop (“beauty with heart”) and your purchase will help support campaigns against animal testing, that support children worldwide, foster environmental stewardship, and more.

8 Nights of Giving Thanks: Join a Cause

Here at Repair the World November is Gratitude Month – a month dedicated to giving thanks for everything we are grateful for. And this week it’s also Hanukkah! To celebrate, Repair the World presents 8 Nights of Giving Thanks: tips and thoughts for filling the Festival of Lights with gratitude.

On our last night of giving thanks, it is time to think about going forward. How can we bring our gratitude into the rest of the year, and into next year as well? The very best way is to become involved in a cause that is important to you. By joining a club or an organization, or volunteering regularly, you’ll gain greater appreciation for the world around you while making a difference. It’s a gratitude win-win.

Looking for an organization to help? Join Repair the World’s efforts by becoming a 2014-2015 Repair the World Fellow. Applications are due January 6, 2014.) Or check out Idealist.org to find another great fit for you.

8 Nights of Giving Thanks: Write Thank You Notes

Here at Repair the World November is Gratitude Month – a month dedicated to giving thanks for everything we are grateful for. And this week it’s also Hanukkah! To celebrate, Repair the World presents 8 Nights of Giving Thanks: tips and thoughts for filling the Festival of Lights with gratitude.

Chances are, you received or will be receiving a gift or two this holiday season. On the seventh night of giving thanks, now’s the time to remember to send thank you notes. Like always. Whether you unwrapped the gift of your dreams, or all you got was a bag of gelt from your great aunt Esther, someone thought about you and deserves to be thanked. And we don’t mean a text or an e-card. Now’s the time to break out the stamps and send a real, handwritten thank you note!

 

8 Nights of Giving Thanks: Set a Visual Gratitude Reminder

Here at Repair the World November is Gratitude Month – a month dedicated to giving thanks for everything we are grateful for. And this week it’s also Hanukkah! To celebrate, Repair the World presents 8 Nights of Giving Thanks: tips and thoughts for filling the Festival of Lights with gratitude.

On our sixth night of gratitude, it’s time for a check in. How’s it been going for you? Have you tapped into the magical realm of feeling truly grateful and expressing those feelings with others? Or, maybe not so much?

If you are struggling to stay motivated in your gratitude, a visual reminder can help. Find a quote, or a photograph, or an object that helps you tap into your reserves of gratitude and keep it in your line of sight. Whenever you need a little reminder that life has so many things to be grateful for, just take a look. You can even wear your gratitude on your sleeve.