Today is Valentine’s Day and I, for one, really enjoy this holiday. I feel that any day that celebrates love is a good day. But, I know there are many people out there who hate it, including those who scream about “corporate greed!” and feel it’s a holiday created by greeting card companies to guilt men into spending their hard-earned cash on overpriced cards, chocolates, flowers, and jewelry. Well, I can’t argue with you there, as it is a big cash-in day for many industries (you Capitalists should love that).
So, for those of you who don’t want to give your money to corporate fat-cats or go along with the obligatory overpriced flowers and candy routine, then here’s some last-minute charitable gifts you can give — because let’s face it, if you’ve been going on all year about how Valentine’s Day sucks, then most likely haven’t gotten your sweetie a gift yet. But hey, just because you’re a non-conformist who hates sappy holidays doesn’t mean you can’t show the love, too, and not just for your partner, but for anyone in your life you care about. And, wouldn’t giving to charity on Valentine’s Day be a nice finger in the face to materialism? Yeah, go for it!
Here’s our list of 5 Charitable Last-Minute Gift Ideas For Valentine’s Day.
Name A Roach
For only $10 you can Name A Roach — one of the 58,000 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches currently residing at the Bronx Zoo in New York, that is — in honor of your loved one. Your tax-deductible donation comes with an e-card you can send. Roaches are forever and so is your love, so this is a great way to say “I love you” AND how much you hate all the stereotypical trappings of the holiday. Plus, the Roaches will thank you!
Sponsor A Farm Animal
Hey, remember how you hate corporate greed? Well, the factory farming industry is corporate greed at it’s greediest and inhumane. So, why not Sponsor A Farm Animal from Farm Sanctuary in honor of someone you love? There’s plenty of lovable rescued farm animals to choose with different pricing levels. Your gift recipient will eventually receive in the mail a personalized adoption certificate and color photo of the animal, but for your last-minute needs, print up the details on the animal you picked. If sponsorship is too much of a commitment right now, then simply make a One-Time Donation for Valentine’s Day to help out all the farm animals. Just think of how much this will piss off those money-hungry factory owners, while still showing your beloved that you have a heart.
Also, there’s other organizations out there like World Wildlife Fund, Defenders Of Wildlife, and Rabbit Welfare, where you can sponsor wildlife animals if you’d rather go that route or just make a one-time donation (ecards available to send as well).
Adopt A Bat
Does your girlfriend like vampires who sparkle? Does your boyfriend dig things that fly? Then how about you Adopt A Bat for your lover, like Lil’ Drac, the orphaned short-tailed fruit bat now living at Bat World Sanctuary who made international headlines this year. You can also choose from the selection of bats over at Batcon (after you make your purchase, you can send an ecard). If you’re in the UK, you can donate to bats.org.uk; they also have Valentine’s Day ecards you can send.
Help The Creator Of The Character With The Flaming Skull
Let’s get back to the stuff you hate: corporate greed. Did you hear the news about Gary Friedrich, a down and out comic creator who co-creator the Marvel character Ghost Rider — you know, the one with the flaming skull? Friedrich had filed a lawsuit against Marvel to retain the ownership rights of Ghost Rider, a character that Marvel has made millions on; Marvel counter-sued. Can you guess who got screwed over? I’ll give you a hint: NOT Marvel. Friedrich was recently ordered to pay Marvel $17,000 – money that to a multi-billion dollar company like Marvel is pennies, whereas it will pretty much destroy Friedrich, who’s his only profit off the character all these years has been autographs and sketches at conventions. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, you can make a donation to a good cause that will help a comics creator get back on his feet and show a big corporation that although the courts might be on their side, the “people” certainly aren’t. And, your Valentine will think you’re a true superhero!
Plant A Tree
Let’s bring it full circle now: You think Valentine’s Day was created by greeting card companies trying to guilt you into purchasing overpriced cards. What better way to thwart their attempts then by donating to Plant A Tree through The Nature Conservancy? This is the perfect gift to give to countact the giving of greeting cards, amiright? If you want to plant a tree in someone’s honor, there’s an option on the donation page to send an ecard.
If you want to show the people in your life that you love and care for them, there’s plenty of ways to do so without getting caught up into the materialism of the holiday. Remember, Valentine’s Day is what YOU make it.