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Valentine’s Day 2015: Last-Minute Charitable Gift Ideas
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Valentine's Day charity ideas

Valentine’s Day is here. Today. Right now. Are you still looking for a gift for that someone special in your life? Or do you want to give a little extra on this romantic holiday? Or perhaps you want to lead by example by helping others on this international day of love? Or maybe your Valentine already has everything they want? Or you could be someone who thinks it’s a holiday created by greeting card companies and you don’t go for the commercialism that comes with it?

If you said “yes” to one or more of the above scenarios, then I have a stress-free solution to resolve all your issues: Give a charitable gift this Valentine’s Day. For these items, most times, you can make a charitable donation in your love’s name and then print out an e-card or other message offered. You can add this to an existing gift or give it on its own. A good idea if you’re really down to the wire would be to run to a Walgreens or CVS (some kind of pharmacy type place), grab a tiny box of chocolates and/or tiny teddy bear, put it together with the charitable gift message/print-out into a pretty gift bag (add tissue paper if possible to pretty it up), which will make the presentation lovely and not make it seem like you wait til the last minute.

See below for our list of Last-Minute Charitable Gift Ideas For Valentine’s Day.

Dedicate a Tile At Aquarium Virtual Shimmer Wall

For as little as $25, dedicate a tile on the New York Aquarium’s Virtual Shimmer Wall. Visit the site and design a custom virtual tile by selecting your favorite animal; enter your Valentine’s name, and a personalized message, which your gift recipient will receive via email as a digital certificate. They will also be able to search their own name on the aquarium’s interactive website and then share it via social media. More details just below.

Dedicate a virtual Shimmer Wall tile to your only fish in the sea! Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your little starfish? Is your manta ray of sunshine tough to shop for?

Whether your special someone likes strolling the beach or is fascinated by the ocean beyond, a dedicated tile on the New York Aquarium’s virtual shimmer wall is a great choice this February 14.

NY Aquarium Shimmer Wall gift

Each tax-deductible donation supports the Aquarium’s incredible transformation, helping to bring amazing marine life back to Brooklyn. When complete, the actual Shimmer Wall will be a defining piece of public art, wrapping the Aquarium. It’s sure to be nearly as awe-inspiring as the sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life within.

With your purchase, you’ll design a custom virtual tile featuring a favorite animal, your valentine’s name, and your unique message. Your valentine will get a digital certificate and can search for his or her own name on our interactive website. (Plus, you can share your virtual tile with #ILoveNYA !)

It’s a meaningful gift that celebrates animals, the Aquarium, and your valentine.

So dedicate a virtual Shimmer Wall tile for as little as $25 today and make some meaningful waves!

Sponsor A Farm Animal or Wildlife Animal

World Wildlife Fund Valentine's Day gif

There are wildlife organizations out there like World Wildlife Fund, Defenders Of Wildlife, and Rabbit Welfare, where you can sponsor wildlife animals like a tiger, bear, panda, penguin, and many more. WWF offers up gift e-cards and free Valentine’s Day ecards (some are even animated!) you can send and/or print out to give to your recipient.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary Valentine's Day 2014

You can also show someone you love that you care about the little creatures of the world by sponsoring a farm animal at a sanctuary like Catskill Animal Sanctuary or the Farm Sanctuary. These animals have all been spared from the slaughterhouse, so your donation helps them live a cruelty-free natural life! The aforementioned sites have Valentine’s Day e-cards that you can send and/or print out, and there’s plenty of lovable rescued farm animals to choose from 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.

Name A Roach At The Zoo

Bronx Zoo Name  A Roach Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches for Valentine's Day

This is hands-down one of the most fun gifts to give or receive for Valentine’s Day: For only $10, you can Name A Roach — specifically one of the 58,000 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches currently residing at the Bronx Zoo in New York — 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! So cute!!!!!!! Empress Eve the Roach is one of the residents at the Bronx Zoo.

Plant A Tree At A Park

Prospect Park Plant a Tree Valentine's Day

Plant A Tree in Brooklyn, New York’s beautiful Prospect Park. If you’re planning a trip to New York with your love in the future, you can bring them to see the trees; also makes a great tie-in if you plan to propose in the future.

You can also donate to Plant Trees in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil for that special someone through The Nature Conservancy, which also has downloadable Valentine’s Day Nature Cards for Kids. This is the perfect gift to give to offset the mass amounts of paper greeting cards being bought up for Valentine’s Day.

Adopt A Bat At A Sanctuary

Bat World Valentine's Day

Adopt A Bat for your lover, like one of these short-tailed fruit bats from Bat World Sanctuary or choose from the selection of bats over at Batcon. If you’re in the UK, you can donate to bats.org.uk; they have Valentine’s Day ecards you can send.

Donate Flowers To A Park

Central Park donation to plant flowers

Donate To Plant Flowers to the Central Park Conservancy in someone’s honor. You can choose from Daffodils, Tulips, or Mums and get an ecard to send to the recipient. Here you’ll have flowers planted at New York City’s famous Central Park, and as with the aforementioned tree donation to Prospect Park, you can add this on to a trip if you have something like that planned, or you can give this on its own knowing that you are helping to beautify the Earth.

CharityChoice Gift Cards

Valentine's Day CharityChoice Gift Cards

Select an ecard or a downloadable card from CharityChoice Gift Cards from the Valentine’s Day designs. Once you pick a design, you can add a customized greeting and then choose from over 250 major charitable causes and hundreds of local charities to donate to in honor of someone special. You can also make it so that the gift recipient gets to choose the charity after you give them the card.

If you want to show the people in your life that you love and care for them, there’s plenty of ways to do it that don’t involve material items or expensive sentiments. But, if you’ve already gone the flowers/chocolate/jewelry route, you can still add on one of these charitable items to your existing gift. And/or, you can get one of these charitable gifts for other people in your life you love, like your parents, siblings, children, and other family members and friends. It’s a great way to show you care — about them and about the world around you — and makes a nice gesture. Bonus – most of these are tax-deductible!

Remember, Valentine’s Day is what YOU make it.

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