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Valentine’s Day 2018: Last-Minute Charitable Gift Ideas
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Valentine's Day charitable gift ideas

Valentine’s Day is here! Are you still searching for a last-minute gift? Or perhaps you already have all your gifts purchased and ready to go for the big day, but you’d like to add a little something extra? Well then here are some lovely stress-free last-minute charitable gifts you can give this Valentine’s Day.

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

Here’s what you do: Make a charitable donation online — in some instances you can do so in the recipient’s name — then print out an e-card or other message offered. You can add this to an existing gift or give it on its own. If you want, you can 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 waited till the last minute.

Oh, and these are tax-deductible! And you’ll be helping others, while giving the gift. So, it’s a win all around.

Donate Your Valentine’s Day To Charity

This year, Dave3 and I decided to donate our Valentine’s Day to charity. So, instead of going out to eat and giving each other gifts, we took the money we would have spent on our usual Valentine’s Day celebration and gave it to a wonderful cat shelter All About Cats in New York. The cats there are not kept in cages, and the staff there are so dedicated, it’s truly amazing. They will go above and beyond to help their feline residents. Perhaps this is something you and your partner would like to do together this year.

Adopt A Pet

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

As I mentioned earlier, there are so many animals in shelters that need loving homes. So, if you’re in a relationship where you can adopt a pet together, why not take the time on Valentine’s Day welcome a furry new love into your life? (Disclaimer: Animals are not toys to be returned, so please be ready and willing to become a pet parent.)

Below are some places you can go to adopt, but there’s likely plenty of places near you. These are just the organizations I’ve had experience with, but there are so many adoption specials happening all over the country this week.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: See the promotions they have for the month. (You can also sponsor the animals that already live at the Sanctuaries.)
All About Cats in New York: I mentioned them earlier, but wanted to reiterate what a great place this is. I’ve adopted from them and am a regular supporter.
North Shore Animal League in New York: I’ve also adopted from here several times before.
ASPCA does adoptions, and has a list of places offering up adoption specials.

Name A Roach At The Zoo

Name A Roach At The Zoo roach pin

Here’s another thing me and my love do each year: We name a roach. For only $15, the Wildlife Conservation Society offers up the opportunity for you to Name A Roach at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, which houses tens of thousands of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Your tax-deductible donation comes with a digital certificate you can send. This is a unique way to say “I love you” for sure. This year, I was given this gift, along with a roach pin to wear on Valentine’s Day!

Elephant Sanctuary

“Adopt” An Elephant

Adopt An Elephant from The Elephant Sanctuary.

All symbolic adoptions come with digital email certificate. Donations at the $50+ level receive, by mail, a Certificate of Adoption, including a photo and bio detailing the amazing story of your “adoptee”; and one-year membership, including a subscription to The Sanctuary’s triannual newsletter, Trunklines.

Reminder: This also makes a perfect gift for a 14th anniversary. (The gift for this anniversary was traditionally ivory, which is actually leads to the death of elephants, so counteract that negativity by helping these animals instead.)

Sponsor “Loving Couple” Farm Animal Pairs

There are organizations that rescue and/or take-in farm animals that have been spared from the slaughterhouse, so donations are used to help these animals live a cruelty-free natural life! For Valentine’s Day, several sanctuaries are promoting a sponsorship of “loving couple” animals.

Farm Sanctuary has sheep pair Corrie & Ellis; alpacas Steve & Jessica; pigs Reggie & Lola.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary: Click here for couples sponsorship, like pig pair Rudy & Ari.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary: Sponsor a farm animal and send a digital postcard.

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, and/or send the digital cards that come along with these donations.

Sponsor A Bat At A Sanctuary

Bat World Sanctuary

Bats are beautiful!!! Consider sponsoring 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.

FYI – Everything is 14% off at the Batworld store today; use promo code “Love Bats” for the discount.

Donate to a Wildlife Sanctuary

World Wildlife Fund Valentine's Day panda card

There several wildlife organizations where you can donate to sponsor an animal like a tiger, bear, panda, penguin, and many more. At World Wildlife Fund, there’s e-cards and animated e-cards offered free for Valentine’s Day you can send and/or print out to give to your recipient. Also consider donating to Defenders Of Wildlife, Rabbit Welfare, and International Crane Foundation.

Plant A Tree At A Park

Plant a tree Prospect Park Valentine's Day

You can Plant A Tree in Brooklyn, New York’s beautiful Prospect Park. If you and your sweetheart are planning to visit New York one day, you can spend the day at the park and visit the trees. Planning to propose (one day)? Go visit your tree and make this grand gesture to your love there!

There’s other organizations that will plant trees, like Trees Atlanta (they are doing events all through Friday for their Arbor Week celebration). You can also donate to Adopt an Acre of land for that special someone through The Nature Conservancy, which also has downloadable Valentine’s Day Nature Cards for Kids, as well as ecards.

This is the perfect kind of gift to give to offset the mass amounts of paper greeting cards being bought up for Valentine’s Day. plan

Donate Flowers To A Park

Central Park donation to plant flowers Valentine's Day

Through the Central Park Conservancy, you can Donate To Plant Flowers 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.

Many other parks offer this type of donation, like Nyack Park Conservancy and Denver Parks and Recreation. Do an online search for parks in your area for more of these.

Dedicate a Tile At Aquarium Virtual Shimmer Wall

For as little as $25, you can dedicate a tile on the New York Aquarium’s Virtual Shimmer Wall. Visit the link above 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. There’s also higher levels of donation with more perks. 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!

Lifesaving Gifts

Save The Children Valentine's Day

Caring for nature and animals is important, but so is helping people in need. That’s why dedicating one of UNICEF‘s Give Love packages for your Valentine is so special. For instance, their “Super Hero Pack” provides Measles, Tetanus and Polio Vaccines; a Vaccine Carrier to ensure every precious drop of vaccine safely reaches a child in need; and 10 Mosquito Nets to keep disease-carrying insects from stealing precious lives. That goes a much longer way than flowers and chocolates!

You can also make a donation or sponsor a child at Save The Children. Your donation can help send an orphan to school with the necessary supplies, train a Community Health Worker, and much more.

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.

Remember, even 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!

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