Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. And now, today – Cyber Monday. It’s been a busy weekend for shopping addicts. So many of us are shopping for our loved ones (and for ourselves! Tis the season). In the midst of all of this marvelous materialism, it’s so important to also look around at the tremendous need that’s out there. We all know someone who needs something this holiday season, and this is an incredible time of year to pay it forward. The folks at Kohl’s encouraged me to do exactly that this holiday season, by providing me with a $250 gift card to use to shop at my local Kohl’s (or online at The idea was for me not to shop for myself, but to buy merchandise for members of my community in need.

Heart gift photo from Shutterstock.

When you’re faced with that prospect, what do you do? Who do you shop for?

I decided to reach out to my friends at Mercy Home – the kids there are so bright, beautiful, and amazing. Mercy Home is a residential facility for kids in crisis. I was able to get the general Christmas wish list of the girls who live there — about 40 girls live at Mercy Home. They need things like pajamas and bed sheets and jewelry and so many basic things that you or I might take for granted. I used my Kohl’s money on cute teenage winter accessories, jewelry, fun body washes and hair ornaments. Things that I thought a teenage girl would like — and awesomely enough, there’s even a teens section on Kohl’ that collates all of their coolest, most colorful, fun and on trend teen styles. SO. Helpful!

Shopping for the Mercy Home girls was a LOT of fun. I love that Kohl’s had this idea, and the spirit of giving doesn’t stop there. I’ve been informed that Kohl’s will give up to $500,000 to Toys for Tots, and for every new person who “Likes” Kohl’s Facebook page from this Nov. 23 – Dec. 24, Kohl’s will donate $1 to Toys for Tots, up to $500,000 — click here to check out their Facebook page!

If you shop at Kohl’s you can also discover their Gifts that Give Back. This holiday, Kohl’s offers exclusive hardcover books featuring American classic stories such as The Wizard of Oz, The Night Before Christmas and The Velveteen Rabbit along with coordinating plush toys for just $5 each through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Also for $5, Kohl’s Cares merchandise brings shoppers a Good Housekeeping cookbook. All good stuff.

Thank you Kohl’s for this wonderful idea and for your generosity! And thank you Mercy Home – can’t wait to send these goodies your way, just in time for the holiday season! PS – you can also help Mercy Home this holiday season and throughout the year – visit their official site for information on donating, sponsoring, or mentoring a child. 

How are you paying it forward at this time of year? Please share your good deeds with me!


pets says:
November 26, 2012, 9:06 pm
The Princess Elizabeth Centre in Woodbrook, Port of Spain Trinidad is where our family shares Christmas spirit and also some of the Port of Spain Anglican Senior Citizen homes, as many older persons living in care facilities get left out of the gift giving at Christmas.
Doctor Cris says:
November 27, 2012, 9:08 am
I love this season because the generosity of people, from all walks of life, are highlighted. I myself like to pay it forward by buying bags of groceries for the needy, buying toys for the Toys for Tots drive, buying the Kohl's stuffed animals for $5, donating my time, or whatever I can to make it easier for the needy. I am blessed so I like to share where and when I can.
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