One More Thing the Kmart Project Did

Santa Claus You might recall that I mentioned I get the seasonal blues this time of year, so finding things to feel good about is really an effort for me. You might also recall that in my sponsored post for Kmart, I mentioned that a big chunk of what I bought was for Toys for Tots. It turns out we were able to do something a bit more direct.

A friend of the family volunteered to take the toys to a donation point for us, and so we gave the big trash bag of mostly boys’ toys to her. She went on her way, doing her daily errands, including stopping for coffee with a friend who’d been going through some troubles. This woman had received a divorce the year before, and her ex-husband had stopped paying her anything after losing his job. The woman was distraught because she really wasn’t making ends meet, but worse, she reported to our friend, she couldn’t buy any toys for her boys for Christmas this year.

After a quick phone call with us to check, I’m happy to report that the toys are now wrapped and under the tree of a family who would’ve had to go without.

The Quandry

I really wanted to give those toys to Toys for Tots, because they’d go to more places. So, because I had so much fun taking my kids shopping for toys once already, I figure maybe I’ll go again. Only this time, I’ve got a plan. (***Update: I’m spending the first $500 at Kmart again. I’m spending the next $500 at a small, local independent toy store.***)

Will you donate $10 or so to the cause?

***Update: We made $500 in about 20 minutes. I’ve added my $500 in matching. Now, want to keep giving? It’ll all go towards toys for tots. Thanks so very much! ***

Plenty of Causes

Don’t feel bad if you can’t donate. This coming year, there will be plenty of causes looking for help that are much more important than toys at the holiday. I’m definitely going to share the best of them with you as they come along, because I’m passionate about how social media empowers non-profits. I’ve enjoyed learning from and working with great people like Beth Kanter over the last few years, and I know that 2009, being as difficult as it will be, will be a great time for me to pester you here and there for $10 for some worthy cause. If you have to skip one, toys might be it. But me? I’m going shopping again.

Thanks.

Photo Credit, Zana Stardust

ChrisBrogan.com runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Theme Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.

Become a StudioPress Affiliate

  • http://linkprincessblog.com Angela Moore

    I’m in as well. Thanks Chris.

  • http://linkprincessblog.com Angela Moore

    I’m in as well. Thanks Chris.

  • http://www.ghostwritinguncovered.com Amanda Evans

    What a great cause, you can add another $10 to your fund now. It’s great to see people still giving to worthy causes and what you are doing is very admirable.

    Well done Chris, you deserve a huge round of applause.

  • http://www.ghostwritinguncovered.com Amanda Evans

    What a great cause, you can add another $10 to your fund now. It’s great to see people still giving to worthy causes and what you are doing is very admirable.

    Well done Chris, you deserve a huge round of applause.

  • http://www.ghostwritinguncovered.com Amanda Evans

    What a great cause, you can add another $10 to your fund now. It’s great to see people still giving to worthy causes and what you are doing is very admirable.

    Well done Chris, you deserve a huge round of applause.

  • http://primecutsblog.com Justin Levy

    This is such a great idea Chris and thank you for doing it! It is great to see you doing this with your entire family as I think it is so very important for kids to learn about giving back at an early age. You can definitely add another $10 in there for Laura and I.

    Over the past 6 months or so I have become intrigued and interested in how social media can be used to help non-profits or just people that can really use a little bit of help. I’m looking forward to exploring this more in ’09 as well doing some things like this. It is important during Christmas time but the goal is to not forget that these same people (and many millions other) are struggling the other 364 days as well.

    Keep up the great work!

  • http://primecutsblog.com Justin Levy

    This is such a great idea Chris and thank you for doing it! It is great to see you doing this with your entire family as I think it is so very important for kids to learn about giving back at an early age. You can definitely add another $10 in there for Laura and I.

    Over the past 6 months or so I have become intrigued and interested in how social media can be used to help non-profits or just people that can really use a little bit of help. I’m looking forward to exploring this more in ’09 as well doing some things like this. It is important during Christmas time but the goal is to not forget that these same people (and many millions other) are struggling the other 364 days as well.

    Keep up the great work!

  • http://twitter.com/lisamcgrath Lisa McGrath

    Great cause, Chris! This is my third donation to Toys for Tots this year!

  • http://twitter.com/lisamcgrath Lisa McGrath

    Great cause, Chris! This is my third donation to Toys for Tots this year!

  • http://primecutsblog.com Justin Levy

    This is such a great idea Chris and thank you for doing it! It is great to see you doing this with your entire family as I think it is so very important for kids to learn about giving back at an early age. You can definitely add another $10 in there for Laura and I.

    Over the past 6 months or so I have become intrigued and interested in how social media can be used to help non-profits or just people that can really use a little bit of help. I’m looking forward to exploring this more in ’09 as well doing some things like this. It is important during Christmas time but the goal is to not forget that these same people (and many millions other) are struggling the other 364 days as well.

    Keep up the great work!

  • http://twitter.com/lisamcgrath Lisa McGrath

    Great cause, Chris! This is my third donation to Toys for Tots this year!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Chris for this opportunity. I have been looking for a way to donate toys, and without a car not so easy to get to the right places – but God always has a way.

    Thanks for all you do – you are a great example to thousands.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Chris for this opportunity. I have been looking for a way to donate toys, and without a car not so easy to get to the right places – but God always has a way.

    Thanks for all you do – you are a great example to thousands.

  • http://mindsetforliving.com Jill

    Thanks Chris for this opportunity. I have been looking for a way to donate toys, and without a car not so easy to get to the right places – but God always has a way.

    Thanks for all you do – you are a great example to thousands.

  • http://www.eggblogg.co.uk Robin Houghton

    Great job Chris. Happy to chip in. A very happy Christmas to you and thanks for everything you’ve done this year.

  • http://www.eggblogg.co.uk Robin Houghton

    Great job Chris. Happy to chip in. A very happy Christmas to you and thanks for everything you’ve done this year.

  • http://www.eggblogg.co.uk Robin Houghton

    Great job Chris. Happy to chip in. A very happy Christmas to you and thanks for everything you’ve done this year.

  • http://bikesfgs.org Mark Smith

    Chris, just a heads up on charity that I am involved with, Bikes for Goodness Sake. We are donating 533 bikes to children of deploying, deployed, or KIA Troops. Ten bike shops around Texas are working with us to distribute the bikes to these kids. We aim to offer a small token of freedom that their parents are fighting for: a Bicycle.

  • http://bikesfgs.org Mark Smith

    Chris, just a heads up on charity that I am involved with, Bikes for Goodness Sake. We are donating 533 bikes to children of deploying, deployed, or KIA Troops. Ten bike shops around Texas are working with us to distribute the bikes to these kids. We aim to offer a small token of freedom that their parents are fighting for: a Bicycle.

  • http://bikesfgs.org Mark Smith

    Chris, just a heads up on charity that I am involved with, Bikes for Goodness Sake. We are donating 533 bikes to children of deploying, deployed, or KIA Troops. Ten bike shops around Texas are working with us to distribute the bikes to these kids. We aim to offer a small token of freedom that their parents are fighting for: a Bicycle.

  • http://www.99daz.com Darren Daz Cox

    I think it’s better to help the one family that is right in front of you than going for the ‘greater good’. There is no greater good than the need that the universe put right in front of you. The needs of the one DO outweigh the needs of the many, as Kirk most famously put to Spock!

  • http://www.99daz.com Darren Daz Cox

    I think it’s better to help the one family that is right in front of you than going for the ‘greater good’. There is no greater good than the need that the universe put right in front of you. The needs of the one DO outweigh the needs of the many, as Kirk most famously put to Spock!

  • http://amandare.blogspot.com Amanda Eamich

    Joining the chorus. Hope this helps you reach your goal, and then some. Nothing better than knowing kids will don grins ear to ear on Christmas day…

    @amandare

  • http://amandare.blogspot.com Amanda Eamich

    Joining the chorus. Hope this helps you reach your goal, and then some. Nothing better than knowing kids will don grins ear to ear on Christmas day…

    @amandare

  • http://amandare.blogspot.com Amanda Eamich

    Joining the chorus. Hope this helps you reach your goal, and then some. Nothing better than knowing kids will don grins ear to ear on Christmas day…

    @amandare

  • http://www.dianascimone.com Diana Scimone

    What a great Christmas story, Chris! We’re loving watching it unfold. Can’t wait til the next installment!

    Diana Scimone
    President
    Born to Fly International, Inc.
    “Stopping child trafficking…setting kids free to soar”
    http://www.born2fly.org
    http://www.dianascimone.com
    @DianaScimone

  • http://www.dianascimone.com Diana Scimone

    What a great Christmas story, Chris! We’re loving watching it unfold. Can’t wait til the next installment!

    Diana Scimone
    President
    Born to Fly International, Inc.
    “Stopping child trafficking…setting kids free to soar”
    http://www.born2fly.org
    http://www.dianascimone.com
    @DianaScimone

  • http://www.dianascimone.com Diana Scimone

    What a great Christmas story, Chris! We’re loving watching it unfold. Can’t wait til the next installment!

    Diana Scimone
    President
    Born to Fly International, Inc.
    “Stopping child trafficking…setting kids free to soar”
    http://www.born2fly.org
    http://www.dianascimone.com
    @DianaScimone

  • http://www.estediava.com Trudy

    I’m glad you are far from being a Scrooge this holiday season. When you give from your heart, you truly lose the bah-humbugs and are immediately filled with fa-la-la-la’s.

    It doesn’t matter if a person can contribute $5 or $5000. All that matters is if they made a genuine effort.

    I know we are all facing economic trials. A person should not be down on themselves if they cannot give financially because there are always different ways to give.

    Random acts of kindness to not always involve monetary contributions. I know there are lots of local organization that can use a few good volunteers this holiday season.

    So if you don’t have it in your wallets or checking account, dig deep in your heart and give your time to a worthy cause.

    @EsteDiaVA

  • http://www.estediava.com Trudy

    I’m glad you are far from being a Scrooge this holiday season. When you give from your heart, you truly lose the bah-humbugs and are immediately filled with fa-la-la-la’s.

    It doesn’t matter if a person can contribute $5 or $5000. All that matters is if they made a genuine effort.

    I know we are all facing economic trials. A person should not be down on themselves if they cannot give financially because there are always different ways to give.

    Random acts of kindness to not always involve monetary contributions. I know there are lots of local organization that can use a few good volunteers this holiday season.

    So if you don’t have it in your wallets or checking account, dig deep in your heart and give your time to a worthy cause.

    @EsteDiaVA

  • http://www.estediava.com Trudy

    I’m glad you are far from being a Scrooge this holiday season. When you give from your heart, you truly lose the bah-humbugs and are immediately filled with fa-la-la-la’s.

    It doesn’t matter if a person can contribute $5 or $5000. All that matters is if they made a genuine effort.

    I know we are all facing economic trials. A person should not be down on themselves if they cannot give financially because there are always different ways to give.

    Random acts of kindness to not always involve monetary contributions. I know there are lots of local organization that can use a few good volunteers this holiday season.

    So if you don’t have it in your wallets or checking account, dig deep in your heart and give your time to a worthy cause.

    @EsteDiaVA

  • http://www.casefoundation.org Sokunthea

    Hi Chris – this is such a great story! Toys for kids is as worthwhile a cause as any, but you’re right, there are plenty of other causes and ways to give. I’m a new follower of your blog and work at The Case Foundation. For the past few years, we’ve put together a Guide to Good Giving (http://giving.casefoundation.org/givingguide) – a collection of different and creative holiday gift giving ideas. Hopefully, this will help people with their holiday shopping and feel better from the winter blues!

  • http://www.casefoundation.org Sokunthea

    Hi Chris – this is such a great story! Toys for kids is as worthwhile a cause as any, but you’re right, there are plenty of other causes and ways to give. I’m a new follower of your blog and work at The Case Foundation. For the past few years, we’ve put together a Guide to Good Giving (http://giving.casefoundation.org/givingguide) – a collection of different and creative holiday gift giving ideas. Hopefully, this will help people with their holiday shopping and feel better from the winter blues!

  • http://www.casefoundation.org Sokunthea

    Hi Chris – this is such a great story! Toys for kids is as worthwhile a cause as any, but you’re right, there are plenty of other causes and ways to give. I’m a new follower of your blog and work at The Case Foundation. For the past few years, we’ve put together a Guide to Good Giving (http://giving.casefoundation.org/givingguide) – a collection of different and creative holiday gift giving ideas. Hopefully, this will help people with their holiday shopping and feel better from the winter blues!

  • http://www.dominickevans.com/2008/12/last-minute-assistance-help-families-with-muscular-dystrophy-have-a-good-christmas Dominick

    Chris,

    Thank you for inspiring me to try and raise money for the fundraiser I have every year. With Christmas so close, and no donations coming in, I wasn’t sure what to do until I saw you on Twitter. You are always inspiring me to be a better person and to use social media to empower myself and others.

    I always try to give others with Muscular Dystrophy a good Christmas. As someone raised with a form of MD, I know, first hand, what it’s like to have financial struggles happening around Christmas due to medical expenses, so I don’t want these kids or their parents to have to worry.

    Thanks to you, we’ve raised $150. We only have $350 more to go!

    If anyone would like to help out by donating $5 or $10, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/3rda28

  • http://www.dominickevans.com/2008/12/last-minute-assistance-help-families-with-muscular-dystrophy-have-a-good-christmas Dominick

    Chris,

    Thank you for inspiring me to try and raise money for the fundraiser I have every year. With Christmas so close, and no donations coming in, I wasn’t sure what to do until I saw you on Twitter. You are always inspiring me to be a better person and to use social media to empower myself and others.

    I always try to give others with Muscular Dystrophy a good Christmas. As someone raised with a form of MD, I know, first hand, what it’s like to have financial struggles happening around Christmas due to medical expenses, so I don’t want these kids or their parents to have to worry.

    Thanks to you, we’ve raised $150. We only have $350 more to go!

    If anyone would like to help out by donating $5 or $10, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/3rda28

  • http://www.dominickevans.com/2008/12/last-minute-assistance-help-families-with-muscular-dystrophy-have-a-good-christmas Dominick

    Chris,

    Thank you for inspiring me to try and raise money for the fundraiser I have every year. With Christmas so close, and no donations coming in, I wasn’t sure what to do until I saw you on Twitter. You are always inspiring me to be a better person and to use social media to empower myself and others.

    I always try to give others with Muscular Dystrophy a good Christmas. As someone raised with a form of MD, I know, first hand, what it’s like to have financial struggles happening around Christmas due to medical expenses, so I don’t want these kids or their parents to have to worry.

    Thanks to you, we’ve raised $150. We only have $350 more to go!

    If anyone would like to help out by donating $5 or $10, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/3rda28

  • http://www.kulesapr.com Tami

    Great post Chris and an excellent decision. While it is nice to donate and help the unknown masses, it is the personal connection that donating or helping one person brings the giver that oh so special feeling. I encourage all your readers to go out and volunteer and see the impact you can have personally on those in need.

  • http://www.kulesapr.com Tami

    Great post Chris and an excellent decision. While it is nice to donate and help the unknown masses, it is the personal connection that donating or helping one person brings the giver that oh so special feeling. I encourage all your readers to go out and volunteer and see the impact you can have personally on those in need.

  • http://www.kulesapr.com Tami

    Great post Chris and an excellent decision. While it is nice to donate and help the unknown masses, it is the personal connection that donating or helping one person brings the giver that oh so special feeling. I encourage all your readers to go out and volunteer and see the impact you can have personally on those in need.

  • http://franklinbishop.net/blogging-school/ Blog Expert

    I am happy people are still willing to give in these bad economic times. God bless everyone.

  • http://franklinbishop.net/blogging-school/ Blog Expert

    I am happy people are still willing to give in these bad economic times. God bless everyone.

  • http://franklinbishop.net/blogging-school/ Blog Expert

    I am happy people are still willing to give in these bad economic times. God bless everyone.

  • Pingback: What the First $607 Bought You | chrisbrogan.com

  • Liz

    My 3 boys have been collecting change in a very large water jug for about 3 years. We just recently counted it (counting hundreds of dollars worth of change as truly a great way to bond as a family) and as a family decided that half of the money would be donated to Toys for Tots and the other half would be distributed among the 5 family members to buy Christmas gifts for others. I was so proud of my boys when, without any prompting, each made this rather unselfish decision. (I’m quite sure I would not have made this decision at 10 years old.) Anyway, we hadn’t yet had the chance to actually give the money to Toys for Tots, but your post gave us the perfect opportunity. Thanks Chris.

  • Liz

    My 3 boys have been collecting change in a very large water jug for about 3 years. We just recently counted it (counting hundreds of dollars worth of change as truly a great way to bond as a family) and as a family decided that half of the money would be donated to Toys for Tots and the other half would be distributed among the 5 family members to buy Christmas gifts for others. I was so proud of my boys when, without any prompting, each made this rather unselfish decision. (I’m quite sure I would not have made this decision at 10 years old.) Anyway, we hadn’t yet had the chance to actually give the money to Toys for Tots, but your post gave us the perfect opportunity. Thanks Chris.

  • Liz

    My 3 boys have been collecting change in a very large water jug for about 3 years. We just recently counted it (counting hundreds of dollars worth of change as truly a great way to bond as a family) and as a family decided that half of the money would be donated to Toys for Tots and the other half would be distributed among the 5 family members to buy Christmas gifts for others. I was so proud of my boys when, without any prompting, each made this rather unselfish decision. (I’m quite sure I would not have made this decision at 10 years old.) Anyway, we hadn’t yet had the chance to actually give the money to Toys for Tots, but your post gave us the perfect opportunity. Thanks Chris.

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    This is what Christmas is all about Chris. My wife and I plan on donating this week to your project. Great job-we just collected $$$ and sent a charity 1000 winter coats to single moms and their children – and the homeless too- for Christmas around MI and we got them amazingly inexpensive -almost donated it wa such a low price. Your post has inspired us tremendously–to add some toys with those coats too. Rocking HOT! You are the Social Media Meistro.

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    This is what Christmas is all about Chris. My wife and I plan on donating this week to your project. Great job-we just collected $$$ and sent a charity 1000 winter coats to single moms and their children – and the homeless too- for Christmas around MI and we got them amazingly inexpensive -almost donated it wa such a low price. Your post has inspired us tremendously–to add some toys with those coats too. Rocking HOT! You are the Social Media Meistro.

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    This is what Christmas is all about Chris. My wife and I plan on donating this week to your project. Great job-we just collected $$$ and sent a charity 1000 winter coats to single moms and their children – and the homeless too- for Christmas around MI and we got them amazingly inexpensive -almost donated it wa such a low price. Your post has inspired us tremendously–to add some toys with those coats too. Rocking HOT! You are the Social Media Meistro.