Another Way of Gifting

Thanksgiving has come and gone. The madness of Black Friday has passed. It’s time to get back to work.

As I write this blog millions of people are surfing the internet taking advantage of online deals on a day that has come to be known as Cyber Monday.  CNN Money reports that some 106.9 million Americans are expected to shop online today taking advantage of Cyber Monday deals. But online deals aren’t all these people are taking advantage of – many of them are taking advantage of their employers. The article mentions a survey by staffing firm Addeco that says 14 percent of workers plan to use company time to take advantage of online deals today. Of those who will take away from work productivity to do their personal shopping, The article goes on to say that a separate survey by staffing firm Randstad found that, among workers who plan to shop online for the holidays during work hours, 40% plan to only spend an hour or two doing so, though 33% plan to spend over five hours!

As the whole frenzy of the season starts to crescendo, I am reminded each year how society has strayed from spending this time of year focusing on friends and family and remembering the reason for the season. Instead, many just spend time and money shopping for the “ultimate gift.” Kids have become more and more accustomed to receiving high-dollar gifts, expecting such items rather than appreciating them. Marketers even play to us adults. We think we need this new toolbox or that new computer to make our lives fulfilled. Lexus tells us that we need a car accompanied by a music box that plays that familiar jingle.

But there may be a ray of light amidst all this chaos. An article on highlights Shift my Gift – a  service launched by  Blair Stouder. The article says that after hiking through some of Nepal's poorest regions, Souder returned to his Lincoln University, PA home just in time for Black Friday. Stouder says that although the people in Nepal had very little, they "were very connected and seemed to be living in happiness and peace, as far as I could see.”

"I began thinking it would be cool to have a place online where people could easily [transfer their gifts to benefit others] and also create a bit of a movement around it," Souder says. "It would help people reflect on themselves: How am I going to celebrate the next event in my life? Do I really need more gifts?" He told his brother Kirk about the idea and the two went to work building the site.

Shift my Gift is a way for people to donate money to charity instead of giving a traditional gift. The website charges $1.49 processing fee per transaction. This fee is not tax-deductable, but the rest of the donation is.

You can learn more at

So I guess if Snap-on wants to send me an EPIQ PowerBank 26 drawer 144 inch toolbox valued at $22,995.00 (that bad boy needs eight large casters to move it around), I should do the right thing and suggest that they should donate it to an aviation charity or donate the funds to Shift my Gift.

Thanks for reading!

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