(Found around the ‘net. Originally, I believe, from Glamour magazine.)
1. Buy a holiday turkey for a family in Baton Rouge (home to thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees) for $25 at brfoodbank.org.
2. Offer snow-shoveling services to an elderly neighbor. Excellent exercise, and there may be cocoa in it for you.
3. Support the troops with warm socks, deodorant, Cheez-Its: Find their wish lists at anysoldier.com.
4. Donate new blankets to kids in homeless shelters at projectnightnight.org.
5. Buy funky gifts at thrift shops that give back, such as Out of the Closet; sales help support the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. For locations, see outofthecloset.org.
6. Before you shop online, go to goodshop.com. Then buy from participating retailers and the site donates a portion of your purchase to the charity of your choice.
7. Give manicures at a local nursing home.
8. Spend an hour or two a week helping an immigrant learn English (check out literacyvolunteers.org).
9. Help protect half an acre of rain forest in South and Central America with a $25 donation at rainforestalliance.org.
10. Donate old cell phones to victims of domestic violence for emergencies (go to ncadv.org and click “donate”).
11. Vaccinate 50 people around the world against deadly diseases such as meningitis, measles or polio with a $50 donation at doctorswithoutborders.org.
12. Provide a month of care for a woman or child rescued from sexual slavery for just $30 at sharedhope.org.
13. Get friends involved. To find group volunteer projects, go to thevolunteerfamily.com.
14. Clean out your closet! Then donate old glasses (neweyesfortheneedy.org), shoes (shareyoursoles.org) and even wedding gowns (makingmemories.org).
15. Go to glamour.com/woty to get inspired by our 2007 Women of the Year winners and to support their charities.
16. Find projects that help people in your very own zip code at dosomething.org.
17. Make a $10 donation to freethechildren.org and a special matching-funds program will turn it into $100 worth of medical supplies for kids around the world.
18. Mentor an at-risk teen online at icouldbe.org.
19. Volunteer—inside or out—at a national park (nps.gov).
20. Play the Mozart concerto you’ve (almost) mastered for seniors. For local programs, see volunteermatch.org.
21. Help an aspiring student pay for college at scholarshipamerica.org.
22. Send a DVD or video game to hospital-bound kids via childsplaycharity.org.
23. Staying home for the holidays? Donate frequent-flier miles to injured soldiers’ families at heromiles.org.
24. Tutor a future J.K. Rowling at 826national.org.
25. Look at your medical history, then donate to a cause that could help your loved ones, be it the American Heart Association (americanheart.org), Susan G. Komen for the Cure (komen.org) or another charity.
26. Loan money to a budding entrepreneur in the developing world at kiva.org.
27. Train your pooch to be a therapy dog for nursing homes and hospitals at tdi-dog.org.
28. Sell gifts you don’t need through eBay’s Giving Works program (givingworks.ebay.com), which earmarks a percentage of sales for the charities of your choice.
29. Give to donorschoose.org; a small donation can help create cozy reading nooks for underfunded classrooms.
30. Upgrade your laptop; worldcomputerexchange.org will send your old one to a child in one of 61 countries.
31. Give blood (to find out where, go to givelife.org). What better reason to stop and lie down for 10 minutes?