If your weather lets you get out, here's a gift that won't cost much, won't have to be mailed, and will mean a lot: Next time you're at the grocery buying for those parties and family feasts, fill the top rack of your cart with canned goods, small bottles of dressing, toilet paper or diapers of #3 or up sizes. Then take them to a food pantry or Community Services location. Our local Community Services workers tell me that they've had a 66% increase in need over this time last year. They also tell me that, even though they're low on food and goods, they're MUCH better off than many larger cities. They think it's because most people around here are just making it themselves, and can imagine going--and some HAVE gone or know those who have gone--from giving to needing. Because of being so close to the need, a lot of people pick up a few extra things every time they go to the grocery and drop it by. Just one can of corn can make a difference. Let's do it!
Another gift you can send right from home is a micro-loan. Back when I had extra money, I loaned one person $25 and another person $50 through Kiva. That's been paid back into my Kiva account. I could take it out, but it doesn't cost me a thing to lend it out again. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving!