Today is Valentine’s Day and you still don’t have a gift for your someone special – what should you do? You can go out and snag some of the florist’s overpriced roses, or run to the jewelry store and get some blood diamonds, or grab the last box of chocolates now crushed under the weight the last-minute Valentine’s Day gift stampede. But if none of that sounds appealing to you, then here’s a stress-free solution for you: give the one you love a charitable gift.
Here’s our list of 5 Last-Minute Charitable Gift Ideas For Valentine’s Day.
Love 4 Relief eCard
Send a Love 4 Relief eCard to your sweetie, like the one here above created by Elisa Bates. A lot of people were affected by hurricane Sandy, so Waves for Water and Surf Collective teamed up with some great artists to create “Love 4 Relief,” special Valentine’s Day e-cards to benefit the Sandy Relief Initiative. A simple donation (as little as $5) will get you one of ecards to send to your loved ones and will also help a lot of people still in need. You can even choose where your donation should go (for meals, transportation, safety, storage, and more).
Sponsor A Farm Animal
You can’t go wrong with cute animals that have been spared from the slaughterhouse, so Sponsor A Farm Animal from Farm Sanctuary in honor of someone you love and give your money towards an organization that helps animals. There’s plenty of lovable rescued farm animals to choose with different pricing levels. Your gift recipient will eventually receive in the mail a personalized adoption certificate and color photo of the animal, but for your last-minute needs, print up the details on the animal you picked. If sponsorship is too much of a commitment right now, then simply make a One-Time Donation for Valentine’s Day to help out all the farm animals.
Also, there’s other organizations out there like World Wildlife Fund, Defenders Of Wildlife, and Rabbit Welfare, where you can sponsor wildlife animals if you’d rather go that route or just make a one-time donation (ecards available to send as well).
Adopt A Bat
Adopt A Bat for your lover, like one of these short-tailed fruit bats from Bat World Sanctuary. Just look at these adorable bats in the photo above – which are about the size of a thumb-drive! – celebrating Valentine’s Day with some new toys. That is cute overload right there.
You can also choose from the selection of bats over at Batcon (after you make your purchase, you can send an ecard). If you’re in the UK, you can donate to bats.org.uk; they also have Valentine’s Day ecards you can send.
Name A Roach
This is probably my favorite “out-there” gift idea to give to someone you have the hots for. For only $10 you can Name A Roach — one of the 58,000 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches currently residing at the Bronx Zoo in New York, that is — in honor of someone. Your tax-deductible donation comes with an e-card you can send. We all know that roaches are forever and if your love is too, then this is a great way to say “I love you.” Totally perfect for all you against-the-grain types. And, you’ll be making the Roaches so happy, as well.
Plant A Tree
Plant A Tree in Brooklyn, New York’s beautiful Prospect Park or Plant Trees through The Nature Conservancy in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil for that special someone. This is the perfect gift to give to offset the mass amounts of paper greeting cards being bought up for Valentine’s Day.
If you want to show the people in your life that you love and care for them, there’s plenty of ways to do it that don’t involve material items or expensive sentiments. But, if you’ve already gone the flowers/chocolate/jewelry route, you can still add on one of these charitable items to your existing gift. And/or, you can get one of these charitable gifts for other people in your life you love, like your parents, siblings, child, and other family members and friends. It’s a great way to show you care, about them and about the world around you.
Remember, Valentine’s Day is what YOU make it.
[‘Fruit bat’ image courtesy of Shutterstock.com]