The Christmas Challenge-Donate to Non-Profits in Lieu of Gifts

Brian Parra is a Dork
Dear Friends and Family,
I'd like to encourage you to consider making a donation to your favorite non-profit organization this season in lieu of buying me a Christmas or birthday present. I am very fortunate already, and I've obviously been very caught up in the new political reality as of late. I've been thinking about what power an individual has to make a difference between votes and I recall my uncle Robert Sanchez, whom I admire very much, making this request of his family a few years ago. Collectively, you guys will probably drop a couple hundred bucks on me this year, and if I could direct that energy to do good in the world, we'd accomplish more together than if I had a few more sweater vests.
Besides, my wife already got me a surger for Christmas (I can see the Amazon box from where I'm sitting). I can start making spandex superhero outfits for everyone, which you all deserve, so I'm good on gifts. I'm not trying to usurp the entire tradition of gift-giving, and I know the gift is more for the giver than the receiver, and I will cherish anything I receive; I will absolutely wear the ties and will vigorously drink the Scotch. But I've been called, "hard to shop for," so let me make it easy. Take out your credit card and make a donation in any amount to something you care about on my behalf; it will mean more to me than you know.
If you need a suggestion, why not support the non-profit I serve, Camp Quest West, ( an inclusive summer camp for children of secular and Humanist families, who are often isolated and bullied in their day-to-day experience. You can also support the national organization for my camp, Camp Quest, Inc. ( If that's not your cup of tea, consider the list of worthwhile organizations named by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight listed at the bottom of this message.
Even if the organization you contribute to isn't aligned with my politics, I'd still consider it an honor to have a contribution in my name to any organization that is dedicated to making the world more just, kind, or educated. Until the 2018 mid-term elections, supporting those who are trying to make the world a better place and standing up for the most vulnerable among us is the most we can do. If you find this appealing, suggest your friends and family do the same for you.
Thank you,
John Oliver's suggestions:
To support women's health: Planned Parenthood ( or the Center for Reproductive Rights (
If you don't believe man-made global warming is a silly issue, give to the Natural Resources Defense Council (
If you don't think refugees are a terrorist army in disguise, give to the International Refugee Assistance Project (
Give to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund ( or the Trevor Project for LGBT youth (
Another worthy cause is the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (
And to support journalism, subscribe to a newspaper and donate to ProPublica (