Ways for families to give this holiday season ...

* Contact your post office to ask about Postal Santa programs that match your family with another family for which you can buy gifts.

* Contact Volunteers of America in your area or via its Web site (www.voa.org) to ask where the need is greatest.

* Donate warm clothing, toys, or canned food to a shelter.

* Order an ornament handcrafted in Malawi or a dairy goat to send to a family in another country from World Vision catalog. Visit www.worldvisiongifts.org.

* Join with other families and friends to order a llama, pig, bees, or chickens from the Heifer Project International. Such a gift can help a struggling third-world family become more self-reliant. See www.heifer.org.

... and keep giving into the new year.

* Talk with your children about giving a portion of their allowance every month to an organization they care about. Be sure they are on board, let them choose the organization, count the money, and do the delivery or mailing.

* Initiate a community service project.

* Decide as a family on ways you might stay involved in giving year-round. The need is usually greatest at times other than the holidays.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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