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Skeptical giving

by Phil Plait, Dec 24 2008

So you have what, like zero days left to buy presents. Today’s the day, you’re panicked, and you’re not sure what to do. Run to the bookstore for a gift certificate? Hope the local superbox has more cartons of electric toothbrushes? Just panic?

There are some things you still can do. They may not be the latest video game or a big plasma TV, but there are some good gifts left to give, and maybe you can do a good deed at the same time:

1) Donate to your favorite skeptic society: There are lots of skeptical groups out there who are trying to make the world a better place by promoting critical thinking. The James Randi Educational Foundation comes to mind (full disclosure: I’m President of the JREF), as well as fellow Skeptologists Michael Shermer’s Skeptic Society, Steve Novella’s New England Skeptical Society, and Brian Dunning’s Skeptoid. Some of those are tax-deductible, and the end of the year is coming… and most groups have membership plans that you can get for yourself, a friend, or a loved one. Why not help these groups achieve their goals of filling the world with critical thinkers?

2) Skepchick: The Skepchicks posted a skeptical holiday gift guide. It’s a bit late to get things shipped, but they have some cool ideas.

3) Skeptical charities: Both TechSkeptic and The Friendly Atheist have posted lists of non-religious charities, should you choose to remain secular but still be able to do good things.

The holidays are for everyone, even skeptics. Have fun, enjoy friends and family, and maybe you can even make the world a better place at the same time.

5 Responses to “Skeptical giving”

  1. Steve says:

    “remain secular BUT still be able to do good things”

    Sorry to start the comments with quibbling, but I have to raise awareness of that unfortunate cultural bias.

  2. Xdaamno says:

    Steve, I interpreted that as a statement against (/italics) cultural bias.

  3. ejdalise says:

    The only charity I support (year round) is Food Banks. Most leverage donations to an impressive multiple, have little to no overhead, and distribute through a host of organizations.

    As far as memberships (and associated magazine subscriptions), I’m letting all of mine expire (CFI, Skeptic, American Atheist, etc.).

  4. Drew says:

    I was the happy recipient of a subscription to Skeptic magazine this year, thanks to my great partner Ashley!

  5. John Draeger says:

    The TechSkeptic site is fantastic! Everyone should take the time to read about the groups on that page. Check the comments too–some good suggestions there. Thanks for the info Phil!