The best gift-giving comes from the heart, and maybe should speak to the recipient's heart as well. Whether you're looking to make a statement about consumer culture or just looking for a new tradition for the holidays, charitable giving in someone's name can be more than just cutting a check (although checks are good, too!).

The best gift-giving comes from the heart, and maybe should speak to the recipient's heart as well. Whether you're looking to make a statement about consumer culture or just looking for a new tradition for the holidays, charitable giving in someone's name can be more than just cutting a check (although checks are good, too!).

Sam's Fans

samsfans.org

About seven years ago, Nikki McCarthy's daughter Samantha died after a battle with a rare blood disease. Through all of her treatments, hospital stays and clinical trials, Sam became close to her music therapist. "Art and music were her release," McCarthy said. Sam's Fans raises funds to provide art and music therapy for young patients in Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron. A $50 gift would provide a session of therapy to a hospitalized child; $100 would provide a group session for a child and siblings/friends; $250 would provide a musical instrument to be used by a music therapist.

Equitas Health

equitashealth.com

The former AIDS Resource Center Ohio offers programs geared toward HIV/AIDS care, prevention education, testing and advocacy, serving more than 67,000 individuals annually, making it one of the nation's largest HIV/AIDS and LGTBQ healthcare organizations. All gifts make a difference, but a $25 gift helps enroll a newly-diagnosed individual into care; $50 covers the cost of a 25-minute HIV test and accompanying counseling. Pool your resources and cover a one-year dental treatment plan for a patient living in poverty ($500). Honor someone special or give in someone's memory with a gift through the Gift of Gratitude program.

Central Community House

cchouse.org

This neighborhood community center has served the near East Side and near South Side of Columbus since 1936. From arts and engagement activities for (often at-risk) youth to assistance with basic/emergency needs for individuals of all ages, Central Community House offers services it hopes will help provide stability to individuals dealing with poverty or other issues. A $50 gift provides reading tutoring for a child; $25 provides 10 seniors with a ride to the grocery store to help them continue to live independently. Larger gifts of $250 can provide food for a free, hot community dinner; $500 provides a series of six visual art workshops for teens.

IHADRO

ihadro.org

I Have A Dream Rescue Organization seeks to save as many dogs as possible from being euthanized at the Franklin County Dog Shelter and provide them with medical treatment and address any training/behavioral issues they may have. Think of it as extreme at-risk dog rescue. To remove one dog from the shelter with proper tags costs $18. A $50 donation provides microchip and vaccines for one dog; $150 covers all necessities for one dog, including food, collar and crate. The cool thing about IHADRO is, if you want to give but still have a jones to shop, the organization maintains a list of needs on its website - so you can purchase and take them there yourself.

Project Redeem

projectredeem.org

This definition of a grassroots organization targets at-risk youth in low-income housing communities throughout Columbus. Mentoring and education in life skills such as conflict resolution, time management and peer pressure are the foundation of the project, which also offers young people cultural opportunities like trips to museums, theaters and the performing arts as well as programs in basic hygiene, healthy eating and sports. If you're interested in targeted giving, inquire about the Adopt-A-Sock program. Youth are given paper socks on which to write what they would like to receive for the holidays. Individuals can adopt these socks and help make a kid's holiday wish come true.