Mellody Hobson: Giving Back for the Holidays

ByABC News via logo
December 13, 2006, 5:59 PM

Dec. 14, 2006 — -- As the saying goes, it is better to give than get.

But in reality, especially during the holiday season, Americans would rather spend and receive than give.

In fact, statistics show that Americans spend $8 billion on Christmas decorations -- almost four times what they give to protect animals and the environment.

For those looking to give to charity, Mellody Hobson offers some advice on how to make a difference this holiday season and explains how you can do something to make a difference in the lives of others.

Yes, this is a terrific option -- as long as you do it before Dec. 31, 2006. The Internal Revenue Service allows workers to donate unused vacation time and sick days for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Employers can convert the donated time into cash contributions to charities, and workers can deduct the amount donated from their federal tax returns.

This is an excellent way to use up those vacation days you know you will never get around to taking -- for charitable and taxable reasons!

There is a search engine called that donates 50 percent of its revenue to charities and schools designated by its users.

Basically, once you designate and verify the charitable organization that you would like to help, Goodsearch will donate about 1 cent for every search you make.

A penny does not sound like a lot, but the site is all about numbers -- the more supporters you can find for your organization who are willing to use Goodsearch for their Internet searches, the more money you will raise.

For example, if an organization can rally 500 people to use the search engine, and the users do five Web searches a day, the organization could raise more than $9,000!

Think of all the money that could be raised this holiday season while you and your friends and family are surfing the Web for gift ideas!

Many designers and retailers partner with various causes.