Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thoughts on Holiday Gifts, Giving Back and (of Course) Travel!

Turkey leftovers in the fridge, an onslaught of catalogues in the mail and miles of traffic around the malls... yes, it's officially the holiday shopping season!

Yesterday, of course, was Black Friday, and we're less than 48 hours away from the so-called Cyber Monday. According to early reports, Black Friday sales held their own... not exactly robust, but no decline, either. The same is expected for Cyber Monday. (A personal aside: I'm all about the cyber shopping thing... why fight the crowds and get the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tune firmly lodged in your brain if you can shop online?!)

Being, clearly, a fan of travel, I'm happy to find some fantastic gift ideas for the fellow travelers on my shopping lists. theplanetd just listed these fun ideas that every Tomgirl like me is surely coveting.

That said, these early retail sales reports underscore the financial struggle many are facing this year. Given the work I've been doing with non-profits in planning our gift certificate promotion that gives back to our partner charities, I've become hyper-aware of how the financial struggle is magnified for charitable organizations this year. So as I poke around online, I am thrilled to see other companies also offering gift ideas that "give back". Here are some fun, low-cost items to consider from Sensational Color.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates that charitable giving will be down nearly 10% percent this year (more on that in a later post). So, as you shop for the holidays, please consider these wonderful opportunities to not only give, but also give back. And, if you are an adventure travel lover (or have one on your list), remember that every Tomgirl gift certificate purchase this season provides a significant contribution to your choice of our four partner charities (and that you need not battle the traffic at the mall to purchase one!)

Meanwhile, happy cyber shopping to all... (and, by the way, please let me know if you find any fabulous travel gadgets that I need to add to my wish-list!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tomgirls Make Wishes Come True...

As part of Tomgirl Tours' holiday gift certificate program, which supports four of our favorite charitable organizations, we will be sharing a bit about each of the charity here on Travel for Tomgirls.

Kicking off this series of four posts is A Wish Come True.
Unlike our other partner organizations, A Wish Come True doesn't focus on women, health or the outdoors; it is simply a wonderful organization with an admirable mission (providing "wishes" for children battling life-threatening illness) that speaks to me and many other women.

A Wish Come True, founded in 1982, grants wishes to children aged 3-18; as of this year, they have granted 1,200 wishes, costing an average of $5,000 each. It is difficult to read through the stories of the children they've helped without getting choked up and wanting to help them grant wishes to more children... and so, Tomgirl Tours has vowed to do just that this holiday!

Anyone who purchases a Tomgirl Tours gift certificate this season can choose A Wish Come True (or three other organizations) and Tomgirl will donate at least $75 ($125 for week-long tour purchases) directly to A Wish Come True... allowing you to truly give special new meaning to your holiday "wish" list.

Call (866) 922-4990 or email me directly at for more information or to purchase a gift certificate.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Holiday Give the Gift of Adventure as You Help Those in Need

Tomgirl Tours has officially inked the details for our holiday gift certificate program--one that allows purchasers to not only give the gift of upscale adventure tours to the women who receive them, but also to provide support to four charitable organizations that are near and dear to us at Tomgirl Tours.

As I outlined in my last post, this year has been an incredibly difficult one for many non-profit organizations, as people pulled back spending on all levels, especially their charitable donations. So, as I developed the idea of a gift certificate option for this holiday, I thought what better way--or time--for Tomgirl Tours to "give back", and allow purchasers to know that their holiday spending is also helping these organizations that do so much good.

In keeping with Tomgirl's dedication to women (and girls), health, and the Great Outdoors, we've selected four foundations as our partners. For each gift certificate sold, Tomgirl will make a donation to whichever cause the purchaser selects. We will donate $125 for each certificate for a week-long tour, and $75 for each certificate purchased for a weekend tour.

The organizations from which you can choose:
  1. A Wish Come True, which grants wishes to children ages 3 through 18 who have life-threatening illnesses and live in Rhode Island & areas of southeastern Massachusetts. As of June 2009, a Wish Come True had completed more than 1200 wishes, at an average cost of $5,000 each.
  2. The National Breast Cancer Foundation, which strives to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need.
  3. Big Brothers Big Sisters, the oldest, largest, and most effective youth mentoring organization in the United States. Mentoring children, ages 6 through 18, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth.
  4. The National Forest Foundation, which engages Americans in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System, and administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forests.
To decide which tour to put on your holiday wish list (so you can start dropping hints, of course!), click here. For information on how to purchase a Tomgirl Gift Certificate, contact me at (866) 922-4990 or email