During the holidays I like to donate bags of canned goods at my local grocery store, and when I'm buying gifts for my family, I buy a few extras and donate them to a shelter for women and children. I also like to shop at retailers who give back during the holidays. Here's a list of some good places to give back while you're getting gifts!

1. Nordstrom

Treasure & Bond, a subsidiary of Nordstrom, is a completely non-profit store. Buy gifts here, and all the after-cost profits go to charities that benefit New York children. You have to shop in-store, but if you're in NY, go for it. This just opened in August, and I've never actually shopped there because I live on the opposite coast. If you've been there and bought gifts, leave a comment! I'd love to know what it's like.

2. Macy's

For the past four years, Macy's has asked children to drop off their letters to Santa. For every letter dropped off, they donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which uses money to help sick kids with life-threatening illnesses do things such as meet their favorite celebrity or take a fun trip. This costs nothing for you, so get your kids working on some letters! You could even drop off your own letter!

3. JCPenney

For three years now, JCPenney has teamed with the Salvation Army for the Angel Giving Tree Online campaign, which lets shoppers provide children and seniors in need with Christmas presents. You can even donate via an app on your SmartPhone or iPad! You can also donate online or in-store. Do what I do, and when you're buying gifts for your friends and family, throw in a couple extra for those in need. Check out this program here.

4. Toys 'R' Us

For the third year in a row, Toys 'R' Us has teamed up with Shaquille O'Neill to spread the word about their toy and cash drive to benefit the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Foundation. Donate some cash or a new toy in the checkout line at any Toys 'R' Us location, and needy children will have gifts to unwrap on Christmas morning.

5. Sears

The holiday season can be especially hard on families with members overseas fighting for our country. Not having Daddy or Mommy home to celebrate the holidays is heartbreaking enough, and not having money for holiday treats or gifts can make that person's absence even harder to bear. Sears' "Heroes at Home Wish Registry Program," in its fourth year, enables you to go online and donate a gift card for military members, veterans and their families. I did it this year. It takes about a minute and it really helps families in need. The family at right lost their husband and father five years ago. Their only income is Social Security, and this program made it possible for them to make essential repairs to their home.

6 & 7. Pepsi and 7-Eleven

Pepsi and 7-Eleven are getting together to help families in need this holiday season. Until Dec. 31, Pepsi will donate five cents from each 20-oz. Pepsi product purchased at 7-Eleven locations to Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that gives food assistance to 37 million Americans every year. After you buy your Pepsi products, you can double your donations by “checking in” to 7-Eleven on Facebook, so remember to do that! Pepsi will donate up to $250,000 to the cause. I love my Diet Pepsi, so this one is a no-brainer for me.

8. Stop & Shop

Stop & Shop, a grocery store chain, is having its  22nd annual Food for Friends program from Oct. 28 through Dec. 8. Shop at the store and you can donate $1, $3 or $5 to hunger relief organizations in your area. Stop & Shop's goal is to raise more than $2 million this holiday season. Help them out with this goal! If you're loading up on groceries for a big holiday meal, you can spare a few extra bucks to help those in need.

9. Petco

When families don't have enough money to feed everyone, guess who goes hungry first. Sadly, it's usually the family pets that go hungry, or get abandoned at shelters when families can't afford to care for them anymore. If you love animals, then shop at Petco this holiday season. To participate, drop off dog or cat food at your local Petco. Hill's Science Diet will match every bag of Science Diet cat or dog food purchased at a Petco store and donated to the Food Drive up to 100,000 pounds. If you don't have a Petco near you, animal shelters can always use donations of food, beds, and toys.

10. Payless

At Payless, you won't be asked to donate, because they use the profits from your purchase for good all on their own. Payless has pledged to donate 50,000 new pairs of shoes to hundreds of local charities this December, regardless of profits. Since the Payless Gives program was launched in 2008, the company has given away over 3 million dollars in free shoes to those in need. Shop at Payless for gifts this season, and you'll know some of your money is helping people who are less fortunate than yourself.

How are you giving back this season? Tell us in the comments!

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