seeing a fom with a messenger nickname of "we're buying a toilet!!!", i just had to bite :p
me: umm... that's good news i presume??!
fom: very good news. we've been saving all semester to buy one.
me: does that mean you *didn't* have one before?
fom: no no. we have two of them in my house.
fom: my Bible study group has been "paying" to come all semester, and tonight we decided what we were going to spend the money we've raised on. we're spending the money on things from the TEAR "really useful gift catalogue", and buying a toilet for a poor community in a developing country.
me: tear is good
fom: yeah, they're great. and their gift catalogue is such a great idea...
fom: ... cause really, most of us don't "need" anything for birthday or christmas presents... and putting the money you would otherwise have spent on something superfluous into something that someone else really needs is awesome.
me: yeah. and u get a free card to use :p
- - - - -
now don't get me wrong, i don't shop at tear just for their free cards! but i have used their (arguably the world's most useful) gift catalogue a couple of times this year, and i quite like having a complimentary card to use to give to the person on whose behalf i have purchased some gifts. i usually dread shopping for gifts, as i usually have no idea what to buy. that's why i like gift registries and the like - i'd rather get something i know the other person wants/needs/can use/would like etc. lately there has been a bit of trend (at least among my friends who have gotten or are getting married, or in some cases major birthdays) to include an item like a tear donation on gift lists.
for one wedding earlier this year i picked out some items on behalf of my family, matching a cooking related item on the couple's gift list with a cooking related item from tear - one for you, one for them :)
last night a friend graduated from a TESOL course, so again i went to tear and chose a literacy gift to match the occasion. but of course i did this early enough to have the card ready in time for the actual ceremony ;)