Friday, December 23, 2011

What to get an unemployed friend for Christmas

This post was inspired by a conversation I overheard.  I was riding an elevator, on my way to the metro.  Riding with me were two young women with toddlers.  One of the women was begging the other to babysit her child so she could look for jobs.  This got me thinking, what else might be hindering this woman in her job search?  From there I got to thinking about what would be good Christmas presents for unemployed folks?  Here are a few suggestions.

Childcare Services
Check with your local daycare services and see if they offer drop-in childcare services.  If they have a prepaid option purchase some time for a friend.  Are you a stay-at-home parent?  Offer to babysit the child for a few hours a week or month while your friend looks for a job.

Public Transportation Pass Card
Bus and subway costs can really add up.  Having a pass card loaded up is a help.  Knowing that you have a way to get around town is a big stress reliever.  A pass card is also convenient.  It eliminates the need to have change when riding the bus.  

In the Washington, DC metro area the pass card is called "Smartrip".  I use it all the time when travelling in the area.

Gas Card
Gas costs can also add up so money to purchase gas is also very helpful.

Big Box Store Gift Card
Many unemployed people are receiving some form of public assistance.  But the benefits are limited and don't cover all costs.  For example, someone on Food Stamps can only purchase food with the benefits.  Food stamps can't be used to purchase things like bath soap, toothpaste, toilet tissue,  laundry soap, etc.  A gift card from a store like Target, Walmart, or K-mart can help with these items.

Salon/Hair dresser gift cards
It's important to present a neat, well-groomed appearance when job hunting.  This includes having a neat, professional looking hairstyle.  Maintaining your hair is a challenge when money is tight.  A gift card for salon services will ease the strain.

What do you think would make good Christmas gifts for an unemployed friend?     

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