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Currently I’m somewhere between the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida. I’ve been at sea on the Norwegian Pearl since Dec 16 for the End of the World (not) Cruise, and all intentions of buying gifts and sending Christmas cards prior this trip were a complete failure. I guess I’m celebrating Eastern Orthodox holiday dates this year!

All joking aside, it is the season of giving: both of giving gifts to friends and loved ones because you care, and giving financial donations to organizations you believe in because you want tax deductions.

Several organizations I really love were lucky enough to be picked to get financial grants from the Uwingu project: Astronomers Without Borders and the Galileo Teacher Training Program were among the first 4 organizations picked to receive funding. Initial checks (I’m not sure I’m allowed to say how much, but it is significant) will go out before the end of the year, and they’ll get additional funding in the New Year. How much they get is in part up to you. If you go to uwingu.com and spend a few dollars nominating names for planets, or voting on your favorite planet name (mine is Fraggle Rock), you can help. Uwingu hopes that the proceeds from at least half of all purchases will go to funding space science, exploration, and education. This is a hedged statement because there could be unexpected costs (like a tax hike) that come in at the same time there is a lull in sales, and Uwingu won’t be able give as much as they plan. If you want to give Uwingu gift certificates as a digital last minute gift, you can.

Now I understand that this kind of giving doesn’t fit the bill for those of you wanting to get a last minute tax deduction instead if a last minute gift. Here is where I remind you, you can support CosmoQuest Citizen Science, Astronomy Cast, and all our media projects like 365 Days of Astronomy and our Virtual Star Parties.

We’ve got your gift giving and donation giving covered.

Image: © Stephen Coburn | Dreamstime.com