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Sunday, Sep 23, 2018
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Adopt a coral reef and other nontraditional gift ideas

Is there someone on your holiday gift list who seemingly has everything? You may want to think outside the box — literally. There are plenty of ways to give and to help a good cause receive.

Below are a few ideas. Check individual websites for holiday deadlines.

Adopt a Coral Reef: Through this program, the Nature Conservancy raises money for reef projects in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Palau and Papua New Guinea. Basic adoption, which is $50, includes Nature Conservancy membership benefits, an adoption certificate and a coral reef fact sheet (nature.org/membership-giving/adopt-a-coral-reef/index.htm). If you prefer to keep things on terra firma, there’s an Adopt an Acre program (nature.org/membership-giving/adopt-an-acre/index.htm) which includes the Northern Rockies and the Great Plains. It starts at $50.

Adopt a star: A number of groups out there, including the Orlando Science Center (osc.org/support/adopt-a-star), offer this. Level Polaris, the Orlando Science Center’s most basic option, includes an adoption certificate and a star and planet finder to help find the adopted star. It costs $100.

Adopt a fennec fox or a three-toed sloth: The World Wildlife Fund has many "Symbolic Species Adoptions" options (gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/species-adoptions.aspx). Basic adoption kits start at $55 and include a plush animal, a photo, an adoption certificate and a species card.

Locally, there’s Lowry Park Zoo’s Share the Care Adoption Program (lowryparkzoo.org/involvement/adopt/adoption-packages), which starts at $25, and the Florida Aquarium’s Animal Adoption Club (flaquarium.org/adopt-an-animal), which also starts at $25.

Adopt a brick: Some colleges sell brick pavers that are engraved and placed on campus. Among them: the University of Florida. (Go Gators!) According to the UF Alumni Association website (connect.ufalumni.ufl.edu/make-an-impact/commemorative-brick-pavers), pavers start at $200. The brick "will be placed no later than six (6) months after your order has been received" and "a letter of acknowledgement, keepsake certificate and locator map will be mailed after your brick has been placed in the Emerson Alumni Hall Plaza."

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