Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Charitable Gifts

I'm sure all of you are giving books for the holidays, right? If you'd like to branch out a little and give something else, I'd like to suggest two worthy causes that make excellent presents for loved ones.

First is Kiva. I've written about this organization in the past, but its worth mentioning again.

Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

There are Kiva gift certificates available for as little as $25, which will allow the recipient to make a loan to that could save a life. And then they get the money back, allowing them to make another loan! It's a gift that will last much longer than a fruit basket, I assure you.

The second charity gift idea is Heifer International. Heifer International is dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty. It provides gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially-disadvantaged families around the world. Through them, you can buy any number of different kinds of animals in your loved ones' name. The animals will be given to the poor all over the world, starting for as little as $20 for a flock of geese, ducks or chicks. Each family that receives a gift from Heifer International agrees to pass on a female offspring to someone else in need - allowing your initial gift to grow and do more good. Again, isn't that a much better gift than a scented candle?

I hope this has given you some ideas for great holiday gifts. If you know of any other charities that make excellent gifts, please feel free to suggest them in the comments.


  1. These are two outstanding charitable suggestions. In fact Heifer is part of the TisBest 250, where a charity gift card recipient can choose from among 250 fantastic charities. The giver gives the charity gift card, the recipient chooses the charity that gets the money. It's a terrific gift for everybody. The cards are beautifual and customizable. And it's not a bunch of 'stuff.' www.TisBest.org

  2. Just as an FYI wanted to flag you to three posts that resulted from our field visits with Heifer International in Rwanda. They are doing terrific work on the ground...

    Here are the write-ups for the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet [http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet]:

    Healing with livestock in Rwanda

    Teacher Turned Farmer…Turned Teacher

    Got Biogas?

    We are travel blogging from Africa at a site called Border Jumpers which can be viewed at http://www.borderjumpers.org
    Danielle Nierenberg and Bernard Pollack

  3. I've heard of both organizations. See this is another reason I love coming here.

    Have you thought about joining the Social Justice Reading Challenging? I hope you do. I know you have so much you could contribute to community.

  4. Two fantastic organizations!

    Jessica Jackley (co-founder of KIVA), spoke locally in October. It was a pleasure to listen to her, and to hear the story of how KIVA came to be.


I love to get comments and welcome them on any of my posts. There is comment moderation on posts older than 14 days, but your comments will appear immediately on current posts.

Due to th eabsolutely insane number of spam comments I have been getting recently, I have unfortunately had to turn on word verification. Please email me if you have problems posting a comment.