Charitable Giving: Holiday Gifts For A Good Cause

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Charitable Giving: Holiday Gifts For A Good Cause

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start making a gift list. If it seems that commercialism has taken the joy out of giving, add meaning back into your presents. Instead of buying holiday gifts at the local big box store, choose to spend your dollars buying from organizations that use the profits for charitable works.

Whether you want to help impoverished families around the globe, hungry children here in America, wildlife, abandoned pets or the ocean, there is a charity that needs your help in raising funds. By purchasing gifts through charitable organizations, you get the double benefit of helping a cause you believe in, while presenting a loved one with a gift that has extra meaning.

Do You Want To Help Children?

If helping children around the world gain access to clean water, shelter, clothing, food and basic medical necessities is of highest importance to you or the recipient of your gift, look to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) catalog. UNICEF helps children in 190 countries around the world have a safe, healthy childhood. Every item you buy from the UNICEF catalog helps fund humanitarian work to better the lives of impoverished children.

If you are buying for your husband, father, brother or son, warm their body and heart with a gray and red striped scarf woven of 100 percent alpaca wool. Thrill your mother, daughter, sister or BFF with a set of three bangle bracelets made in India from red and gold gemstones. A coworker or neighbor will enjoy drinking their morning coffee from a Circle of Friends Mug. Your young son or daughter will love keeping the beat with a 3-piece musical set of tambourine and two kid-sized maracas.

Do You Know Someone With Diabetes?

With over 11 percent of the population suffering from diabetes, it’s likely you know at least one adult or child battling this disease. The American Diabetes Association is devoted to finding a cure for this devastating condition. You can help them fund research by purchasing holiday gifts through their catalog.

Anyone who faces a daily commute will appreciate a set of travel mugs, one for hot drinks and one for cold. Both are decorated with a cheerful bird design. If you are buying for someone who lives in a rainy climate, make those gray days a little brighter with an umbrella covered with cats and dogs raining down from the sky. A beautiful nightlight decorated with delicate butterflies and flowers will make any girl or woman you know happy. Your favorite king of the grill will get lots of use out of a grilling thermometer that shows the internal temperature of cooking meat for just the right level of doneness.

Do You Have A Soft Spot For Pets?

If you long for the day when every homeless cat or dog has a forever home, you can help that dream become reality by buying through the Best Friends Animal Society Store. Since 1984, the organization has been working with shelters and animal organizations nationwide to promote animal adoption, spay-and-neuter services and humane treatment of animals.

Your favorite pooch will wag his tail when he finds a squeaky, floppy blue monkey toy waiting for him under the tree. Big dogs will be proud to sport a rugged collar with the Best Friends logo in bright orange on black canvas. Or carry all of your dog’s gear for a day at the dog park in the Best Friends Bling Tote, decorated with shiny metal studs.

Do You Want To Save The Whales?

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the destruction of ocean habitats, stopping the slaughter of ocean wildlife and protecting ocean ecosystems. One look at their logo, with a grinning skull, trident and shepherd’s hook, tells you this organization means business, yet still has a sense of humor.

Increase the coolness factor of your favorite teen with a Sea Shepherd skateboard from Sector 9. It’s an eco-friendly board with a supremely cool design. A Jolly Roger beanie will keep him warm on chilly days and looking good no matter what the temperature. Your favorite teen girl can show her support for sharks with an Operation Requiem tank top. And anyone can make use of a stainless steel water bottle bearing the Sea Shepherd skull logo and the words “Defending Ocean Wildlife Worldwide.”

Do You Want To Provide A Better Life For Those In Need?

Hearkening to the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” many organizations work to provide independence to impoverished people around the world with animals or tools that can provide a living.

One well-known organization is Heifer International, which provides animals for food, income and wool to empower people in some of the poorest nations on earth. Through their catalog, you can “donate” animals such as pigs, cows, sheep, llama, ducks, chickens or goats and then present a beautiful honor card to the person in whose name you donated.

World Vision is a similar Christian organization, with a particular focus on helping children around the world out of poverty. Through the World Vision catalog, you can help donate animals such as goats, chickens and ducks, as well as water pumps, wells, medical care, education and disaster response. By donating in someone’s name, they are blessed by your giving, and you have the pleasure of knowing you gave a gift that made a true difference in someone’s life.

The holidays are a time for friendship, family and giving. Make your gifts more meaningful by choosing items that help an organization help others, whether that be children, animals or the planet itself.

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