Meaningful Holiday Gifts

During the holiday season, we are bombarded with consumerism, greed and stress, so wouldn’t it be nice to change all that by promoting social entrepreneurship, philanthropy and empowerment?

I think so:)

Here are some wonderful opportunities to give others gifts while making a difference in the world.

  • Women for Women International‘s mission is to help women survivors of war rebuild their lives. The gifts you purchase will go towards various programs and will help give a woman from a war-torn or post-conflict country a lifeline to the support she needs for herself and her family. Choose from education, animals, job skills training or organic farming.
  • The Girl Effect‘s mission is to provide opportunities to adolescent girls in poverty around the world through social and economic empowerment. Choose from various countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay or Bangladesh and purchase books, uniforms, legal assistance and more.
  • Oxfam America Unwrapped is from the international relief and development organization, Oxfam International, and allows you to buy anything from a goat or baby chicks to a field of organic cotton or art supplies for kids. Whatever you choose, you’ll be helping Oxfam address poverty, hunger and injustice.
  • Charity:Water asks you to give away your birthday and get donations to support building wells to give clean, drinking water to people in developing nations. Right now, nearly a billion people don’t have access to clean, drinking water! My birthday was last Thursday, but I am still accepting donations on my campaign site. So far I have 4 donations and haven’t reached my goal yet so if you can donate anything, I’d really appreciate it.

It really is so easy to give back when you open your heart and mind. There’s nothing better than helping another person in honor of someone you love.

You can find more projects to support through Global Giving, a website that connects you to causes in an efficient, transparent manner. Obviously, be careful where you send your money so that will be put to the best use.

UPDATE: Nicholas Kristof published a column, “Gifts of Hope,” as well as a nice slideshow of organizations all you humanitarians will love.

If you know of other great non-profits and social causes that deserve more attention, please let me know!

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