Give The Gift Of Hope To Families In Need This Holiday Season

Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

For many, the holiday season is a time filled with festivity and fun. For the more than 800 million people in the world that go to bed hungry every night, however, this time of year isn’t filled with the joy that it should be. Together we can change that by giving a gift that can make a meaningful difference for a family in need.

Heifer International works to empower millions to go from poverty to self-reliance by providing alternative gifts of livestock, seeds, trees, training and more to families in need. Heifer’s strategy is the hope that these families will pass on the gift—by sharing their animals’ offspring and their knowledge, resources and skills—to create an expanding network of hope, dignity and self-reliance that reaches around the globe.

Photo courtesy of Heifer International

So while you check off your holiday gift list and gather last minute ideas, consider making this the year you helped end hunger. Give an animal instead of a gift and help change a life! Heifer has some suggestions if you are interested in shopping from the Most Important Gift Catalog in the World:

* GIVE A GOAT Goats provide milk and extra income that lead to opportunities for education and improved healthcare

* GIVE CHICKS Chicks immediately begin producing protein-packed eggs for children and families

* GIVE A COW The gift of a cow can transform a family’s life providing milk, income, and manure for better crop yields.

For every donation, Heifer provides a free custom honor card, making it easy to honor someone special to you. To learn more about alternative gifting and Heifer International please visit: www.heifer.org.

Gifts That Give Back To Mercy House Kenya

(Disclosure: I joined in supporting this cause because it’s important to me and did so without expectation of receiving anything in return, however, recently I was sent some unexpected gifts as a thank you.)

Back in September I shared about a great cause I was helping support and raise money for called Mercy House. A group of bloggers came together with {in}courage with a goal of raising $74,000 by Christmas. The project was split into 5 phases and I’m so happy to share that the first four phases have been fully funded! These moms and babies now have a new van, new classroom space, a new generator, and computer lab. Now it’s time to work on funding a second home and we have a little under a month to raise the money.

We’d love if you’d help by donating money to the project. Another option is to purchase your Christmas gifts through Mercy House or to purchase select {in}mercy items from Dayspring because both donate a portion of the proceeds to the cause. You can give a great gift while doing something amazing for these moms and kids in Kenya. What’s better than that?

Here are some of my favorite items:

***

***

***

***

***

Find more gifts here and here!

 

 

A Last Minute Gift Idea From Global Giving

GlobalGiving, a virtual marketplace for philanthropy, allows anyone with an internet connection to support more than 1,000 pre-screened charities in the U.S. and around the world. These are groups providing real-world solutions to help educate children, feed the hungry, build houses and infrastructure, protect our environment, empower women (and men), rescue animals, and support active military and veterans – just to name a few.

The best part? You can support this extensive network of impactful charities with a simple gift card that your friends and family will love this holiday season. For as little as $10, you can make things easy on yourself and purchase a gift card that everyone on your gift list will enjoy – from your kids to your Uncle to the mailman – and give them the complete freedom to choose a cause they wish to support. Plus, it’s the gift that keeps on giving long after the holidays with regular updates from those on the ground on how your donation is making a difference.

I was given a gift card to donate to a project of my choice. I have a handful of causes that I’m passionate about so I looked at all of my choices. I decided to donate my money to Develop Africa, Inc. which goes to providing mosquito nets and medication in Sierra Leone. Here’s a little bit about the cause:

Proven insecticide-treated nets save lives by protecting them from mosquito bites and the killer disease of malaria. Project also provides preventive anti-malaria tablets to Sierra Leoneans. The nets are useful particularly for protecting vulnerable children who are less resistant to the malaria. Additionally, when people fall sick, there is considerable lost time and loss of productivity for all members of the family. By providing a net, you are helping to support economic development.

Want to donate to a good cause in honor of someone you love or purchase a gift card to give to someone? You can do so here.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. The gift card I received went right to the project I supported.)

 

Making A Difference With World Vision {Giveaway}

Looking for ways to make a difference this season? Here are three good ways to do so, courtesy of World Vision:

•Volunteer Virtually: Not everyone is able to physically volunteer, but you can volunteer virtually by donating food kits online through World Vision. Each ‘kit’ contains enough food to feed a family of five for one day ($16 per kit).

• Give a Meaningful Gift: World Vision’s Gift Catalog has hundreds of gifts such as goats, fresh water wells, and life- saving medicines that can be given in the name of a family member, teacher, co-worker or child and help one of more than 825,000 people around the world who benefit from gift catalog items. Gifts range in price from $16 to $39,000, and there are more than 250 items online to choose from. After purchasing a Gift Catalog item, the person whose name the gift was given in, can receive a special card describing the gift and its impact.

•Teach Generosity: Help children understand the importance of generosity and giving to others. World Vision’s Gift Catalog can be a helpful educational tool. The Pendleton family, of Colorado, adopted their son from Kazakhstan. When he saw the Mongolian Ger in the catalog, he immediately wanted to buy one for people in his homeland. “I didn’t know how to explain to a 10-year-old that $1,862 is a lot of money, so I didn’t,” said mom Amy. “And sure enough, he raised it all!”

I shared how my four year old created a “giving list” from the World Vision catalog. You can read that post here.

***


 GIVEAWAY:

One of my readers will win an Artisan Beaded Necklace from World Vision

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me how you give back to others

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS {look in the upper right hand corner}

4) Comment on another blog post

Giveaway ends December 23, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I received a scarf from World Vision but this is a cause that’s important to me and all thoughts are my own.)