Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Intangible Charity Gifts - More Choices

Flickr slideshow - GreenBrokeLivinginKits: Charity Gifts for Under $25
It is estimated that 80% of the world's population (people just like you or me) live on less than $10 a day, and that 50% of the world lives on less than $2 a day.

Still think your small donation won't make a dent? Do the math - it will!

Please see my earlier post first, offering charitable 'intangible' gifts from UNICEF Gifts of Magic, World Vision's Gift Catalogue and OxFam Unwrapped Canada that I broke down into categories to hopefully make gift selection a little easier for you.

Need more ideas? I was delighted to learn of the following charities offering similar gifts - so many choices! I would very much like to thank and reference this article ("The Good List: Gifts that Give Back" originally by Tasha Lopez on BlogSpot). Tasha's article even discusses websites like Free2Work.org that offer holiday shopping suggestions that are not a result of child labour. Tasha is a true inspiration!

More Charities Offering Gifts to the Needy:

Screenshot: Food for the Poor website
Food for the Poor: A Christian charity, the largest international relief organization in America, Food for the Poor provides food (of course) and a whole lot more, particularly to the Caribbean and Latin America. It was founded in 1982. Highlights in their gift catalog include feeding a family for a month ($12), fruit trees for Haiti including avocado, breadfruit, mango and banana ($10), feeding a child for a year ($36), clothing an orphan ($31) and sleeping bags for Haitians ($40).

Screenshot: Heifer International website
Heifer International: Dan West realised that feeding impoverished children cups of milk was one thing, and that providing them with their own cow was quite another! He believed in giving families their own source of food, and started the charity by having the recipients "pass on" the food by giving away their first female cow to a needy neighbour (and so on and so on). Sustainability is the focus! Highlights from Heifer's gift catalogue include ducks, geese and chickens for $20, honeybees for $30, and just about every animal (lots of large ones!) you can imagine.

Screenshot: World Relief website
World Relief: A Christian charity operating internationally through churches, with interests in maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS relief, agriculture and food security, development and disaster response. They are also involved in welcoming refugees within the USA. Highlights from World Relief's catalogue include chicks for $5 each (accessible for young children to buy with allowance money), a solar-powered mp3 player for a church for dissemination of HIV/AIDS information and of course many other uses ($62), and seeds & tools for a farmer in many African nations ($24).

Screenshot: Food for the Hungry website
Food for the Hungry: Started in 1971 in Glendale, California, this Christian organization originally focused on international disaster relief. Today, their faith-based missions work to fight poverty internationally in many avenues. Highlights from this gift catalogue are a shelter (home) for a refugee family ($100 - can you imagine buying a home for only $100?!), a butter-making business for $15, and doctor visits for 5 children ($35).
UPDATE: Food for Hungry's Canadian website here, offering many more options like athletic supplies ($15), coffee seedlings ($15), four rabbits for $25, and so much more (sewing instruction, health & nutrition training, etc.)!

Screenshot: Harvest of Hope website
Harvest of Hope: Serving Canada since the early 60's, Harvest of Hope is an evangelism group working on spreading the Kingdom of God and eradication of poverty worldwide. The catalogue is simply enormous and offers so many worthy 'gifts' that it's even hard to choose a shortlist of highlights! Here are just a few (take a look at the entire catalogue, though!): dental care for a Quechua child ($10), basic medication for a 'slum-dog' child in Kolkata, India ($20), relief for former sex trade workers and exploited women ($55), literacy (teach reading and writing) for women in India ($165).

Screenshot: Changing the Present website
Changing the Present: This is a non-profit website that links to charitable gifts from many charity sources. They even have a $5 and under gift section! Highlights include a sign language dictionary to the family of a deaf child ($2), AIDS medication for infected children ($5), empower a woman (through Dress for Success - gift of business suitable clothing and career skills) for just $5, and for just $1 you can feed a child affected by the AIDS epidemic three meals. Larger gifts (there are so many!) include one that is very dear to my heart - helping the people of the Congo through their displacement and the sexual violence that has continued since a civil war in the 1990's ($35 for Protect Congolese).

Screenshot: Trees for Life International website
Trees for Life International: An American non-profit organization involving people from many backgrounds that believe that helping people in distress and poverty is the right thing to do. The name came from their early work in the 80's, planting fruit trees in India. Today, their gift catalogue includes trees (of course!), shares in learning centres ($10), and safe cooking stoves to minimize tree use and maximize safety (share for $15, buy one for $100).

Screenshot: Mercy Corps' Mercy Kits website
Mercy Kits from Mercy Corps: For 30 years, this American charity has been working to alleviate the suffering of the poor around the world and those who are victims of disasters and crises. They work in some of the more dangerous places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Georgia, DR Congo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Korea, Myanmar, Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, West Bank/Gaza and more. Charity gift options include Rice Kits for growing a harvest ($29), Family Garden Kit for growing nutritious fruit and vegetables ($40), and Women's Small Business Kits for start-up business or Camel Kits for vital animal health care for $50.

Screenshot: Alternative Gifts website
AlternativeGifts.org: AGI is a non-profit agency that works in conjunction with other non-profit agencies that are involved in the fight against poverty, humanitarian outreach and other worthy projects globally. Some highlights from their gift catalogue include Groceries for a poor North American family of 5 for a week ($35), a small pond and vegetable garden for a school in Thailand or Myanmar ($25), leather straps for a leg brace due to polio deformity ($11), and $22 buys a teacher's salary for one week in the Sudan.

Screenshot: Salvation Army Gifts of Hope website
Salvation Army Gifts of Hope: A small catalogue, the Salvation Army offers a solar-powered eco-oven for $40 (see my Life Lessons from Dirt Girl blog entry for more info on solar cookers!),  pigs for $30, and goats for $40 among other gifts.

Screenshot: CAREgifts website
CAREgifts: This small catalogue features gifts that help to empower "the world's most vulnerable and greatest resource for change : women and girls" through CARE Canada. Notable gifts are a family survival care package containing bed sheets, floor mats, mosquito nets, clothing, basins & containers and kitchen utensils for a mother and her family ($72); send a vulnerable child to school for a year ($50); and $54 allows you to help launch a savings and loans group for women to begin their own businesses.


  1. Hayley,

    I work for Food for the Hungry and stumbled across your post this morning. Just wanted to say thank you for listing our organization (among so many other great orgs)!

    We appreciate it!


  2. Hi Mark,
    Oh, my pleasure! I think there's a charity gift (and organization) out there for everyone - no excuse for people not to give this way in 2010!
    Food for the Hungry is a wonderful organization - I hope many people give generously this Christmas!
    Hayley :)

  3. Wow, this is a great post. I think charitable donation gifts are great. I love that you broke everything down to show that a little bit goes a long way.
    Thanks again for the great post!