Charitable Gift Ideas for Your Holiday Gift List

boy-fence-cow-smiling-gateEarlier in the week I told you about our partnership with the JCPenny/Salvation Army’s Angel Giving Tree (by the way, Friday is the last day for giving gifts so if you’re planning on doing it, don’t miss out!) and it got us thinking about charitable gifts you can give over the holidays. Because while it’s very nice to get an iPad (hint, hint), it’s also a great opportunity to give a meaningful gift that will literally keep on giving.

Here are a few of our favorite non-profits, chosen because when you give them it still feels like a tangible gift (although donating to your favorite charity in someone’s name works just as well…).

Heifer International
A staple among holiday charities, Heifer International lets you gift an animal to a community where it will make a big impact (a flock of ducks, for example, is the equivalent to tripling a family’s income in China). Participants also agree to share the animal’s offspring with others in need, making it truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Women for Women
Women for Women specifically helps women who are survivors of war or catastrophe get out of poverty by teaching them the skills they need to find work or start their own business. You help out by sponsoring one woman for the year it takes to learn the necessary skills, money which helps get her family basic necessities (food, water, clothing) so she and her children can attend classes.

What really sets it apart though is that you get to exchange letters with the woman you sponsor so you can keep up-to-date on the changes in her life.

Donors Choose
Coming from a family of teachers, I know what a huge difference basic school supplies make in the classroom. Donors Choose lets teachers post their classes’ needs (paper, hula hoops for Gym class, science pencils) that you can help support with a donation (when you gift a donation, the recipient will choose the project). Once the project is funded, you’ll get photos of your project taking place, a thank you note and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent.

Classrooms for Cambodia
Husband and wife team, Noelle and Mike Magluilo have literally built a school. After spending time in Cambodia, they came back, fired up to help, but where the rest of us might put our feet up and turned on the TV, they actually did something about it. A year later they’d built a school and helped secure scholarships for two students to attend high school in Phnom Penh.

In order to help fund the school, Noelle sells a line of scarves and bags (the Lucky Flower handbag is really cute), in which 100% of the proceeds benefit their non-profit. As well, her line is made and sourced entirely in Cambodia.

What’s your favorite charity or non-profit you’re supporting? Tell us about it in the Comments!

Photo by: Heifer International / Jake Lyell

about the author
Kara Kara is happily married in San Francisco where she occasionally stalks brides and tries to convince them to wear wedding dresses she wishes she could wear herself. She loves sales at Anthropologie, afternoon dance parties with her kids, and encouraging people to talk in funny accents.

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