Thursday, December 6, 2012

Giving Back

Christmas is a time of generosity, kindness, and love. And most people want to be creative in their gift giving, yet they don't know where to start, especially if you're hoping to give more than just a gift.

There are some incredible gifts this year that will not only impress those receiving, but will also impact the world for the better. Take a look at these items/services and continue putting your money to something bigger and better this year. 

Each one of these gifts has the potential to radically change a life.

1. World Vision gives you the opportunity to give a gift that keeps on giving. Purchasing a goat, chicken, or any combination of farm animals for a family gives them a chance to not only provide for themselves (through milk, eggs, etc.), but to also sell extra eggs, chicks, or milk to help pay for the basics of daily life. Prices range from $16-2,500.

2. Pecans on Peachtree helps raise money for patient-related programs at The Shepherd Center through the selling of Georgia-grown pecans. The Shepherd Center is one of the top 10 rehabilitation centers in the nation, and specializes in medical treatment, research, and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders.

3. If you're familiar with the Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda, then you should also become familiar with Land of a Thousand Hills coffee. Land of a Thousand Hills has brought together these life-long enemies to work on coffee plantations throughout the country. The Forgiveness School is a school being built in Rwanda in order to foster the continued reconciliation of these two tribes. Be a part of the Forgiveness Wins campaign by purchasing a square foot of the Forgiveness School. 

4. Sevenly's goal is to "harness the power of art and community to build sustainable awareness and fund movements that support charities in their efforts to change the world." Each week you can purchase clothing, and $14 will go towards the charity being sponsored that week. Charities of the past include Knots of Love, Autism or cancer research, and sex-trafficking awareness. 

5. The goal of Heifer International is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty. Through Heifer International, you can purchase anything from an animal to clean water to education for a child to a knitter's gift basket. Their approach is holistic and directed at sustainable solutions that impact whole communities.

6. The Invisible Children is an organization that is working to raise awareness of the LRA in Uganda. They have a variety of products that go towards the betterment of Uganda, and the disarming of Joseph Kony and the LRA from abducting and killing civilians at an alarming rate.   

7. Plywood People is a seller of fair trade goods, all of which are under $50 and support different US craftspeople and companies.

8. International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. This year you can buy an 'Aftercare Package' for someone who has recently been rescued from the sex slave trade. Another gift idea is for $24, you can pay for IJM workers to be present in a community one more day in the hopes of rescuing women and children in one of these harmful environments. 

9. TOMS - Through the purchase of one pair of shoes, you donate a pair of shoes to someone in need. 

Merry Christmas and happy shopping!  

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