...and no, I don't mean the fruitcake that people keep passing around. Don't look so innocent. We know you're taking it to the gift exchange.
I mean gifts through Heifer International. Heifer International works to fight poverty and hunger all over the world by providing families "living loans" of livestock, crop seeds, and training. Those who receive livestock from Heifer agree to pass along one of that animal's offspring to another family, so the gifts quite literally multiply. Many of the gifts allow the families to send children to school when they normally wouldn't be able to afford it; there's a gift that's hard to put a price on.
I look forward to getting their catalog each year at holiday time to read the "Success stories" of past recipients and to look at it with my daughter to pick out what gift we should give this year. (She's twenty now, and still likes choosing "something that won't get eaten.")
Here are some examples of gifts you can give through Heifer:
- A llama to provide wool for a South American family to sell
- Honeybees that will make honey and double a farm's crops through pollination
- A water buffalo to plow a field and provide milk
- A flock of geese to provide a family with eggs for much-needed protein
You can see more gifts in Heifer's online gift catalog, and you can always buy a share of an animal if buying the whole thing is outside of your budget. Of course you can also make a monetary donation for Heifer to use where it's most needed. I saw that they have a new interactive section to show kids how the different animals they give will help families around the world.
And here's another way to give--borrowing an idea from Nathan Bransford, I'll start a new holiday tradition here by donating $2 per comment left on this post between now and midnight Christmas Eve. Let me know what your wish is for the new year!