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Gifts that Keep Giving

November 17, 2009

If you have internet access, food on your table every day, a roof over your head, clothes to wear everyday, a job, children with shoes on their feet and a bank account, you are one of the top 3% richest people in the world!

I try to keep this in mind when shopping in general, but especially around the holidays. We are blessed beyond measure when so many in the world, and even our own communities, are struggling for basic human needs like food and shelter.

If you are shopping for Christmas gifts this year, please consider giving a gift “that keeps giving”. This can be made in a number of ways through a number of wonderful organizations. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Gift World, Heifer International, and World Vision. These are just a few of the organizations that sell donations as gifts (sometimes referred to as alternative gifts). Here’s how it works…I buy a cow, a loom, vaccinations, or school tuition in the name of the person I would like to buy a gift for. This person receives a card with the description of the donation/gift. The donation/gift goes a person or community in serious need. I have done this for many years and it is always a huge success. When the person opens the card and reads that their gift of vegetable seeds will help to feed a family for a whole season, they are never disappointed with not getting something materialistic.

Here are some cool alternative gifts I’m considering:

A Flock of Chicks from Heifer International

Emergency Relief from World Vision

2. Give TOMS! I have kind of a crush on this company. Not only do they manufacture really cute shoes for men, women and children, but they also donate a pair of shoes for every shoe bought. Their motto is ONE FOR ONE. That means that for EVERY pair of shoes you buy, a child, woman or man gets a pair of shoes that would not otherwise be able to afford shoes. They have “Shoe drops” all over the world where TOMS employees and volunteers gives out the same make and model of shoes that is sold to people like me and you. It’s really beautiful.

And the shoes are cute. Here’s three pairs I love for the whole family.



Jane Tiny Toms, Metalic Pink Herringbone

Jane Tiny Toms, Metalic Pink Herringbone

Vecino Botas. These are good looking boots.

Vecino Botas. I think Kyle would look very handsome in these.

the super cute wrap boots!

the super cute Vegan Wrap Boots. You can wrap the leg as high or low as you want.

Whatever your holiday shopping plans are…remember that it’s not about the stuff and in the end no one really cares about how much they get. Sometimes, the most meaningful things in Christmas are not things at all.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2009 9:56 pm

    wow, can you eat the vegan boots if you get hungry?? I call that multipurposing.

  2. November 20, 2009 5:27 am

    FARM-Africa is a registered charity with a small office in the UK, a regional office in Nairobi and a country office in Addis Ababa. Over 90% of our staff are African, many of whom work directly with communities in eastern Africa.
    We were founded in 1985 to help poor farmers and herders in Africa produce more food, keep their livestock healthy, make a basic living and manage their natural resources in a sustainable way.
    FARM-Africa has proven that, with the right training and support, poor rural communities can identify and implement appropriate solutions to many of the key problems they face. Families are directly supported to help work themselves out of poverty through improved ways to manage their crops, livestock, forests and access to water.

    FARM-Africa’s charity gifts are perfect if you are looking for a Christmas gift with a difference. There’s everything from e-cards to personalised movies and beehives to banana beer! What’s more – when you buy a gift or e-card your donation will be helping to provide the poorest farmers in Africa with sustainable solutions to poverty. So whether you buy one of four collectable FARM FRIENDS, send an e-card or personalise a movie, you can be sure that you are sending gifts with a difference this Christmas.

    • November 20, 2009 3:29 pm

      Thanks so much for this post Tony, this sounds like an amazing organization! I will definitely check it out, do you have a website for them?

  3. Allie permalink
    November 20, 2009 7:21 pm

    Love Heifer.

    I’m definitely going to check out Farm-Africa and TOMS!

  4. Allie permalink
    November 20, 2009 8:14 pm

    Also meant to add- one site I really like is Ten Thousand Villages which promotes 100% fair-trade products (i.e. not made by enslaved 9 year olds). Many hand-made global items.

    And another earth-friendly wrap idea is to use scrap fabrics cut into squares. (Google “fabric wrap” for how-tos on trying them up). That’s one of my holiday goals is to invest in and figure out, fabric wraps!

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