Well, folks, it’s that time of year again, the holidays are upon us. Most of us will spend the next month traipsing through crowded shopping malls and scouring department stores to find the perfect gift for your friends and family, but sometimes even the best of us forget that spreading holiday joy doesn’t have to be limited to just our loved ones. This Christmas, let’s spread the joy and give a gift to someone in need.
Heifer International is a global non-profit organization that has helped 30 million families in 125 countries escape poverty and hunger. If you’re looking to make a difference this holiday season, this is the organization for you. While there are plenty of charities that do great work, there is something extra satisfying about browsing through Heifer International’s catalog of gifts and donations, and selecting a package that you know will make a huge impact on someone’s life.
One of the most prominently featured donation options involves purchasing an animal for a person in need, a gift that will have a lasting impact on the health and well-being of an entire family, and possibly an entire village. By giving an animal, you provide a family with ongoing access to the food, by-products, and services that come with that particular animal. Each project participant then gives their animal’s first female offspring to another family, complete with training in its care and sustainable agriculture, so the benefits of this gift continue to spread throughout the community. There are plenty of animals to choose from, including goats, heifers, water buffalos, alpacas, and even honeybees. Donors with cash to spare can go all the way with a full “gift arc” containing two of each animal. The prices for these gifts range from $30 (honey bees) to $5000 (full arc), but don’t worry if you can’t afford the full price—there is also the option to contribute a “share” starting at $10 that will go towards the purchase of one of these animals for a family in need.
Animals aren’t the only gifts you can give through this organization. If there is a humanitarian issue near and dear to your heart, chances are that Heifer International is working towards a solution. Their website’s “charitable gift catalog” boasts five sections: donate an animal, promote women’s empowerment, support sustainable farming, fund a project, and provide basic needs. All sections have a wealth of options, from “enterpriser gift baskets” complete with business management training for women, to irrigation pumps and stoves for villages. Heifer International is partnered with iDonate, so you can also give non-cash gifts such as vehicles, electronics, jewelry, and stocks. If you decide to give a gift on someone else’s behalf, you have the option to create a card for them to open on Christmas morning so that they will know exactly what they have inspired you to do.
So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Heifer International website, and give a gift that truly keeps on giving.
By Kayla Goranson