Alternative Giving for the Holidays

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or something else, the season of gift-giving is upon us. If you’re socially conscious, are fed up with the commercialism of the season, or just want to explore alternative gift-giving, here are some of my favorite causes that you can use for inspiration.

  • Heifer International provides livestock and training to people in developing communities so that they can feed themselves. They have a special gift-giving brochure to help gift-givers with ideas during the holiday season.
  • Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.
  • Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) provides emergency medical care to millions of people caught in crises in more than 60 countries around the world.

In addition to the international agencies mentioned above, there are also a number of local causes worth giving to – either for yourself or on behalf of others as a gift:

  • Central Union Mission provides food, clothing and shelter to the homeless in the DC area. They run a Thanksgiving Food Drive and are in need of different types of donations. For a full list, .
  • The House of Ruth helps women, children and families in greatest need with an emphasis on ending homelessness and chronic abuse.
  • Outreach International has an online catalog of sustainable gifts in a variety of categories and price points to satisfy the fashion-conscious as well as the socially-conscious. The organization’s mission is to provide sustainable solutions to help end extreme poverty around the world.

If you are so-inclined to give gifts for the holiday or are looking for a gift that keeps on giving, you have plenty to choose from. What are you giving for the holidays? Comment below and let me know.

2 comments

  1. Yikes! I have only been thinking about finishing products for Christmas, not buying things. I guess my kids would have set me straight sooner or later…

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