t’s that time of year again. That’s right; the holiday season is upon us. This year, why not do something different than your usual frantic shopping spree for gifts at the mall, and check out the calmness of the Web?
Online shopping provides many options you may not find at your local store. The best gifts are the ones that keep on giving. Whether it is an animal for an Ecuadorian family to profit from, or a football for a kid who has never had one, the impact of these presents lasts beyond Christmas morning.
Here are some suggestions of gifts to give to specific people you may have in your family.
In Haiti, topsoil erosion has led to degradation of the environment. This includes pollution of water, mudslides and destruction of ocean habitat. Your $50 will plant and nurture 60 trees in Haiti. Go to: www.alternativegifts.org.
Families in developing countries around the world struggle to find sufficient food and income. Many do not have the resources to improve their situations. Your $30 can provide five ducks to a family who will benefit from the protein-rich eggs and profit from ducklings that can be sold. Go to: www.worldvision.org.
Children around the world are not getting an education and are instead being exploited, abused and starved. By buying gifts from the Save the Children Web site, your purchase, such as a $7 coffee mug, will go toward campaigning for children’s rights, installing education programs and emergency response work. Go to: www.savethechildren.org.
Chronic poverty plagues people in countries that have suffered from political upheaval and unstable governments. When you purchase a gift certificate ranging from $2 to $100 in MP3 downloads, 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward community development programs all over the world run by Mercy Corps. Go to: www.mp3relief.org.
Throughout the United States and Canada, children suffer from diseases and disorders that are costly to treat and cure. A purchase from the Sick Kids Foundation Web site, which features products such as $20 holiday cards, the money will go toward research in children’s healthcare and the purchase of medicine and medical equipment. Go to: www.shopsickkids.com.
It really is a win-win situation. You don’t have to be in the ridiculously busy stores dealing with the not-so-helpful customer service guy wearing elf ears and a singing candy cane pin, and the person you give the gift to will know how much you appreciate them and won’t have to add another present to the re-gift pile.
A person in need will receive a present that could improve their lives, even after the holiday season ends.