Gifts that give back: three do-good gift ideas

by Terry B on December 12, 2012

Three last-minute gift ideas that help others in need with every gift you give.

The idea behind FEED is simple: fight hunger and malnutrition around the world by providing free lunches at school. Through the UN World Food Programme and UNICEF, FEED does just that—and more. School feeding is one of the most effective solutions to stopping hunger and helping children break out of the poverty cycle they were born into. When boys and girls are given a free, nutritious meal in school, research has shown that attendance and performance greatly increase.

To raise funds, FEED sells a wide array of stylish gifts, from tote bags to toys, apparel, accessories and more. And each gift tells you exactly how many meals you’ll be providing and where. You’ll find great gift ideas for everyone on your list at the FEED website.

These cheery Le Creuset stoneware Mini Cocottes are perfect for making and serving individual servings of mac and cheese or other sides or desserts. And for every set purchased, Le Creuset will donate $20 to Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign. Share Our Strength began in 1984 with a mission to fight hunger around the world. In 2004, it turned its focus on ending childhood hunger in America. You can order these Mini Cocottes at the Le Creuset website. (Thanks to Lydia over at The Perfect Pantry for turning me on to this one.)

How’s this for holiday spirit? FAIR Spirits are the world’s first fair trade certified premium spirits. They’re one of many great gift ideas certified by Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products in the United States. They use a market-based approach that gives farmers in developing countries fair prices, workers safe conditions and entire communities resources for fair, healthy and sustainable lives. And they work to promote planet-friendly agriculture practices around the world. You’ll find fair trade certified tea, coffee, chocolates, body care products, apparel, spirits and more at the Fair Trade USA’s Holiday Gift Guide.

Other giving opportunities

You don’t always have to get something to give something. Your favorite charities are always in need—and the need is particularly great as economies around the world struggle. So be generous with the organizations of your choice, from local food pantries, to homeless shelters, animal rescue centers and even the valiant Salvation Army bell ringers braving the elements on street corners.

One of our favorites is the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a nonprofit that distributes donated food to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters throughout the area. They also offer training programs that help men and women find jobs in the food industry to break the cycle of poverty. Another is Heifer International, a global nonprofit that fights hunger by supplying training and animal gifts to families to help them become self-reliant. You can give heifers, as the name implies, but their list has expanded to 30 types of animals it now provides—from goats, geese and guinea pigs to bees, silkworms and water buffalo. So give to the charity of your choice. When you do, you will get something in return—a really good feeling inside.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frankie Marazzi December 12, 2012 at 4:29 am

Thank you for your post – I love gifts that give back and these were great suggestions.

Terry B December 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Thanks, Frankie!

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