I love giving presents to my family at Christmas. I hope to find something nice that they will like and can use. But it’s such a challenge! Unfortunately we are fortunate enough to have almost everything we want. So for the last few years I have been trying to find nice gifts that also helps others. A search for gifts that give to charity or leads to numerous lists of ideas, but they are usually stores, websites or charities I don’t know. So after some intensive research I’ve come up with a few ideas, including local (Edmonton) charitable gift guide.
Kiva helps facilitate micro-loans directly to borrowers throughout the world. A $25 gift certificate will let the receiver choose the individual who gets the loan and once it’s paid back, they can loan it out again or withdraw it. You can choose the loanee based on location and sector. In the last six year my $25 donation got matched and then has been donated out nine times. Right now I’ve loaned to Agileo in Uganda to buy a maize mill and Aliyma in Krygzstan to buy cows and sheep to sell milk.
How Kiva Works
Oxfam is an international organization that tries to find solutions to poverty in developing nations. Oxfam Unwrapped allows you to pick from a variety of gifts that go directly to help people around the world. Plus they come with cute cards and clever sayings. Give your mom a chicken for Christmas. Get your brother a few drinks (of clean water). Plant a vegetable garden for you aunt and emergency toilets for your uncle.
UNICEF also offers gifts that are given to those in need in developing countries. Their program of Survival Gifts lets you pick from educational gifts like school books, health needs like anti-malaria pills, water pumps, and emergency relief.
If you prefer to keep you donations close to home, here are a few suggestions in the Edmonton area.
There are a number of great calendars that support some local groups.
- STARS Air Ambulance for $30
- Edmonton Firefighter Calendar for the Burn Treatment Society $20. And if your lucky enough to buy it at one of their charity events, you can even get it autographed!
- The Sexy Men of YEG Food $20 with 100% of the proceeds going to the Edmonton Foodbank.
The gift of home decor while supporting the zoo. The Valley Zoo Development Society offers paintings by Lucy the Elephant or Hula and Makani the Harbour Seals. Pieces range from $39 – $139.
Edmonton Public Library Merchandise
For over a year the library has offered free library cards to everyone. Plus the library offers more than book borrowing, their goal is to grow literacies and life skills for an active, engaged community to enhance their health and success. Pick up some stocking stuffers like mugs, USB ports, pens or mitts. This is adorable onesie is the most expensive item at $20.
Ginger Bread Men for Habitat for Humanity
Albertan coffee shop, the Good Earth Cafe will give $1 from every $6.95 cookie package to Habitat for Humanity.
I love this idea. If you are sending out Christmas cards, why not buy cards that supports a charity? These clever folks offer eCards, or PDFs, which you can print and mail with the gold ol’ post. The donation amount is up to you. That’s a win-win-win.
Buy your natural fir tree for $20 from Ikea, you get a $20 Ikea gift card and Kids Kottage will receive some of the proceeds.
Every year the Bay offers a new style of the iconic red mittens. $3.33 from the $10 price goes to the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Ten beautiful wildlife photography greeting cards for $15 or a donation to save wildlife from $50 to feed hungry birds to $1000 to support eagle rehab.
Festival of Trees (Nov 27 – 30)
Last but no least is the University Foundation’s Festival of Trees. This fundraising event is not only an experience gift but also a great shopping opportunity. This year’s donations are to support the purchase of a gamma knife to perform delicate brain procedures. Tickets for adults are $10, seniors/youth $5, and children (2-12) $2.
Got any other good Gifts that Give Back? Let me know!