Looking for a gift that is meaningful for you to give
as well as for the recipient to receive?
Consider these alternative giving ideas which have been rated
by Charity Navigator as 3or 4 star programs
Ecuador Educational Grant Program (our own church's program, not rated)
Program organized by First Congregational Church to provide an education for students living in Guasmo Sur, a barrio in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Beyond Borders - Tony Campolo's outreach to the poor in Haiti ****
Beyond Borders has partnered with Haitian church and community leaders to create more than 80 literacy centers for children and adults, bringing hope and dignity to some of Haiti's poorest people. Beyond Borders also works to end childhood servitude, and provides opportunities for short- and long-term service-learning opportunities for individuals and groups wishing to travel to Haiti.
Habitat for Humanity International ****
Eliminating poverty housing and homelessness in the world.
Habitat builds non-profit, no-interest houses using the "sweat equity" of the future home-owner.
Heifer Project International ***
Ending hunger, caring for the earth.
Help wipe out world hunger with a gift of animals from Heifer Project. From chicks, guinea pigs and rabbits to water buffalo, there is an animal gift for every size pocketbook.
Mercy Corps ***
Mercy Corps alleviates suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Kits are sent to children and families all over the world. You may select the type of kit and area of the world to which it is sent.
World Vision International****
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. They have a online catalog with gifts such as animals, plants, water jugs and other items to help those living in poverty.
Global Giving ****
Connecting donors with community-based projects that need support.
Global giving is devoted to grass root, community projects such as microfinance, health, climate change and many others.
In addition to charitable giving as a thoughtful holiday gift, you might want to consider a gift from alternative trading organizations which allow low-income producers (such as craftspeople from developing countries) to be connected to international markets for their goods. Shopping from these organizations will help you find unique gifts, and provide fair wages to artists and workers.
Fair Trade Federation
links low-income producers with consumer markets and educates consumers about the importance of purchasing fairly traded products which support living wages and healthy conditions for workers in developing countries. The FTF has a large variety of gifts crafted by international artists. The website provides online ordering and links to many other alternative trading organizations.
Like Coffee? Or Chocolate??
Equal Exchange is an alternative trade organization that is committed to establishing long-term fair trade relations for farmers. This worker-owned co-op offers consumers fairly traded gourmet coffee, chocolate and tea direct from small-scale farmer co-ops in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Syracuse Cultural Workers
A Peace and Justice publisher, with an extensive selection of cards, calendars, posters, clothing, CDs.
Ten Thousand Villages
Ten Thousand Villages works with over 130 artisan groups in more than 38 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to bring you fair trade jewelry, home decor, gifts and more. As one of the world's oldest and largest fair trade organizations, they build long-term relationships with artisans that are based on mutual understanding and respect.
Fair trade enables artisans to earn a fair wage and provides the opportunity for a better quality of life.
SERRV is a non-profit organization who's mission is to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing support to artisans and farmers world wide.
dZi:The Tibet Collection
dZi: The Tibet Collectionwas begun in 1990 in partnership with the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Government-in-Exile. dZi works with Tibetan refugee artisans to develop an extensive line of products including clothing, home decorations, and gifts for all seasons.
Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,300 of America's largest charities.
Thank you to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, General Board of Global Ministries for the free Advent/Christmas graphics. These pictures and ideas for a Christ-centered holiday are available at the "Whose Birthday Is It Anyway?" web site at http://gbgm-umc.org/gifs/christmas/