6 Do-gooder Gifts for this Holiday Season
Dec. 10 5:39 PM
Holiday shopping can be tough for everyone, but it's especially tough if your loved is not interested in consumer goods. Is your BFF more interested in the fate of the boreal forests in Canada? Would your mom rather have you volunteer at a soup kitchen? Whether or not they are kind-hearted, conservationists or just plain hard to shop for, here is our list of alternative gifts for the Do-gooder in your life
The One Laptop per Child mission is to bring affordable laptops to children of developing countries. This program has caused a stir upon its announcement and is finally up and running. Up until December 31st, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program. When you donate a laptop to a child, you can get one for your own lil' tyke. That's two laptops for $399 ($200 of it is tax-deducible). The laptop runs on Linux, so you're also saving two people from Microsoft's awful Windows Vista OS. Another cool thing is that T-Mobile is offering one year of free HotSpot access for participants of this program.
another good choice: Room to Read gift membership
Want to save the planet and make your loved ones happy, too? Here's a great option for nature-loving do-gooders. Organic Bouquet is USDA certified organic and has an affiliate program that donates a small percentage to charities like The Humane Society and The Nature Conservancy. Score major points with your girlfriend or mother with these bouquets.
Another good choice: Arbor Day Foundation gift shop
Whether or not you are for or against the war, there is one thing we all have in common. We support our troops. Send them your love with an eCarePackage. You can choose a troop you already know, through their registration code, or pick one who has been waiting the longest for some love. Most of them ask for simple items like cards with words of encouragement, candy, cookies or games. You can buy a basic gift package for $7 (men)/$8 (women).
another good choice: AmericaSupportsYou
Amnesty International has been defending human rights since 1961; and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for their good work. They have an awesome online store to boot, but they've just added something incredibly awesome. This year you can spoil your budding Bob Dylan or Joan Baez by giving them The Fender Amnesty International Music For Human Rights Acoustic Guitar. It's got an Amnesty International logo on the first fret and goes for $520. Pick one up and be the most popular protester in town! Guys, it doesn't matter how crappy you play guitar, if you've got an Amnesty International logo on your axe, you WILL get laid.
another good choice: UNICEF's Inspired Gifts
Feeling guilty about driving 50-minutes to work everyday in your SUV? There's an awesome trend that's going around called offsetting your carbon footprint. There are countless programs to choose from, so how do you choose? Sustainable Harvest International is a "global network of local partners working toward environmental, economic and social sustainability." In layman's terms, they are based in Central America and provide local farmers with tools, training and supplies to repopulate the local forests. For $25 you could plant 100 trees; for the big-hearted, $600 could save 200 acres of tropical forest. The gift will include a card in the mail from SHI, so it's not very flashy but it's sweet. If you want to know where your money is going, they've published their annual reports since 1999.
another good choice: Gift membership to the National Resources Defense Council
The Make-A-Wish foundation is a neat idea that has special meaning during gift-giving holidays. Their mission is simple and touching: They grant wishes to children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. Since 1980 they've granted over 156,611 wishes. Your donation comes with a holiday card, certificate or e-card, not to mention warm and fuzzy feelings. This is the perfect way to make someone happy and feel good about it, too.
another good choice: St. Jude's 2007 Thanks and Giving Campaign