Thursday, December 06, 2012

Online Christmas shopping for good

[VV note: Forget shopping for gift cards or crap. Most of us don't need it! Instead, there are lots of ways to give. Nicholas Kristof offers some ideas.]

Gifts That Change Lives


Looking for an unusual holiday gift? How about a $60 trio of rabbits to a family in Haiti in the name of someone special? Bunnies raise a farming family’s income because they, well, reproduce like rabbits — six litters a year! Heifer International arranges the gift on its Web site (

Or for $52 you can buy your uncle something more meaningful than a necktie: send an Afghan girl to school for a year in his name, through the International Rescue Committee (

Yes, it’s time for my annual holiday-giving guide. The question I most often get from readers is “what can I do?” This column is an answer. As in past years, I’m highlighting small organizations because you’re less likely to know about them.

Shining Hope for Communities ( was started by Kennedy Odede, a slum-dweller in Nairobi, Kenya, who taught himself to read. A visiting American gave him a book on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and it inspired Odede to organize local residents to fight against social injustice — particularly sexual violence, because his 16-year-old sister had just been raped.

(More here.)


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