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

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, NYT

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 (heifer.org).

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 (rescue.org).

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 (shininghopeforcommunities.org) 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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