2013 Holiday Gifts that Give Back

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 9.31.57 PM The holidays are all about giving. No, really. And since we're into multi-tasking, we like the idea of giving gifts that give (did you follow me there?). That's why these presents will certainly find their way under my tree. How about yours?

 Adopt a Farm Animal ($10+/month). Farm Sanctuary protects abused farm animals, and with a donation, you can sponsor a rescued cow, sheep, goat, pig, duck, goose, turkey or chicken. I like the idea that you can pick the animal who suits the personality of your recipient. (My older brother gets a turkey.) Each sponsorship provides food, shelter and care for the animal, and it comes with a personal sponsorship certificate, a color photograph, a decal, and a VIP tour to meet your sponsored animal (look at those faces)!

 Project Repat Gift Box ($60). This one might be a group gift for the t-shirt hoarder among your inner circle. Your order gets you a pre-paid envelope that the recipient can fill with up to 30 shirts, and they can choose to have the tees made into either a lap, twin or full-sized blanket. Project Repat works with NuPath, Inc., which employs individuals with disabilities and pays them a fair living wage to turn your memories into a very cool quilt (instead of landfill fodder).

 World Vision ($25 and under). Just browsing through World Vision's "gift" catalog gives me chills. Soccer balls to help children in poverty find a way to play, a solar lantern so kids without electricity can study at night, a day's supply of food for a US family... the list is long and heart-rending. And the under $25 section means that we all really can afford to do this, one gift at a time.