Whether your friend or family member cares about issues pertaining to animals, the environment, equality, education, or another worthy cause, there's an organization that's a perfect match for them this holiday season.
Have a hard-to-shop-for person on your list? For $58, you can buy an education for a refugee child for an entire year. This amount covers tuition, books, and supplies to a girl who wants to learn. With refugee crises occurring throughout the world in countries such as Afghanistan and the Congo, purchasing an education can be a lifeline for a child a world away. Check out the International Rescue Committee's gift catalogue here to purchase an education (among other great gifts).
Gift someone a livelihood to improve their current socio-economic situation. Heifer International works all over the globe, with some of the poorest communities, to improve their members' ability to survive. They've been helping marginalized communities for over 70 years in 125 different countries.
With their unique gift program, you can give animals, skills, or any number of other gifts. Participants who receive a gift agree to pass that gift along to a member in their community. This means not only will your gift help improve the life of a family, but that family will continue to pass the gift along.
For example, if you give the gift of a flock of ducks ($20), the receiving family agrees to gift ducklings to another family. The receiving family cares for the ducks, sells eggs and ducks, and improves their own diet as well. Check out their gift catalogue here for diverse and very affordable gifts ranging from livestock to bountiful harvests to clean water.
Related: Top 10 Gifts for the Holidays (or Any Day) that Give Back
Where many people are familiar with Toms shoes and their One for One philosophy - they donate a pair of shoes for every pair they sell - fewer people are familiar with Bombas socks. This relatively new company commits to donating a pair of socks for every pair they sell. Their company name, Bombas, hails from the Latin word for bumblebee; this name signifies the importance of working together, like a hive of bees.
On their About Us page, the company shares that "[Bees] are small, but their combined actions have a big impact on the world. We are like that. That's why our mantra is bee better." For every pair of comfy socks you purchase, a pair will be donated to homeless shelters. To date, the company has donated over 5 million socks. Be part of the sock revolution here.
4. A Bit of Everything
Not sure what type of charity your gift recipient would love most? Not a problem! Head over to Global Giving where you can purchase a Global Giving gift card. This unique system allows your recipient to spend the gift card on whatever type of charity he or she would like! The site works with a number of organizations both stateside and abroad.
Popular choices include gifting to the California Wildfire Relief Fund, and Self-Employment programs for women in India. Categories include programs for children, disaster relief, education, the environment, basic health needs, technology, and women and girls.
Related: Creative DIY Gifts Kids Can Make this Holiday Season
Gifting memberships is an excellent way to keep a gift going all year long. Whether it's a zoo membership, museum membership, or a membership to a great local attraction, consider a membership for a family or couple that already has enough stuff! Bonus: many memberships to institutions such as symphonies, theaters, zoos, and museums are tax deductible!
Remember: it's not about the size of the package! Gifts that keep on giving are ideal for everyone on your list this holiday season, no matter their age. Many gifts listed here come with a complimentary card explaining the gift and how it works.
Perhaps Mother Teresa captured the meaning of the season best, "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love." Happy shopping!