Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Donating on Behalf of Others and Truly Change the World

What’s the best part of the holiday season? Is it sharing gifts with friends and families? Is it helping out others in need?

If those two are at (or close to) the top of your list, why not consider giving a gift to help others in need on behalf of your loved ones. There are so many ways to give to charitable organizations, the possibilities are almost limitless. However, here are a few of the ways you can tangibly help others on behalf of others and enjoy both of joys of the season.

Almost every organization that accepts donation will accept them on behalf of others and usually send cards to the person whose name it was donated on behalf. This one is common, so not a big surprise for any of us, but an easy way to help a charity of choice and allow them to use the money as they need to.

Related to this concept is the TisBest Philanthropy gift card. You basically go to their website and set an amount to be donated. A card is then sent that can be given to a friend or family member. That person can then visit the TisBest website and choose from over 250 national non-profit groups, and many other local groups, that the cardholder can choose to donate that gift to. It’s a great way to allow your loved ones to donate to a cause that really means something to them.

Packages of Needed Items/Emergency Supplies:
Many organizations offer donation packages to meet an immediate need, like for lifesaving medicines and supplies which are not specific in its contents, but needed so greatly.

You can also give soap, blankets, mosquito nets, water, clothes, or safety for an exploited child.

And what is more needed than water? Providing water can provide health, nutrition, livelihood, and prevent death. You can help by visiting UNICEF,, or Project Concern.

Educational Needs:
You can easily provide school supplies, uniforms, and art supplies for children as well as a desk or computer training. For slightly more, you can train a midwife, help establish a savings group, or even build an entire primary school (that one’s just $1500) through Oxfam American Unwrapped.

I know, $1500 is a lot of money for many of us, but considering what you are providing, this would be a great gift to really make a huge impact. Think of either one big gift or perhaps getting 15 people to give $100 each…or 100 people to give $15 each. The impact it would have would be permanent.

Through UNICEF, you can provide books, pencils and notebooks, or a School in a Box kit for temporarily displaced schools.

Benefitting an Entire Village:
You can build a school, start a savings group, dig a well, or protect the fishing rights of an entire area, which will benefit entire groups of people at one time. All of these can be done through Oxfam American Unwrapped.

UNICEF provides the opportunity to buy packs of immunizations for diseases that we in the US take for granted that our children will not have to suffer. For just $20.60 you can provide 412 tetanus shots.

A number of different health and nutrition gifts can also be found at Project Concern.

Means of Providing Nourishment and Income:
Worldvision (look in the gift catalog) offers packages where you can purchase a goat for $75, two chickens for $25 or five ducks for $30. All of these provide a source of nourishment for the family who receives it but also gives them products to sell and earn money to provide for other needs for themselves. You can also choose alpacas, cows, donkeys, bulls, rabbits, oxen, fishing supplies or just collection of farm animals.

Other animal gifts can be found through Oxfam American Unwrapped

Help Getting a Livelihood Established:
You can provide seeds, livestock, irrigation, a boat, tools, or many other implements of daily life to give people the supplies and training they need to provide for themselves for a lifetime. A gift like this could change the entire direction of the life of a family.

Through Worldvision you can also Microfinance a loan for a entrepreneur trying to get a business off of the ground to change the path of their family’s existence. You can read through bios and donate some or all of their loan request. When they repay their loan, that money is used to fund other endeavors approved by Worldvision. This gives the business owner a since of pride and accomplishment to do it for themselves and teaches them the skills necessary for their business to be a success.

Children in desperate circumstances often don’t get to be kids, and that is truly sad. You can provide two soccer balls for $16 via Worldvision that will provide days of entertainment and much needed physical exercise, as well as an escape for children who need to have fun in their lives. You can also provide music lessons, basketballs, plush animals or Christmas present in general.

You can also find kites, toys, and books through Oxfam American Unwrapped.

There are loads of other organizations. Don’t let my post here limit you to only those I have listed. There are many who can all help people. Many needs that are near and dear to your heart may not be listed here, but you can help with those as well.

Just check out Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and/or the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to find a legitimate charitable organization that will help causes that you believe in.

Just give. Bless the one you donate on behalf of as well as hundreds of others.

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