If you are like many parents who are busy this time of year you know there are many on your gift list that you may have forgotten (oops!) or you may not know that perfect gift to get certain people for the holiday season.
And, if you’re like me and can’t stand to shop at the mall during the holidays and miss the final shipping deadline every year when buying online, then the next best resort is an e-gift. Even better than that are e-gifts that give back. I will be taking my own advice and getting gifts that give back, especially for those hard-to-buy-gifts-for friends and family.
1. World Wildlife Fund This is a perfect e-gift for kids or the animal lover in your life. You can adopt a pet from the World Wildlife Fund and then send an e-card to your gift recipient. It’s perfect for those who really care about wildlife and how the environment and climate impacts their existence. You can adopt three of the most popular animals: polar bear, panda bear, and tiger.
2. Catapult It has been proven time and time again that if you invest in women and girls that investment will reap benefits for entire families and even communities. And yet, women and girls are most likely to be the most in need of seeking greater access to education or lacking the know-how and funds to start their own microenterprises, for example. Visit Catapult where you can buy an e-gift card for a friend and they can choose the projects benefitting women and girls that they would like to donate to.
3. New York Times Gift Subscription Giving back doesn’t always mean giving back to domestic or global charities. Giving back could simply mean giving to ideas you think matter. If a friend or family member wholeheartedly believes in great writing and good reporting give a New York Times gift subscription to support the stellar work they do every day around the world.
4. Vyrt Gift Card I love that there are ways to connect with live events without having to leave your home. You can do this on Vyrt, a web platform that allows users to watch live events and socialize with friends. How does this gift give back? If you have a friend or family member that believes in indie artists who wants to connect directly with their online audiences, you can gift a Vyrt gift card.
5. World Food Programme There are currently three major crises on the global world stage that are creating havoc on countries and displacing millions of people who are now either refugees or internally displaced. Whether these people stay in their own country while they run from conflicts or cross their nearest border they will need food. The largest hunger fighting organization, the World Food Programme, desperately needs donations to help people in the Central African Republic, Syria, and South Sudan. You can give a generous gift in honor of a friend or family member.
6. Save the Children Save the Children is one of my absolute favorite charities. I have seen their work on the ground in several countries such as India, Zambia, and Ethiopia and know how far their donor dollars go to helping children around the world. I love that you can help children here in the United States and abroad. Save the Children offers a plethora of e-gifts to choose from.
7. Club Penguin If your little ones aren’t already playing Disney’s Club Penguin, this is the perfect time to buy them a membership and let them play around in the imagery world of penguins and puffles. Plus this month all of the coins the kids collect will go directly to charities. It’s a win-win. Your kids get to play a great MMO plus they learn the importance of giving back.
8. Water for People Water is one of the most essential commodities on the planet and unfortunately access to it isn’t as easy for many around the world as it is for those of us in the west. Whereas we simply turn on the tap for water many have to walk miles and miles to simply fill up one jerry can of water and then the routine starts over again. You can donate to Water for People, an NGO I greatly admire and who I will accompany to India next February to see their work on the ground. When you donate you can choose from many e-cards to send to your gift recipient.
9. TOMS We all know about the Buy One, Give One model that TOMS shoes made famous years ago. Well, did you know that TOMS recently launched a full-fledged marketplace where you can buy a whole host of items all with the Buy One, Give One model? I love it. They have provided one quick place where you can do good and shop all at the same time. Buy an e-gift card and surprise the do-gooders in your life.
10. Shanti Uganda Maternal health is an important issue in many developing countries as well as here in the United States. Women often lose their lives just to give birth. This is wholly unacceptable. In many countries in the developing world women do not have access to prenatal care or a hospital where they can deliver their baby. They have to rely on traditional medicine and midwives for care. Many times, the consequences are deadly. Shanti Uganda, a fantastic NGO based in Uganda, helps women deliver healthy babies and stay alive in the process. For a minimal amount you can help Shanti Uganda train midwives, provide care for expectant mothers, provide birthing supplies, and provide funds to help them deliver babies. Photo Credit: World Wildlife Fund