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Gifts that Make a Difference

12.11.09 Gifts that Make a Difference

Are you stumped about what to get a family member or friend? Do you not want to run out in the sleet and snow and hoardes of people to buy a somewhat meaningless gift, probably imported from China, and from a big box store? You are not alone.

Here are a few options for last minute (or anytime) gifts that will make a difference for the environment, children, people in poverty, education, struggling families and many other causes.

If you give this kind of gift, the recipient won't have to think about the possibility of regifting an item, or about if the body lotion you bought contains phthalates or other toxins. It is simple, sweet and meaningful to give a gift in the name of a special person for a cause you know they care about.

Take the fantastic site and organization called Changing the Present. This group has over 1500 charitable gifts in different categories such as basic needs, community, environment, health and safety, and opportunity. I've written about this organization here. They send a card, or an e-card (which would be best for a last minute gift) that describes the gift.

Another option is Oxfam. They are another organization working for solutions to poverty and injustice. According to their website, "Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. We work directly with communities and we seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them."

Take a look at their online holiday catalog. You can select price points and regions of interest, and the focus is on last minute gift giving. Each of these options will leave you and your gift recipient feeling good about yourself and where your money is going.

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