Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Mindful Christmas Shopping (Part 1) Gift Ideas from Oxfam and Heifer International

Are you seeking a stress-free Christmas, where the purchase of presents becomes a meaningful exercise? Buy gifts that  connect you with the global community and  get into the true spirit of the season.  (And in the process Advent becomes more meaningful). Check out the Oxfam and Heifer International catalogs for meaningful presents.  

 Oxfam offers clever gifts ideas through its Oxfam Unwrapped campaign. For example, a gift of $12 can help buy a pack of seeds A farmer who lost his or her harvest to drought can get a fresh start by planting these hardy varieties of corn, tomatoes, and more. Invest in rural communities and feed the hungry with this fruitful gift.

Or how about a gift of $75 for an alpaca meadow in the Andes? Forget the fleecy mittens and glitzy gadgets! This gift has it all. Alpacas are long-necked and doe-eyed with cashmere-soft fur and——we’re told——a tendency to hum pleasantly. They flourish at altitudes well over 10,000 feet. Because few other animals are as hardy, these camelids are vital to alpaca-dependent Andean communities. Your gift of an alpaca meadow ensures plenty of nutrient-rich grass to help herds weather tough winters. And that means a lot to families who rely on these critters

Visit the Oxfam Unwrapped Gift Catalog to see a wide array of gift possibilities.

Check out Oxfam's entertaining and award-winning video, released in 2009, as part of its campaign.

The Heifer Gift Catalog
Heifer International has traditionally been the organization that provided opportunities during Christmas for people in the U.S. (and other countries) to donate a goat, a pig, a chicken, a hive of honey bees, and other animals to families in poor countries The families who receive a gift become donors as they pass on the gift to other families in their community. This allows them to help others as you have helped them. The Heifer Gift Catalog continues to offer great opportunities to provide the gift of an animal (or clean water!) during the Christmas season.

For $20 you can help buy a  a starter flock of geese. Your donation will also provide training and education in the birds' care. A flock of geese makes a great gift because they provide much needed nutrition for hungry children, produce manure for gardens, boosting crop yields, promote security for others by multiplying quickly and passing on the gift. Geese can lay up to 75 eggs a year, so the benefits add up quickly for families in need of protein and a means of income. Your gift of geese grants the opportunity to lift a community out of hunger and poverty.

  Here is a video from Heifer about the impact of its gifts.

Heifer has also partnered with The ONE Campaign to donate goats to underprivileged farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. "This unique new partnership is an opportunity for members and supporters of both organizations to combine the policy advocacy of ONE with the programmatic impact of Heifer International — a double whammy against extreme poverty! All proceeds from the sale of the Limited Edition ONE Goat will go to Heifer International."  

Click here to donate a goat through this join effort, entitled "Exterme Poverty Got your Goat?)

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