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10 unconventional holiday gifts that help end poverty

World Vision

Great news:  you can finally get your grandmother that goat she’s always wanted for Christmas.

Just kidding – but only kind of.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, why not give gifts that keep on giving? (And I don’t mean a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club.) Perfect for the social do-gooder, the fellow Global Citizen or the feels-laden humanitarian in your life, this catalog has gifts that can tremendously impact families who live in extreme poverty around the world.

Here are ten gifts you can give to celebrate the holiday spirit and end poverty around the world.

1. A Nativity Set

This is not your ordinary hutch-topper. This Nativity is 100% live – it baas, heehaws, and clucks into a family’s life and provides income, milk, wool, eggs and help with ploughing fields. You can purchase a full Nativity (a donkey, sheep, goat and two chickens) or go in with your friends and buy shares to afford a whole one. Manger sold separately.

UNICEF gifts nativity.jpgImage: World Vision

2. Handcrafted Accessories

If you’re into accessories that look good and make a difference, check out these handcrafted items whose profits work hard to eradicate poverty in communities around the world. There are these turquoise earrings, a wooden bracelet, unique tote bags and even a handmade baby bib for the fashion-forward people in your life. 

3. Medicine

This is nothing short of a Christmas miracle - $35 can provide $420 worth of medicines for the thousands of children who die every day of preventable causes. These include antibiotics, anti-fungals, anti-parasitic drugs, deworming medications, disposable syringes, gastrointestinal drugs, painkillers and surgical supplies.

World Vision gift medicines.jpgImage: World Vision

4. Food

If you’re anything like me, the amount of food you eat over the holidays makes you grateful that December and bikini season do not coincide. In addition to eating figgy pudding, you can give the gift of food assistance to those who live in need of adequate nutrition on a daily basis. Your gift multiplies by five to provide food to children experiencing hunger.

*Bonus opportunity: if you’re not into giving gifts, your holiday dinner party can help end hunger. Curious? Learn how here.

5. Hope

The global sex trade affects millions of children, mostly girls, around the world. You can give a gift in honor of the special women in your life to help prevent abuse and restore physical and spiritual health to rescued girls by providing interventions like safe shelter, medical care, nutritious food, vocational training, compassionate counseling, and when possible, reintegration with a loving family.

world visition gifts hope.jpgImage: World Vision

6. The Bare Necessities for Your Neighbor

A little known fact is that one in five children in the U.S. lives in a family struggling with poverty. This gift is another Christmas miracle – it multiplies its impact 12 times to provide $300 worth of basic supplies like new clothes, blankets and personal care items for only $25.

7. Animals

I wasn’t kidding about getting Grandma the goat. Around the world, animals play an indispensable role in community livelihoods. They provide income, act as nutrition sources, help with labor and produce warm fabrics. The gift of five ducks can produce large eggs and income for school fees, while a goat provides milk, cheese and fertilizer. 

Kid with goat world vision gift.jpgImage: World Vision

8. Clothes

Many children living in poverty do not have access to the shelter or warm clothing necessary to protect them from harsh cold-weather conditions. Because of donations already made by clothing manufacturers, this is another gift that can be multiplied 12 times in impact: $30 means $360 worth of warmth and protection from frostbite, hypothermia, the flu and pneumonia.

9. Water

Mind-blowing fact of the day:  the installation of a deep well can cut a community’s child mortality rate in half. You can buy a share of a deep well or contribute to clean water projects around the world, then make a festive holiday toast with your family using clean water to celebrate!

gifts Water Catalog.jpgImage: World Vision

10. Empowerment

Many people living in poverty have business ideas and entrepreneurial dreams but lack the resources or opportunity to realize them. You can make someone’s dream come true this holiday season by providing the small loan they need to get their business up and going – and their family out of poverty.

As Anne Frank famously wrote, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” These gift ideas will minimize your holiday wrapping paper mess, make your dollar go further and most importantly, help lift families and communities out of poverty.

That should get anyone in the holiday spirit.