In honour of Giving Tuesday, we are starting our 2014 Gift Guide with a few options for gifts that support some of the top causes both local and globally. If you want to give a gift that will start a ripple effect, this is the list for you. Charity gifts are a fantastic way to recognize people who are hard to shop for or for professionals who are unable to accept tangible gifts or for people who just don’t want anything. Please note that since many of these gifts are online, you will need to purchase/donate sooner than later in order to have it all come together by Christmas.
Choose from over 60 Survival Gifts from Unicef that help children in need around the world. Gifts begin at just $9 for two bed nets to prevent malaria and hit every price point up from there with food, vaccinations, educational supplies, toys, medicine, safe water supplies, and many more. Recipients can either receive a paper card or a personalized card for the gift in their honour.
Similar to the above, Plan Canada has gifts that help children around the world. Their gifts begin at $10 and go up from there, including gifts such as fruit trees for $15, stacks of books for $60, and a baby buffalo for $250. With Plan Canada you also get the option of mailing a card or emailing a card to the recipient for the gift purchased in their name.
For the animal lover on your list, you can symbolically adopt a species at risk or frontline here. Pick their favourite animal from the long list and they will receive a stuffed toy version of the animal as a gift, along with a certificate of the adoption. Choose from animals such as the North American beavers, emperor penguins, and orca whales. You can also choose to support Marine Biologists, Polar Researchers, or Wildlife Rangers, with or without their animal. Want more? Adopt an animal family and get an adorable parent and child pair to play with. Adoptions range from $35 to $100.
Ten Thousand Villages is the oldest and largest Fair Trade organization in North America. They create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn a living by bringing their products and stories to their markets. Shop online and choose from clothing, home decor, toys, jewelry, dishes, and more.
London has it’s very own Celebration Forest growing behind Parkwood Hospital. Each year, hundreds of trees are planted in memory and in celebration, making it a living, breathing monument to it’s honourees. Order either a large tree ($100) or a small tree ($50) and send either a printed card or an e-card to the recipient. Trees will be planted at the end of May. Recipients are invited to the tree planting ceremony and can have their name added to the Celebration Forest signage.
Children’s Hospital and Thames Valley Children’s Centre here in London treat and support thousands of children every year. Your donation to the Children’s Health Foundation provide specialized pediatric care, programs, equipment, community outreach, rehabilitation services and therapies, and groundbreaking research. Give a monetary donation or choose where you want your funds directed by giving an Inspiring Gift. Another great way to support the Children’s Health Foundation is by purchasing a Dream of a Lifetime lottery ticket.
Know someone with a disease, disability, or illness? Make a donation to their cause. Most charities are set up to receive donations that will go toward research, education, and support for people and families whose lives can be impacted by all sorts of issues. This time of year, many will also have gifts or special ways to recognize the donation. Mental illness, cancer, ALS, heart disease, MS, spina bifida, down syndrome… the list of causes to support are endless. Find one that speaks to your heart.