'Tis the season to buy Christmas presents for friends, family and other loved ones. Many people, however, are stumped on what to buy for the gift-giving season. Why not consider making a purchase that will affect more than just the gift's recipient?
The GreaterGood Network, known for its free "Click to Give" sites, has many different opportunities for people to support causes they care about. The Hunger Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Pink Ribbon Store, The Veterans Site, The Autism Site, The Child Health Site, The Literacy Site, The Animal Rescue Site, The Rainforest Site, Global Girlfriend and The Museum Shop are all sites in the GreaterGood Network that provide online stores where shoppers can acquire various products that help fund their favorite charities.
Easily accessed through CharityUSA.com, these online stores can be used to purchase meaningful -- but also practical -- gifts for the holiday season. For example, the "Rescued Is My Favorite Breed" t-shirt from The Animal Rescue Site can be purchased for $16.95, funding 14 bowls of food for an animal in need.
Another great organization people can support is Invisible Children. After the band Fall Out Boy released the music video for its song "I'm Like a Lawyer..." in 2007 to promote this cause, Hurricane High School student Cheyenne York claimed Invisible Children as her favorite charitable organization.
"It helps northern Ugandan children stay out of child war," she said. "What's not to like about that?"
The Bracelet Campaign is one way people can support Invisible Children. For $20, a person can buy one of seven bracelet/DVD sets: Black is for Sunday, White is for Innocent, Red is for Emmy, Gray is for Rescue, Blue is for Roseline, Brown is for Tony and Green is for Grace. One set includes two bracelets, handmade in Uganda, and a DVD following the story of a child who has been affected by the war.
Taking the charitable gifts concept a step further, some websites allow people to make donations in honor of their loved ones. In exchange, those loved ones will receive a card with information on how their gift helps that cause.
For example, World Vision and Heifer International have "gift catalogs" where people can view what gift they would like to donate in honor of their loved one. One of these gifts at World Vision is "Hope for Sexually Exploited Girls" for $35. The proceeds provide assistance like medical care, nutritious food, non-formal education, vocational training, counseling and re-integration into a loving family environment for girls who either escape or are rescued from the global commercial sex trade.
When browsing these organizations, however, one must be considerate of the gift recipient and donate to causes he or she would support.
The holidays are not just a season to receive presents, but a time to give them. This year, consider purchasing presents with a purpose, benefiting not only the person receiving the gift, but every person involved in the process.