Maybe you're concerned that the holiday season has become too commercialized. Maybe you believe that charity starts at home. Or maybe you just want your children to learn compassion and empathy for those undergoing tough times.
These gifts will help you demonstrate to your family the old adage that "it is better to give than to receive."
Our first gift will have even more significance for those who have special needs children. The Child King is a feature-length family film, featuring comedian Lenny Clark, which tells the inspirational story of Jeremy, a teenager with Down syndrome, who takes his younger brother on a life-changing quest to find Santa Claus at the North Pole.
Not only does the heart-warming tale on this DVD offer a great message for its viewers, but all proceeds from The Child King are donated to individuals and organizations that assist those with intellectual disabilities. The Child King has been endorsed by KIDS FIRST! and the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media and was also an official selection at the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival. (The Child King DVD, 19.95, can also be shipped overseas for just a $5 additional shipping charge).
1>0, or One is Greater Than None, is a non-profit organization created by 8 high school girls from Long Island who were inspired to help when they heard on Oprah that children in Africa were being sold into slavery for as little as $20. The girls learned that saving just one child would cost them $4300, and they were determined to do all they could. They worried that they couldn't raise enough money to save more children, but they knew that saving one was greater than none, and thus their 'business' was born--first creating handmade bracelets which they sold in front of Banes and Noble stores, and now their own fashion line. To date, they have raised enough money to rescue 8 children! They are now working on an entire rescue mission to save 25 children, so visit the One is Greater Than None online store and give them a hand. You'll also have an item of clothing to give as a gift as a result of your donation.
World Vision Gifts are truly visionary in their scope, allowing you to make a purchase that does more than simply entertain or amuse your kids. Through the World Vision Gift Catalog, parents can make a donation to
dozens of different projects around the world to help other families and children in need. This is the perfect gift to share with your children, letting them help you pick out the cause or causes you most want to help support. Wherever you decide to donate, your assistance can go a long way to promoting health and wellness in the developing world.
Some examples of World Vision Gift ideas:
- A chicken, to provide a lasting source of nutrition and income for a family (10.00).
- Two soccer balls, or basketballs, to replace makeshift balls of banana leaves or even trash, for kids who don't even have a ball to play with (16.00).
- Safe drinking water for schoolchildren for an entire year (50.00).
- A bicycle for a young girl so she can make it to school for a real education and come home before dark, when the streets are unsafe (85.00).
Charity Choice, much like World Vision, offers choices for where each donation will go. What sets Charity Choice apart is that they allow you to purchase a gift card in distinct amounts. You then send your recipient the gift card, and they make the choice of where to spend the donation. Thus, your gifts to your family members and friends become, through Charity Choice, gifts for people in third-world nations and developing countries, or even here at home, who need help.
Charity Choice has over 100 nonprofit organizations to choose from, organized by category, including one for children and youth. Their byline is, "the gift that keeps on giving," and you can keep it going by choosing a Charity Choice gift card for someone on your gift list.
For the music lovers on your list consider the Sound in Sight CD, which offers positive change for people right here in our own country.
Times are tough in our country with the economy the way it is today, and the unemployment rate is high at 7%. But the situation is much worse for many blind Americans.
Currently, fully 70% of blind adults are unemployed in America, while 10% of blind children cannot even read in braille. Conceived and paid for by the nonprofit Performing Arts Division of the National Federation of the blind, all of the songs on the Sound in Sight CD were donated free of charge to the project by blind recording artists, and all of the proceeds from the sales of the Sound in Sight CD, which costs only $12, go to the Mary Parkes scholarship fund, to help blind students grow, achieve and succeed.
Visit the Performing Arts Division of the National Federation of the Blind here for more of the history. You can hear clips of the songs and purchase the Sound in Sight CD here.
Finally, if you are considering making a jewelry purchase this holiday season, Elyse Ryan has created a lovely jewelry collection designed with those suffering from diabetes in mind.A portion of the proceeds raised through the sale of Elyse Ryan's jewelry, designed for teens and tweens and featuring Swarovski crystals with sterling silver, goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Federation.