Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Gifts That Fight Poverty

The best gifts are the ones that will be appreciated, even life changing, and I am not talking about a pair of mittens or a fruitcake. I'm talking about a gift that will help a poor family to survive.

My vote for one of the best places to shop for gifts this season goes to Heifer International, which fights hunger and poverty around the world one goat, sheep, pig, cow, chicken, rabbit and human family at a time.

Here are some gift suggestions --

$120 will buy a dairy goat for a destitute family, perhaps in Guatemala or Kenya. One goat can supply a family with up to several quarts of nutritious milk a day. Whatever the family doesn't drink can be sold to make cheese, butter or yogurt. And the manure fertilizes the family vegetable garden.

$120 will give a sheep to a poor family, perhaps in Peru or Ecuador, to be sheared for wool that can be knitted into warm ponchos and sweaters for the family, or sold to others support the family.

$60 will buy a trio of rabbits for an impoverished family, perhaps in Nepal or China, to help fertilize the garden and multiply and its offspring shared with a neighbor who is similarly improverished.

Your friends and family, including the kids, will not miss receiving a silly tie or duplicate of a toy they already have. You'll both feel good about helping the world's poor and hungry, and helping the environment, too.

Oh, and did I mention that your gift is tax deductible, too?