25 Days of GiveawaysIn May of last year, I made a trip with Compassion, International, to El Salvador that changed my life. (If you weren’t hanging around my blog last you, you can find the posts from that trip here.) After seeing poverty in such a real way, I knew I would never be the same.

And I’m not.

Last Christmas, I really struggled with the whole gift giving thing.  I wanted to take all of our Christmas money and give it to an organization that could put it to use in what could make the difference between life or death for someone in this world.  Of course, my husband didn’t have the same experience as me so he wasn’t quite sure what to make of my new convictions.  My daughters went on the trip with me, however, and they were also profoundly affected.  In fact, my daughter Anne recently hosted a discussion on her blog that will be similar to today’s discussion here on my blog.

Last year my friend Amy gave our family two flocks of chickens through Heifer, International. But she didn’t give them to us.  She gave them in our name to a family living in poverty.  She also donated to the Unsponsored Children’s Fund at Compassion, International, in our name.   I was so excited when I opened the envelope…I was jumping up and down!  Now that’s a gift I can get excited about!

Have you ever considered giving gifts that give back? 

Here are some ideas from Anne’s blog to get us started:

Gifts of Compassion (My Personal Favorite)
World Vision Gift Catalog
A Gift from the Heart – Habitat for Humanity
Operation Smile
Harvest of Hope
*Changing the Present
Heifer International
*Donors Choose – Connecting You to Classrooms in Need
*The Good Card
To Write Love on Her Arms

Maybe you’d still like to give a gift, but still want to help out. Check these out!

Toms Shoes (For every pair of shoes you buy, one is donated to a child in need)
Spend Yourself (100% of the profit goes to the cause each shirt supports)
Ten Thousand Villages (Your fair trade purchase of handmade jewelry, home decor and gifts helps improve the lives of thousands of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.)
*Better World Books
*Uncommon Goods
*Gift Back (10% of purchase goes to charity)
*CommonThreadz – For every tshirt you buy, a school uniform is donated in Africa

Anyone else have any ideas for Gifts that Give Back?

*Any link marked with a (*) I have not personally purchased or known anyone who has purchased through them. I would encourage you to do your research. 🙂

What about you…have you ever given or received a gift that gives back?  Do you have any to add to our list?

The winner of the Day 7 Drawing will win the Hearts at Home book Ordinary Mom…Extraordinary God by Mary DeMuth. This book offers mothering encouragement that refreshes your soul.

Don’t forget to include your email in your comment or to email me at jillsavagegiveaway (at) yahoo (dot) com if you choose to blog, Facebook, or Twitter about this topic!  You can participate in this discussion/giveaway until midnight Tuesday 12/8/09.

I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

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