Alternative Gift Giving

A couple of years ago for Christmas Erik’s parents bought all of us kids each a rabbit for Christmas through Heifer International. They are an organization that provides animals, grains, trees, and farming education to poor families here in the States and abroad. Really cool organization. When you buy and animal (or other item) in someone’s name you print out a nice card with information on the animal and how it will help change a families life to give your recipient instead of yet another pair of socks of a sweater.
This year we’re doing something along those lines for my sisters Christmas gifts. I’ve been researching out different charitable ministries that I think if my sisters had the ability they would participate in. We will make a donation to said organizations and I will write my sisters each a letter telling them why that particular ministry made me think of them and their heart.
What about you? Are there any alternatives to the usual gift giving patters that you participate in? I’d love to hear about them!


Here are some different ministries you may not have heard of that do really amazing work in case you too are looking for some that remind you specifically of an individual. Enjoy!

Street Angels

Invisible Children

Surfing the Nations

ZOE Children’s Homes

Love Light and Melody

Surf Aid


4 Comments on “Alternative Gift Giving”

  1. Alicia S. says:

    World Vision does the whole animal thing, as well as wells, vaccines, soccer balls… lots of stuff between $12 (two ducks) and $39,000 (a health clinic). You can also buy “shares” of the bigger ticket items if you don’t have an extra year’s salary laying around.

  2. Alicia M says:

    Samaritan’s purse has the same type of thing that Alicia S is talking about. They have a catalog to look through with lots of different possibilities and varying price ranges. Mike and I would like to make it a tradition when we have kids for our kids to pick out a gift to “purchase” from this catalog to help them understand the importance of giving rather than receiving.

  3. Kelsey J. says: is a pretty cool business. It’s not just a way to donate. You buy a pair of shoes (about $40) and they use the extra money to give shoes to a kid in the world who needs them. Right now they’re trying to get 30,000 shoes in the month of December to take to Ethiopia. They also have a “Feed Bag” which I got for my birthday. It’s a $60 canvas/burlap bag that pays for a kid to eat lunch every day for a school year. It’s often the only meal a kid will get in a day and drastically affects school attendance.

  4. Sarah says:

    I actually requested to have a majority of my presents fund go to Samaritan’s Purse this year. It was actually really awesome going through the catalog and thinking “Dude, I can feed a child for a week”. I’d like to incorporate it more into a family tradition, like what Alicia M was talking about. It’s something that has become more and more of a topic in our household the last week.

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