This time of year when we’re all a bit stressed over the holiday shopping it might be worthwhile to consider some alternatives to the standard “shop ’til you drop” thing. For example, Gifts That Matter, run by CHF (which calls itself “formerly the Canadian Hunger Foundation” and is one of Canada’s longest standing non-governmental organizations) uses your donations to buy life sustaining “gifts” for people in developing countries around the world.
For example, for $50 you can buy a pair of goats for an impoverished family in Bangladesh. Feeling a bit more generous? $100 buys the gear required to provide a rural Vietnamese family with a source of clean water. For $500 (less than the price of that crappy ACER laptop you’re considering) you can buy a whole camel for a family in Ethiopia.
The idea is that you buy one of these gifts for someone in a developing country, and Gifts That Matter sends a greeting card (in a style you choose on their Web site) to someone on your Christmas list. That way, a family who really needs it gets something, and your Aunt Mabel doesn’t have to clear space for another box of doilies.
Although I couldn’t find anything about it on the Web site, as far as I know your gifts are tax deductible. So? What are you waiting for?