>Gifts that matter – gifts that speak

>I’ve mentioned the Nature Conservancy.

I’ve blogged about Mother Nature Network’s creative gifts for quirky people.

Change.org has a holiday gift guide that outdoes them all.

The guide starts with five categories: Gifts that Create Change, How to shop Ethically and Responsibly, Giving Volunteer Time and Donations as gifts, Cause-Specific gift guides, and (in case anything was left out of the others) Additional Resources.

I started with the Cause-Specific guides and checked out the Sustainable Food Gift Guide to see how I can support the locavore philosophy at Christmas. There are five links for information – food sources within a 100 mile radius, guides by zip code, and more. I moved into the next category, a “random but good assortment” of “food products and paraphernalia.” Foodie t-shirts or bird-friendly coffee? Organic chocolate or heirloom beans? There’s so much to choose from, it made me hungry!

The final section makes the random paraphernalia seem frivolous. Here, you’ll find links to organizations like Heifer International, Oxfam, and the Mercy Corps.

If you have more time than money to give, this page also gives ideas for volunteering to make a difference. Community gardens, soup kitchens, and organic farms can use assistance at times. I would add to that: food pantries, adopt-a-family programs, and homeless shelters.

About ten years ago a wealthy family gave me (their son’s science teacher) a unique gift; in my name, they donated school supplies to a school in India. What a thoughtful and generous investment!

So go, if your shopping isn’t done, and check out Change.org. You might find it a good respite from the holiday hoopla. If nothing else, it puts our privileged lifestyle in perspective.

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