Holiday gift-giving alternatives - Word&Way

Holiday gift-giving alternatives

By Ken Satterfield


• About one out of every six humans lack access to an improved water supply, and a child dies from a water-related disease every 15 seconds. Water Partners International (, based in Kansas City, has worked with more than 200 communities in eight countries to provide safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
• Heifer Project Internat­ional ( is committed to ending hunger and fighting po­verty by giving families a source of food such as pigs, llamas, chicks, goats and honeybees.
• World Vision ( transforms the lives of children and families through alpacas and pigs, along with food, water and education.


Many local food pantries are stretched beyond capacity. Consider donating food on someone’s behalf or look for ideas on one of these sites: — U.S. and global hunger relief — The largest U.S. domestic hunger-relief organization with local links


• Purchase literacy-related items on First Book ( to encourage literacy 
• Consider volunteer options to increase literacy — and consider a literacy-enhancing career yourself — with the list at

Gift Cards

• Consumer Reports found 29 percent of those who received gift cards last year have not used them. Give the cash value of unused cards ( to a charity (after a $4.50 transaction fee) on behalf of your family


• Donate your excess to a local Goodwill store (, and support job training.


There are many ways to invest your time in missions or secular projects. — BGCM site includes a form to match your interests — Missouri CBF options for volunteering and missions support — Volunteer projects from 15 minutes to extended vacation time — IMB foreign mission service opportunity —Matching helps for stateside missions from North America Mission Board — Projects and toolkits to encourage youth to make a difference

Surf for charities – powered by Yahoo, benefits more than 47,000 non-profits

Fun — Test your vocabulary and donate rice through the United Nations.


Although actually purchasing from a cause’s site may provide greater benefits, there are several charity-benefiting sites: