This year, everyone in our family agreed that we are blessed with plenty of things in our lives. While we're not averse to gifts of homemade sweets and savories, we're keeping the stuff to a minimum and donating to worthy causes instead. People on our gift lists may "receive" a vegetable garden in a Native American reservation, a wood-conserving stove for a Central American family, or a beehive for Fair Trade honey producers. Elizabeth profiled a couple of great charities earlier this month. Here are five more organizations that help make a difference.
Freedom From Hunger – Freedom from Hunger combines microfinance loans with education, empowering women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Donations help fund sustainable solutions such as teaching women about the link between breastfeeding and nutrition, giving them the skills to fish for their families and communities, and sending girls to school. GIVE HERE
Fruit Tree Planting Foundation – The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation is dedicated to planting 18 billion fruit trees across the world to enrich the environment, provide food sources for animals, and improve human health. The organization's Fruit Relief program distributes trees to needy families and plants trees near homeless shelters, low-income communities, and international hunger relief sites. GIVE HERE
Seva Foundation – Seva Foundation works in ten countries around the world, including the US, to alleviate suffering caused by disease and poverty. Among its many projects are clean water and community health initiatives. Donations can help supply pipes for a family's water system and provide supplies for community gardens on Native American reservations. GIVE HERE
Sustainable Harvest International – Sustainable Harvest International provides farming families in Central America with the training and tools to overcome poverty while restoring our planet's tropical forests. Donors can help fund projects such as planting vegetable gardens and providing families with wood-conserving stoves. GIVE HERE
TransFair USA – The Kitchn profiled TransFair USA and a number of Fair Trade pantry goods earlier this year. In addition to buying Fair Trade Certified products, consumers can support fair, sustainable agriculture by giving gifts such as protective clothing for workers, homes for honeybees, and shade for coffee trees. GIVE HERE
(Images: Sustainable Harvest International, Freedom from Hunger, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Seva Foundation, Sustainable Harvest International, TransFair USA)