One very important element of our Un-Gift Guide 2007 is the holiday gift you give to someone who needs it very much. As UNICEF's Gift of Life Catalog asks, What do you give a child who has nothing?
From clean water to flocks of geese to food banks to cookies, here are food-related gifts that benefit excellent and truly needful causes. Each of these are places where your gift - in your name or someone else's - can make a difference this holiday season.
A side advantage to all of these gifts is that they can be done immediately and online. Give a gift in the name of a family member or friend (perhaps the one who already has everything?) and you'll still have time to print an email receipt and put it under the tree.
Look for one more post on true last-minute Un-Gifts on Friday...
• UNICEF's Gift of Life - What do you give a child who has nothing? UNICEF works to help the millions of children are malnourished because deadly droughts have decimated already thin food supplies, particularly in the Horn of Africa. Malnourishment and unclean water contribute to nearly half of all child deaths each year. UNICEF provides clean drinking water and nutritional supplements to children to protect their immune systems, allowing them to resist disease and grow strong and healthy.
$15-$100 can provide hundreds of oral hydration salt sachets and high-energy biscuits and other food to children who need it most. GIVE HERE
• America's Second Harvest - America's Second Harvest is the nation's largest charitable hunger-relief organization. They are a network of more than 200 member food banks and food-rescue organizations that serve all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This network secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.
Each year, the America's Second Harvest Network provides food assistance to more than 25 million low-income hungry people in the United States, including more than 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors. A donation will directly impact this assistance, especially in a year when food banks reserves are at an all-time low. GIVE HERE
• Heifer International - Heifer International is a non-profit charitable organization that works to relieve global hunger and poverty by providind gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially-disadvantaged families around the world.
For $50 you can help buy a heifer - for $500 you can provide a heifer entirely to a family that would benefit from its addition to their livelihood. You can also contribute by buying sheep, llamas, water buffalo, geese, or a whole range of plants and gift baskets that include shares of several animals. GIVE HERE
• Cookies for Kids Cancer - We talked about Cookies for Kids Cancer a few weeks ago. Band of Parents is working to raise money for research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center into one of the top diseases that affects children in the USA.
Big news: They have sold ALL of the 96,000 cookies they set out to sell for this fundraiser. You can still donate to the cause, however. GIVE HERE
• Menu For Hope - Menu for Hope is an online raffle run by food bloggers and chefs worldwide to raise money for the UN World Food Program and a lunch program in Lesotho.
We're contributing a great prize with a cookbook by Sara Kate and a huge box of cookware from Le Creuset and Fiesta. Raffle tickets are $10 - buy one for our gift and more for a chance one of the other great raffle prizes and make a difference to a great cause at the same time. GIVE HERE