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Last-minute gifting: do well and do good with these online donations

Claudia Gabarain's picture
The Wall Against Hunger at the World Food Programme.

It happened again --or maybe for the first time, as in my case--: the holidays are here and you just don´t have a gift for everyone in your list. Turn procrastination or sincere lack of time into a win-win situation by getting your gift online, quickly, and benefiting a third party who´s in much more need than those friends and relatives who are so difficult to shop for precisely because they already have everything you can think of. Here are a few of my favorite options this year:

- Feed a child for a year (or more) through the World Food Programme´s Wall Against Hunger. Upload a photo of your loved ones to add a brick to that wall and join the hundreds already there.

- Purchase livestock for a family´s sustenance through Heifer International: sheep, llamas, even ducks, geese or chicks if you don´t have a lot to spend.

- Food, shelter, trees and medicines through Alternative Gifts International,   which lets you choose gifts by region (here´s Asia, listed along Europe and the Middle East)

- Animal adoptions at the World Wildlife Fund help support efforts to preserve conservation efforts for endangered species, including tigers, pandas, and the Mekong dolphin among 80 different species.

- A wide catalog by Oxfam America lets you choose by category and by price, from mosquito nets to prevent malaria to livestock or school supplies for students.

- Adopt a reef in Palau through The Nature Conservancy , which includes a magazine subscription.

- A gift certificate from Kiva.org, which connects entrepreneurs with anyone willing to provide a small loan to them, will let your friend choose the exact project s/he wishes to fund.

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