I am noticing more and more that organizations are trying to convince me to give gifts to my loved ones that involve chickens, mosquito nets, soccer balls and other things that I don’t need in a cold Northern climate. However, these are very handy in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and South America, all warm climates. I think it is awesome that organizations like Compassion have begun to use the holidays to raise awareness and funds for the families they assist through their work.

The Gifts of Compassion campaign is an awesome way to teach yourself and your family the importance of helping those born in the Global South. Giving is so much better than receiving.

Mosquito Net – I lived in Kenya, so I learned firsthand how valuable a mosquito net is to a family. Mosquitoes carry malaria. Mosquito nets keep mosquitoes out of the sleeping environment. This means that mosquito nets prevent the spread of malaria. For $10 (or the cost of a movie ticket*), you can buy a mosquito net and help prevent the spread of malaria.

Chicken – Umm, chicken. I love chicken. Chicken is good to eat, but more than that, giving a chicken for the low, low cost of $16 (or the cost of a KFC meal for two*) will help a families’ income level. This gift means a source of income, manure for the vegetable garden and a supply of eggs for the families who receive it.

Beauty training – Everyone likes to look beautiful right. For less than the cost of a cut/style and manicure, you can help young woman train in this industry. This income-generating opportunity can help young women develop their own businesses using the beauty and business skills training they receive from your gift of $55.

There are many other gift giving options at the Gifts of Compassion website. They are the perfect alternative for the friends or family members who have everything. You can avoid the lines, the hustle and bustle of the mall. Or if you enjoy the lines and the hustle and bustle of the mall, the Gifts of Compassion can be like the ribbon on top of the gift you’ve already bought.

*the cost of ____ is a guestimation on my part and may not be accurate in all situations.