There are some people for whom it is impossible to shop. Either they don’t need anything, or they don’t want anything, or they live in Africa and mail is impossible. For folks like these, I like to donate to a cause on their behalf. You can usually print out a donation certificate online, or send it via email. Easy peasy, and if it is a registered non-profit, you can write off your donation, too! There are a ton of places to donate money; here are a few of my favorites.
Relatively new in the first-responder disaster relief world, Team Rubicon is absolutely amazing. From Turkey to Tuscaloosa, Team Rubicon has been one of the first outside assistance groups to arrive, providing search and rescue, food delivery, mobile triage, debris removal, emergency home repairs, and other vital assistance.
Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders provides vital medical care to people in crises, whether it be war, natural disaster, epidemics, or malnutrition. This international organization brings together medical professions from many countries to serve patients without regard for their race, nationality, or political affiliation.
Heifer International is a 70-year-old charity that brings sustainable agriculture and commerce to poverty-stricken areas. There are a variety of ways to donate, including donating animals to provide nutrition and income, or helping start a small business.
While not strictly charities, crowdfunding is another way to give and you can find some amazingly personalized options. This year, I donated to a project making a film about a band that always reminds me of a particular uncle. He’ll get a token gift, but this will support something that he likes. Choices for crowdfunding include Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and Kickstarter.
The best thing about all these choices? You can do it from your sofa, and still have your “shopping” done before Christmas. Win-win-win!