Goats and chickens and ducks — oh my! — A gift of a farm animal (or two or three) can make a big difference for families around the world who are struggling with hunger and poverty. The ability to begin sustainable farming can help parents feed their children and help families build a business and a livelihood. You can check out the variety of ways to give at ELCA Good Gifts and make a donation either in your own name or for someone else as a gift.
Fair-trade products — Consider fair-trade options when you are picking out those special Christmas coffees, candies and crafts for your friends and family. Not only will you be helping the farmers and artisans who make those products by ensuring they are earning a fair wage for their work, but you can use the gift as a conversation-starter about the importance of shopping for fair-trade products year-round!
Adopt an animal — Many children ask for puppies, kittens and ponies for Christmas. Rather than buying a pet, consider rescuing one from a local shelter. While they may not have ponies, shelters have a variety of animals to choose from, often already vaccinated and treated by a veterinarian. Not only will you find a new friend for your family, but you’ll be giving an animal a second chance at a safe, loving home.
Give a gift that will last — Often around the holidays, people end up giving a little more to charity or spending a little extra on gifts. Consider using some of that money to give to your home congregation or to ELCA Vision for Mission. Your gifts will help the work your congregation already does in your community, and it will help the ELCA begin new congregations, support renewing ones, and work with partners around the world to promote justice and fight poverty and hunger.
Your time! — Never underestimate how much your time can mean to someone in need. Maybe you have a friend or family member who could use a good conversation or some help around the house. Or perhaps there is someone in your congregation or a local organization that could use your help. Spending your time giving back can be a great gift to others!