Gifts That Give Back

Hand holding the word donate

It’s already mid-December and looking to find the “perfect gift” for everyone on your list while balancing holiday parties, decorating and the usual work, home and family responsibilities may be taking its toll on your merry disposition. So we’ve assembled a list of ideas that may help ease your holiday shopping stress while helping others at the same time:

See What Your Friends are Selling.

Many people have their own side businesses in network marketing or on Etsy, for example. Before you hit the big stores, try shopping with and from your friends. You might find beautiful crafts and artwork, cookware, baby products, candles, food gifts and more. Your purchase will give your friends more income during the holiday season, and you will find unique gifts for the special people in your life.

Buy from Global Artisans.

World Crafts and Ten Thousand Villages are just two organizations that let you shop for unique craft items made by people around the world. Your purchase supports them and their families, and you can give a one-of-a-kind item to your friends.

Give to a Charity in a Friend’s Name.
Instead of struggling to think of a product to give a friend who maybe doesn’t need or want much this year, give to a charity in the friend’s name. Here are a few organizations that would appreciate the support:

 Heifer International: You can help fund a project or donate an animal, like a goat or water buffalo, to a family in need. These animals give the family a source of income and can change their lives for years to come. If you can’t afford to give the entire animal, you can donate an amount you’re comfortable with that will go toward an animal.
 Kiva: These micro-loans are truly a gift that keeps giving. Browse the list of entrepreneurs from all over the world; your donation is made in the form of a loan that the entrepreneur uses to start or grow a business. The loan is paid back over time, and the lender can re-loan the money to another entrepreneur. Loan amounts start at $25. This is fun to do with your children, as they can help choose an entrepreneur who has a business they’re interested in.
 Action Against Hunger: This organization works to save malnourished children and provide food, clean water, training and healthcare to communities in need. You can give a one-time donation or set up a recurring monthly donation in your gift recipient’s name.
 Adopt a Family: Your local Chamber of Commerce, church or other business might have set up a giving tree or an adopt-a-family program for the holidays. In these programs, you can provide food and gifts to create a special holiday for a family in need. If you personally know such a family, you can organize your own giving program by talking with neighbors and coming together to supply meals, clothing and some surprises.
 No-Kill Animal Shelters: You probably don’t want to adopt a pet for a friend, but you can give to the animal shelter in your animal-loving friend’s name. These donations help feed the animals and provide necessary vaccinations and medical care until the animal can be adopted.

At San Joaquin Valley Homes, we believe in community, and there’s no better way to build it and nurture it than by giving. This holiday season, consider how your gifts can make the most impact. Touch the lives of your own friends and family members by getting them involved in a greater cause and change a stranger’s life.

Are you looking for a new home in the San Joaquin Valley or Bakersfield? SJV Homes now has open for sale 10 communities with a combined 845 single-family homes. If you would like more information, sign up for our interest list here.

Lisa Walker