It’s the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Though the idea of saving big is exciting, the magic often ends when we arrive at a store where the crowds are thick, the lines are long, and the shelves are cluttered with items that most of us will use for awhile and then throw out or forget about. And next year, it all starts over again.
This year, I invite you to take part in a different kind of shopping: looking for meaningful donations to be given in your loved ones’ honor. This kind of giving makes a lasting difference in the lives of others and starts new family traditions that make the holiday season even more special. Below are some of my favorite food-related organizations to support during the holidays.
1. Whole Planet Foundation. Micro-loans (usually less than $300, requiring no contract or collateral) are given to very poor people in the developing world so they can create or expand a home-based business. Whole Planet Foundation was established by Whole Foods Market, and works in the countries where food sold at Whole Foods is grown. Many of the loans are for food or farm-related businesses. 100% of your donation goes to micro-lending programs.
2. Farm Aid. For over 27 years, Farm Aid has provided effective support services to farm families in crisis. Farmers, most of whom struggle to make a living even during a good growing season, are especially vulnerable to flood, drought, tornados, hurricanes, and other natural disasters and rely on Farm Aid when unexpected troubles arise. Their Farmer Resource Network also connects farmers to organizations across the country that help farmers access new markets, transition to more sustainable and profitable farming practices, and survive natural disasters.
3. Kiva. Similar to Whole Planet, Kiva connects people around the world through lending to alleviate poverty. When you give a “Kiva Card,” you give someone else the chance to make a loan to a borrower who inspires them. When their loan is repaid, they can use those funds again and again to make even more loans on Kiva. It really is a gift that keeps on giving!
What organizations does your family like to support during the holiday season?
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