The One Holiday Shopping Hack That Will Help You Change The World

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We’re counting our blessings as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, and one of the things for which we are most grateful is the opportunity to align with partners who are purpose-driven, who aim to make the world better.

Over the years, we have had an up-close view of the difference our friends at Heifer International are making. You may know them as the people who will let you buy a cow for a village somewhere on another continent, but that’s a horribly inadequate way to describe their impact.

Heifer’s aim is to increase income, improve child nutrition, care for the Earth ­­­­– and ultimately end world hunger and poverty. One of the ways the nonprofit crowdsources this important work is by fundraising with The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World, its annual alternative giving catalog.

Side note: Did you know the average American household contains 300,000 items?

“Heifer was a pioneer in producing an alternative gift catalog more than 20 years ago, and it remains a significant source of revenue for us,” said Annie Bergman, Heifer’s global communications director. “It’s an easy way for donors to feel connected to the communities we serve.”

The catalog includes alternative gifts designed to donate animals, promote women’s empowerment, support sustainable farming, provide basic needs or fund specific projects. Heifer also sells a collection of tangible items that benefit small-scale farmers and artisans.

If you’re looking for a shopping alternative to Black Friday’s fistfights, here are a few unique gift ideas from Heifer’s online catalog that might keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive for another day:

  • For $120, you can give a family a goat (or you can give a share of one for just $10).

The idea of “passing on the gift” is a tenet of Heifer’s approach. Initially, the concept mandated that each farming family who received an animal gift passed on the first female offspring to another in need. At Lifeblue, “passing on the gift” also means offering our time and talents to be a force for good, and we find inspiration from our partnership with Heifer.

For that, we are truly thankful.

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