Holiday Gifts That Cost Little But Matter a Lot

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December 12, 2010; Source: NPR | In our continuing effort to make the holiday season more meaningful for NPQ readers, we’re pleased to share this list, courtesy of NPR, of modest donations you can make that do a lot of good for others in the name of friends of family.

Options include: A $75 gift to Mercy Corps to pay for women to attend classes in Jakarta, Indonesia to learn how to breastfeed their children. Jakarta is one city where NPR says breastfeeding rates are “exceptionally low.” A donation of $25 to Oxfam will buy a fuel efficient cooking stove that “reduces smoke inhalation, deforestation, and the time women spend gathering scarce firewood.” UNICEF offers choices of two medical aids for young people in poor countries: bottles of tablets available for $36 that will prevent 994 children from suffering intestinal worms or packages of 1,000 sachets of oral salts for dehydration.

Finally, if you want to help those who help others, UNICEF again offers two options. For $86.25, you can provide a bicycle to enable health workers to reach remote areas not served by public transport. Or if you are especially moved by this appeal, you can contribute $2,697.31 for a motorbike. Rest assured, though, that both vehicles are built to travel over mountain passes and on dirt roads.—Bruce Trachtenberg