By Katelin Haley
Peace and Justice Editor
Did you ever consider giving someone an ark for Christmas? Or a “milk menagerie”, maybe a water buffalo? These unique Christmas gifts are just a few of the ones that you can give to your family members through Heifer International. With Heifer International, your gift is given to a family in need in honor of your friend or family member. Your friends and family will be receiving a gift card describing the donation that you have made in their honor as well as the good feeling that comes from giving a gift that keeps on giving.
The gifts given through Heifer International are focused on ending world hunger and caring for the globe. Gift options range from goats to chicks to honeybees to tree seedlings, and range in price from $10 to $10,000. Heifer gifts also focus on community development by allowing a villager who receives a llama one year to breed that llama and share its offspring with their neighbors in need. Naturally, the gift could continue to give for generations to come.
If the intangible gifts don’t appeal to you, giving the gift of fair trade items is another option that will give your recipient something usable while also providing the artisan who made the item a fair income for their handicraft. Fair trade items are available online at various retailers including Catholic Relief Services: Work of Human Hands, A Better Footprint, and Crossroads Trade. These retailers offer items that meet your entire gift giving needs. Hand crafted décor for your home is available from artisans across the globe. You can also purchase unique jewelry that most certainly will not be found at any local stores.
For those on your list with a sweet tooth, fair trade chocolate and coffee are always available right here on campus at the Schwartz Center for Spiritual Life. By purchasing coffee or chocolate, you benefit your recipient, the farmers and workers who made the coffee or chocolate, and the service trip programs run by Marywood.
Keep alternative gifts in mind as you do your Christmas shopping. In the words of former President Bill Clinton, giving a gift with organizations such as those named above “brings hope and triumph of the human spirit.”