Handmade blankets (http://www.hathakabana.org/): created by women in Calcutta from recycled sari material – the money from these blankets goes to support Hātha kā banā and other established ministries which serve former sex workers (currently, there are no blankets available but you can always be put on a waiting list for one. They go about $200 each, which is pretty pricy, but these blankets are beautiful symbols of redemption and hope.)
Virtual bottle of water (www.charityis.org/buywater.htm): These are bottles of water from Charity International. They are $20 each, but every cent goes to freshwater well projects in Africa.
Handmade bags (http://www.freesetbags.com/): These bags are also made by former prostitutes in North Calcutta who have been rescued from poverty and shame. Instead of having to sell their bodies, these women now have the choice to make these bags, earn a decent living, and restore their dignity. You can purchase these bags easily from freeset’s ebay store (http://stores.ebay.com/Asha-Imports_Freeset-Bags.)
A gift of freedom(http://www.ijm.org/): Check out International Justice Mission’s Holiday Gift Catalog. You can purchase a day of investigative work ($25), a day of advocacy ($70), a day of aftercare for kids who have been rescued ($40), etc.
A pig, a goat, educational support, share of a well, etc (http://www.worldvision.org/): World Vision also has a gift catalog where you can purchase these items and about 100 more.
Sponsoring a child (http://www.compassioninternational.org/): For only $32 a month, you can sponsor a child and provide education, health care, nutrition, the opportunity to hear about Jesus, safe recreation, etc. Paul and I sponsor Roberto and our youth group kids sponsor Rodean and Ruth. (Maybe we have a thing for “R” named kids?) Anyway, we write our children monthly and send stickers, pictures, coloring pages, etc. The coolest thing is that we also receive letters from them all the time. This organization is just amazing! Selah absolutely LOVES “(R)uth!”
A child’s desk and bench, teacher development, vaccinations, etc (http://www.dalitnetwork.org/): This organization also has a gift catalog that goes to support the Dalit people (formerly known as the Untouchables in India.) The Dalit Freedom Network partners with the Dalits in their quest for religious freedom, social justice, and human rights by mobilizing human, information, and financial resources.
Well, that’s a more hefty list than I was anticipating! There are tons and tons of other highly reputable organizations to partner with and lots of gifts that can be given to benefit our brothers and sisters around the world, but at least this is a good place to start. Have fun shopping! Whoohoo!