The Best Charitable Gifts To Give During The Holidays

"Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can."  John Lennon points the way to a utopic, selfless existence in Imagine.  You can make a start this holiday by giving things which mean little to you, but can change a life, a family or even a community.  Here are just seven of the ways you can help make a better world more tangible.

Give a goat

For about $30 US Oxfam in the UK  (they take US orders and will send notifications to recipients through email) and for about $75 World Vision will give a goat or other domesticated animal to a family in need.

Give inspiration

Through UNICEF, you can give inspiring gifts like immunization, clean water, and nutrition.  You can also bring clean water to a global community through The Water Project.

It's in you to give

Your gift of blood can save more than three lives.  Even if you can't donate, you can organize a donation event or support the first response work that The International Red Cross does across the globe, like in Haiti and Pakistan.

Be an angel

Besides your local "Secret Santa" charitable drives to sponsor a local child or family, JCPenny is helping the Salvation Army this year.  You select a senior or child locally and buy items from their needs list for the Salvation Army to distribute.

Give a net

Malaria kills more than 1 million people each year, most of them children under the age of 5.  An insecticide-treated mosquito net can be sent as a gift and you can even team up with friends or co-workers to help communities fight malaria, through Nothing but Nets.

Give peace a chance

Organizations like Nonviolent Peaceforce lets you buy hours or days of non violent peacekeeping or a safe space for peace for parties to meet and work things out.

Be the change

Changemakers is a social community like Facebook.  But here, you can encourage and support community changing projects like sending engineers to Peru to help them make their own solar panels.

I think John & Yoko would approve.