Research conducted by the American Research Group, Inc. in 2016 showed that shoppers around the country are planning on spending an average of $929 for gifts this holiday season. And while most must-have shopping lists advertise the year’s trendiest toys and gadgets, try to remember this holiday season 80% of humanity live on less than $10 a day, and more alarmingly struggle to provide basic needs like food, shelter and water for their children. In fact, UNICEF estimates that 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. So this year, why not think globally and give these gifts that make the world a better place:
Giving a living animal to a family living in a third world country is like giving them the gift of a small business. Heifer International is a nonprofit organization that empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity. For a donation of $500, you can provide a cow which produces protein-rich milk to help boost nutrition in communities where malnutrition is the leading cause of death. Parents can also sell the milk for a sustainable income that helps pay for their children’s health care and education.
Solar Powered Lamp
Without daylight or electricity, children who attend school in third world countries during the day cannot work on their schoolwork in the evenings. World Vision is a nonprofit organization that provides solar-powered lanterns to families in need for a gift of just $50, giving four hours of precious light at night to allow time to study and valuable time together as a family. Education provides the groundwork from which children build the rest of their lives, and a solar-powered lamp provides a very real opportunity for these children to escape poverty.
College Education Fund
Many young parents today throw their hands up in despair at the thought of putting money aside for the future. But if you want to keep it in the family, why not give the next generation the greatest gift of all – a college education. According to the US Department of Education, the cost of a four-year degree by 2030 will be more than $205,000. Setting up a college education 529 fund today with an initial investment of $1,000, and an additional deposit of $1,000 each consecutive year, you will net about $45,0000 in 20 years. Helping our children avoid consumer debt by taking advantage of this great investment opportunity enables them to plan for their future and thrive.
Stephen Koppekin is the CEO of Koppekin Consulting, Inc. You can catch his latest blogs on his professional website: StephenKoppekin.net.