The Hippo


May 24, 2020








World Peace
Meaningful gifts for meaningful causes


Peace, love, hope, joy — spread some of that holiday spirit with a gift that makes a difference this season. Whether it’s for a loved one who’s passionate about a cause or for that friend you just don’t know what to get, the following gift ideas will make your giving meaningful.

Celebrate a cause
During the holiday season, organizations and nonprofits see an increase in giving. Kayleigh Robertson, communications and external relations director for the American Red Cross Association of New Hampshire and Vermont, agrees, and adds that it’s a great way to give back and give to others.
“We do start to see a lot more members of our community calling and making financial donations,” she said. “It’s a great time to give something that means something.”
Many organizations offer opportunities to make gift-giving easier. If you have a loved one who is passionate about a particular cause, make a donation in his honor to an organization or charity that benefits that work. Many charities will also offer a card or certificate to state that a donation has been made in your loved one’s honor.
You can also symbolically purchase resources. Charities like Heifer International, a charity that seeks to end hunger and poverty by providing livestock and training in husbandry, make giving a little more tangible by symbolically purchasing a goat, chick or sheep (depending on the size of your donation) for a family in need.
The American Red Cross has its own 2014 Holiday Gift Catalog online (visit with gifts like a full day of emergency shelter (with three meals, two blankets, one cot, snacks and personal hygiene supplies), vaccinations, fire safety training with three smoke alarms for one home, hot meals during a natural disaster and more. You can shop by most popular gifts, by price, or by need, like for the troops, urgent needs here in the United States, and global need.
“People can go on and shop and see where their donation is going towards,” Robertson said. 
The Red Cross will then send a free gift like a Red Cross water bottle (with minimum donation of $100) or a Red Cross fleece blanket (minimum donation $200). You can even be creative and take your donation receipt or make a certificate to place with the gift, wrap it up, and then place it under the tree.
Gifts from the heart
Give some presence this holiday season by setting up a time with a loved one or a group of friends to give back. Chances are you have a few friends or family members who would really enjoy spending quality time with you, not to mention contributing to the local community. Set up a time to bake cookies together to deliver to a neighbor, organize a way to give care packages to homebound community members, or set up a time for a group of friends to go caroling at a nursing home. Or volunteer with friends and coworkers at the same organizations you can donate money to (including The Red Cross, the NH Food Bank, YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, food pantries, shelters, and more).
World peace that fits in a box
Visit fair trade stores in the Granite State, like Joseph’s Coat (32 Grove St., Peterborough, 924-6683,, Rowe Mountain Fair Trade (169 Waterloo St., Warner, 456-2500, and Ten Thousand Villages (87 Congress St., Portsmouth, 431-2392,, to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts from around the world, including jewelry, artwork, pottery, fabric arts, and more. Items in these stores are made by artisans and craftsmen and women from across the globe. When you purchase these fair trade products, your money will go back into the hands of those artists.
Want more fair trade? Check out coffee roasters like A&E Coffee Roastery (135 Route 101A, Amherst, 578-3338; 1000 Elm St., Manchester, 622-7944, to purchase organic and fair trade coffees and teas for loved ones. 
Also check out box stores and stores at the mall for ways your gifts can give back. This holiday season, The Body Shop is partnering with War Child, a global charity that aids children affected by war. When you purchase selected products, The Body Shop will contribute approximately six cents to War Child (six cents because it costs $40 for a child in Uganda to attend primary school for an academic year — that includes uniform, books and fees — and it costs 23 cents per day). Or check out brands like TOMS, where when you purchase footwear, eyewear, even coffee, TOMS gives back “One for One,” giving back footwear, eyecare and clean water for every gift you buy. 
As seen in the December 11, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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