Gifts that give back

December 9, 2011 3:04:44 PM PST
Skip the mall crowds and browse your way to gifts guaranteed to make you feel good - a goat and a garden can feed a family far into the future.

International Rescue Committee's Rescue Gifts provides an array of philanthropic options. You don't have to be a millionaire to afford. If you're fishing around for the perfect present, how about fish or a flock of chickens? For a mere 30 dollars you could change a family's fortune.

If you're interested in helping women here at home, North Carolina based bakery Women Helping Other Women teaches women from homeless or domestic violence shelter trade skills to open their own businesses. It wouldn't be Christmas without fruitcake. For just $12, you can buy a homemade cake and the knowledge you're helping a victim turn her life around.

Your holiday ham can also help the hungry. Monte's Hams are from hogs raised in upstate New York as part of an initiative to convert dairy farms and a portion of each purchase goes to City Harvest, a hunger relief organization serving the five boroughs and beyond.

If the environment is your thing, bring bubbly to the party that protects the ocean and the land near it. National Geographic's Mission Blue initiative partnered with a Sonoma county winery - four dollars of every bottle of "Iron Horse" Blanc de Blanc is donated to fight pollution and overfishing. Something worth cheering about!