There are some people who are impossible to buy for. The ones who already have everything under the sun, or who are so picky that even a basic black sweater makes them go "Ohhh, nice," and immediately look for the gift receipt (I admit to having this particular tendency now and again).
For these people, God created gift cards. And every year, zillions of those plastic gift cards from stores like Borders, Amazon, Best Buy, and iTunes fly off the shelves (or the net) and into stockings.
But don't you ever get tired of these gift cards? Don't you wish you could give a gift card that made a real difference in the world? A gift card for water in Africa, or a gift card for child immunizations? Sure, you can always give a donation to a worthy organization in the recipient's name, but what if your Aunt Martha isn't a Heifer Project kind of gal? What if she's always secretly dreamed of giving a micro-loan to a single woman starting her own business in Central America?
I recently came across the GlobalGiving gift cards, and they are now my favorite gift card around. You buy the card, and the recipient can go online and allocate the money to the charity or charities of their choice. I like that you can send the gift cards via email *or* choose a pretty (and biodegradable!) physical card with a nice sleeve (free shipping on cards until Dec. 31).
For kids, there's a card called MarkMakers (still my favorite kids' gift around) that's essentially the same concept, but the website is more fun.
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