Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Good Gifts from charities

There has been criticism of the practice of giving charity gifts, as these generally reflect the donors wishes, not the recipients. In fact in some case the recipients are unwittingly getting gifts they believe are entirely inappropriate. My criticisms of the 'Goats for Africa' were as a direct result of a well-meaning friend 'giving' my wife a goat a couple of years ago.

Rather than choosing a charity gift, for your friends and relatives, it is much better to give a gift voucher. My favourite website and charity gift catalogue is the Good Gifts (www.goodgifts.org). They offer Gift Vouchers that can be used to support any number of excellent charities, including the World Land Trust (and also goats). The important feature is that the person receiving the gift will actually get something they want, and feel good about it, whereas giving often means the donor feels good, not the recipient.

1 comment:

  1. "The goat shall carry all their iniquities on himself to a solitary land, and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness."
    Leviticus 16.22

    I am surprised that Oxfam is "in denial" about goats causing desertification. I simply put 'goat' and 'desert' into Google and got several hits about the adverse effects of goats.

    A website from Hawaii is titled: HOW DO YOU MAKE A DESERT?
    Start with any piece of land. Add goats.

    And China's Environmental Protection Agency reports that the Gobi Desert expanded by 52,400 square kilometers (20,240 square miles) from 1994 to 1999, an area half the size of Pennsylvania. With the advancing Gobi now within 150 miles of Beijing, China's leaders are beginning to sense the gravity of the situation. "Beijing is trying to arrest the spread of deserts by encouraging pastoralists to reduce their flocks of sheep and goats by 40 percent".