Give a Goat for Christmas

Here's a list of 8 international charities that allow you to buy a goat or other livestock to help an impoverished Third World family earn a livelihood and pursue a better life.

How many times have you asked yourself: what can I get for the person who has everything?

How about a goat? That's right a goat. Or a chicken. Or even a donkey. Not an animal your loved one will keep, but one that will be given in their name to a family in a Third World country where having it could be the difference between poverty and starvation or a better life.

Sparkt found eight non-profit organizations (including Save the Children, whose website features the picture shown above) where you can buy an animal for an impoverished family in Africa, Asia, South America and the many countries they serve. Check out the happy faces when another give-an-animal organization, World Vision, went to see where the goats go and what families have done with them .

If you think one animal is no big deal, consider this: a couple of chickens can feed family, while they sell some of the eggs and birds to trade up to that goat, then a pig, then a cow, and so on. Feed the Children Canada says livestock provide women, who can't own land in many countries, with an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't have.

"Helping women fully participate in agricultural livelihoods is the single best way to improve children�s nutrition and lift more families out of poverty." Feed the Children Canada

There are pros and cons. Feed the Children points out that when you buy an animal you're donating restricted funds which means the money has to be spent on that particular item when the funds might be more urgently needed somewhere else. The charity also has do to more tracking, which is less efficient and costs more.

Still, it's a really thoughtful gift for someone who cares more about helping others than getting another Christmas tie. And it's something easy for kids to grasp if you're trying to help them understand the idea of hunger and poverty in the Third World and how to make a difference. These organizations typically send you or your recipient a card acknowledging the gift.

Did this story lay an egg? Did it get your goat? Or is this a brilliantly unique idea for that last minute, impossible-to-buy-for-but-caring person?. If so, here's a list of the organizations we found that offer "buy an animal" programs. Click on the organization name for a link to their website:



Food for the Hungry

Heifer International


Samaritan's Purse

Save the Children

World Vision

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