Top 5 Ways to Donate to a Child in Need this Holiday Season

For many of us, the holiday season marks one of the happiest times of the year. Families gathering, gifts galore and heaping meals enjoyed together get our holiday #MOOD in gear. Okay, we’ll admit it — the holidays can be stressful, too. Frankly, we were too distracted basking in seasonal joy to notice.

All those good vibes totally pave the way for the season’s tradition of charitable giving. While your compassionate spirit has many worthy recipients, we’ll just come right out and say it: It’s been a helluva year for the kids. One look at jaw-dropping global statistics — for instance, UNICEF’s findings that children make up half of the world’s most impoverished demographic — and you’ll agree that the holiday’s “trickle-down” joy factor hasn’t reached all ends of the globe.

In other words, you are definitely not alone in your thoughts of spreading cheer to a needy child. More than ever, an impassioned public, armed with global data, is eager to help children in crisis with gifts that are as impactful as they are charitable.

Make the holidays brighter with one of these Top 5 ways to donate a gift to a child in need this holiday season.

 

5.) Provide emergency care for a child refugee through the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

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The UNHCR’s findings indicate the world’s highest rates of displacement ever. Regional conflicts have caused some 65.6 million people to flee their homes in search of safety. Along with internally displaced persons (IDP’s), a growing population of refugees (roughly 22.5 million) has emerged, more than half under the age of 18.

If the plight of the existentially homeless calls to you as you head home for the holidays, the International Rescue Committee, or IRC, offers a number of life-saving gifting options for every price range. For just over $20, you can provide emergency medical care for a child; while $54 will buy four temporary shelters for displaced families. For $60 and above, you can supply kids in need with emergency food, warm blankets and clean water — a small price to pay, considering.

 

4.) Help feed a hungry child by shopping at Heifer Project International

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As we’re sampling eggnogs and getting served seconds, take a moment to consider the stats. The World Bank reports that there are 62.8 million malnourished children worldwide. Meanwhile, UNESCO drives the point home, pointing out that 45% of the world’s “under 5” mortality rate is linked to malnutrition.

This year, give the gift of sustenance to a hungry kiddo by shopping Heifer International‘s holiday catalog, which puts proceeds to good use ending world hunger, one family at a time.

With prices starting at $10, the organization gifts recipients both farm animals and training to help entire families become self-reliant, impacting entire communities in positive ways. Just $20 will score a family an entire flock of geese, chicks or ducks, but really, why scrimp when you can buy an entire family farm package or bountiful harvest gift basket for just $72?

 

3.) Care for children’s health with the help of UNICEF

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The World Health Organization (WHO)’s findings on child mortality, which numbered 16,000 deaths per day in children “under 5” in 2015, speak for themselves. Put differently, UNICEF’s data shows 11 children under the age of 5 died each minute of 2015.

To address this concern, UNICEF‘s holiday gift options include life-saving medical care, treatment and supplies. Topping their humanitarian list, the Super Hero Pack can literally save a child’s life. For $80.78, you’ll provide 100 vaccines for children, a vaccine carrier and 10 mosquito nets to protect children from malaria-carrying insects. If the whole shebang is a tad over-budget, you can still donate a vaccine carrier ($19.70), mosquito nets ($40.80), a Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine ($33.15) or Therapeutic Milk ($76.96) to help the cause.

 

2.) Improve a child’s education with the help of Oxfam-America

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Schooling provides youngsters with an education, ample socialization and the tools they’ll need for a successful future. That’s why UNESCO’s findings that 264 million children worldwide lack access to schooling.

The international sector has stepped up to address the global education problem — you can even send a child to school for a year this Christmas for only $58! Oxfam-America‘s seasonal gifts also play a major role. At the pricier end of the spectrum, a $1,500 purchase will go specifically towards building a girl’s school. If that price tag is simply too high, you can still donate school supplies for $30; creative, social-justice informed curricula for $30; or a donation of educational books for $25.

 

1.) Provide for an orphan through Save the Children

Unaccompanied youth (i.e. orphans) comprise one of the most vulnerable global demographics. UNESCO’s statistics come in at a whopping 140 million orphaned youth, who face life’s adversity alone — absent the emotional support of a family presence — in the wake of loss, grief and trauma.

Enter: Save the Children. Choose among the organization’s many offerings, which include specifically allotted gifts that ensure an orphaned youth’s basic needs will be met this year. Prices start at $40 (which will pay for an eager-to-learn orphan’s tuition and school supplies), but for $100, your recipient will receive life’s necessities, including food, shelter, education, and counseling.

 

Do you know of more charitable programs that help children in need during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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  • Jessica is a freelance writer and ACSW currently living in Southern California — although her heart remains in NYC. She is also a Style + Beauty writer for Brit + Co., a Beauty contributor for Locale Magazine, and has written work featured in various Hearst publications. Say hello to her on Instagram @jessicagreyourisman!

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