It’s nice to go shopping and buy presents for friends and family, have them open them and go “wow!” and all the rest, but that’s hard when you’re overseas at Christmas and away from loved ones and need to do your Christmas shopping online.

These days there’s an abundance of opportunities for online shopping. But what’s really nice is when that present you buy online benefits somebody else other than the recipient.

We’ve got a few last minute Christmas present ideas below for gifts that give — presents that you can buy online for your loved-ones that also give back to those in need.

If you have any ideas of gifts that give back that can be purchased online for someone in the lead up to Christmas — gifts that will help those in need — then please leave the details in the Comments below. I’d love to expand this list.

Our guide to gifts that give back

BUY A GIFT & ENABLE SOMEONE TO START A BUSINESS

“Give twice this Christmas. When you buy, we share.” And that’s exactly what we’re talking about.

Andable is a marketplace that connects people directly with independent merchants — and you can buy anything here, from handmade jewellery and kids’ clothes to art and accessories.

When you buy something on the site, you are helping to fund micro loans to people in need, because 10% from every sale goes to a micro loan fund to help people in developing countries start micro-businesses.

The 10% has a story too.

Andable was started by Rupal Ismin, who was inspired by her grandfather: starting out as an impoverished child in India, without even shoes on his feet, once successful Dr Chhotubhai Patel donated 10% of all his income to charity. Inspiring stuff.

What we love is the ability to insert your location to find something made locally; click on the ‘Love Local’ box, bottom right.
www.andable.com 

COOK WITH POO, PULL SOMEONE OUT OF POVERTY

Thai cooking instructor Saiyuud Diwong, nicknamed ‘Poo’, runs the Helping Hands Thai Cooking School from a compact kitchen opposite her moest home in Bangkok’s notorious Klong Toey slum.

Formerly a poverty-stricken noodle-vendor, Poo started the school for expats and tourists with a small loan from an altruistic foreign friend.

Its popularity has transformed Poo into a successful businesswoman who can not only support her family now, but who is lending her neighbours money so they can also start small businesses and pull themselves out of poverty.

In effect, Poo has become a one-woman micro-financing body, helping her community onto similar success.

You can visit Poo’s site and book a cooking class online or you can order her cookbook ‘Cooking with Poo’.

You can read our story on the class (it was lots of fun!) in the January issue of Get Lost magazine. We’ll also be posting a story about the school very soon here on Grantourismo.
www.cookingwithpoo.com

SAVE A COLOBUS MONKEY

After spending two weeks at Diani Beach, Kenya, a few years ago we became completely smitten with the Colobus monkeys who visited us at our ‘home’ a few times a day.

We visited the Colobus Trust (as it was then called) and saw the incredible work they do to save and protect the monkeys.

You can donate funds to save a Colobus monkey very easily, and you can do it now with a quick email, and you’re going to feel good about it because these adorable Colobus monkeys are endangered.

Visit the Colobus Conservation (formerly the Colobus Trust) site and you can read about the impressive work they do rescuing and rehabilitating monkeys who have been electrocuted, lost their habitat due to development, or hit by cars in the increasingly built-up area. Sadly, heartbreakingly, we saw it firsthand.

Why not donate money to support their work in the name of a loved one and give the gift of a life of a beautiful Colobus.
www.colobusconservation.org

MERRY CHRISTMAS! XXX

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