Gifts that Give Back

Here is information about a few charities who offer peace and support to our brothers and sisters around the world.

The charities included have been highly rated by the detail oriented folks at Charity Navigator, an organization whose mission is to, “guide intelligent giving.” Go to Charity Navigator to get the low-down on charities including ratings of their financial status, (percentage of total expenses spent on programs and services), and their accountability and transparency practices (independent board of directors and policies).

Seva Foundation

Seva is an organization with a focus on health issues, particularly vision issues. In addition to providing exams, glasses and surgery, Seva also trains locals to provide some services in an effort to build sustainability and independence. Just $25 covers an eye exam and glasses for a child, not much money for a whole lot of impact. They have a great website with videos that illustrate their impact,


Kiva, a micro-lending charity has networks around the world to support small business owners needing no-interest loans to create or build a business. I have been engaged with these guys for over 10 years and have let my money ride from one loan to the next; as one business pays me back, I choose and invest the same money with another small business owner. Their website offers the chance to loan based on country, business sector or even a focus on women or men. Their mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. I appreciate that the focus is to help people, to help themselves; there is beauty and dignity in this model. Learn more about how it works in this short video or go to their website,

Direct Relief

Direct Relief Ranked No. 1 on Charity Navigator’s list of the ten best charities in the U.S. As stated on their website, their programs focus mainly on maternal and child health, disease prevention and treatment, and emergency preparedness and response. Currently some of the issues they are engaged with include: supporting Syrian refugees, getting drugs to Nepal in response to the spring earthquakes and medical support to those in the U.S. who have no health insurance. Take a look at their website,

Harvesters: The Community Food Network

For those of you in the Kansas City area, our local Harvesters also rates very high on the Charity Navigator website. They are a great option any time of the year especially if you’re interested in a local charity with the opportunity to do some hands on work. For the next several weeks you can participate in their Pack Holiday Boxes drive, you assemble the side items (stuffing mix, sweet potatoes, cranberries, etc.) for holiday meals, pack in a box and get to Harvesters to be delivered. Here is Harvesters website,

If you are interested in additional areas of giving, please go to the Charity Navigator website where you can select from categories such as: animals, community development, environment, human and civil rights, etc.

Happy Holidays! Nikki