Travel Tips, Reviews, & Giveaways

#GivingTuesday: Giving Back to Families Around the World


Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday and #CyberMonday are a wrap, but here’s something that let’s you be thankful and do some online spending, this time to help other people: #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday is an effort to focus on organizations that depend on donations to help people in need. We’ve gathered up a few of our favorite charities that focus on international destinations, kids, and families. Extra bonus: Many of these organizations have matching funds for the special giving day, so a donation of $25 magically becomes $50 for them.

Stumped on holiday gifts? Donate in a family member or friend’s name and drop a card in their stocking to let them know — we bet they’ll love it! Or take a cue from our friend Mary’s lovely mom who donates to Heifer (below) and then buys coordinating animal ornaments to wrap and give to friends with an explanation of the charity’s great work.

Have a favorite charity that helps kids around the world that we’re missing here? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list.

Thanks and happy giving!


Give Kids The World Village is a 79-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort in Orlando that provides children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a week long, cost-free vacation so they can enjoy time together without stress. It’s an amazing place where everyday is celebrated like a holiday and ice cream is served for breakfast (side note: you can volunteer here next time you have a Disney vacation if you’d like).

Heifer International (one of Melissa’s favorite places to give) provides impoverished families around the world with animals such as honeybees, ducks, goats, or even cows, that help them to both feed themselves and create agricultural products to sell to make money. Giving an animal is like giving someone a small business, providing wool, milk, eggs and more. Animal donations can provide families a hand up, increasing access to medicine, school, food and a sustainable livelihood. Pledges will be doubled on Giving Tuesday.

Me to We works with international communities to help raise people out of poverty by creating small enterprises. For example, beaded Rafiki bracelet created by women in small Kenyan villages provide water, food, or education by being sold abroad. Purchase one of these bracelets, and you’ll actually get a tracking number that lets you know exactly who made it, where they live, and how the money will be spent. All donations on Giving Tuesday will have 5X the impact! (And since we love to travel, we also want to mention Me to We volunteer vacations with different options for teens and families.)

UNICEF helps children in need around the world; today, over 250 million children are growing up in places besieged by conflict and 50 million more are on the move, forced from their homes by poverty and violence. UNICEF is on the ground – working to protect every child’s future. As if that’s enough reason to donate, your pledge will be doubled on giving Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Heifer International.



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