If you’re looking to make a real difference this holiday season, the pages of ChildFund International’s Real Gifts Catalog can provide inspiration.
The Henrico County-based global nonprofit works in 24 countries to help children living in poverty. Now in it’s ninth year, the Real Gifts Catalog provides gifts to needy communities that are based on actual requests, everything from clean water, food, bicycles, mosquito nets and livestock such as pigs, goats and cows, to this year’s offerings of hand-washing stations and COVID-19 supplies.
Last year, catalog donors provided families with 377 hand-washing stations, nearly 6,000 bicycles to help children get to school and 16,431 goats, which can provide much-needed milk, cheese and offspring, which can then be used to buy other necessities like shoes and clothing or materials for school.
The items in the catalog “meet real needs,” said Anne Lynam Goddard, ChildFund president and CEO, because they are items specifically requested by the communities served. Donors “are not symbolic giving — they are real gifts.”
The catalog is available year-round, though Goddard said there’s always a push around the holidays and again in the spring.
To help fight the pandemic’s spread, items available to give this year include COVID-19 protection kits ($65 for one family or $600 for 10 families) that include soap, hand sanitizer, thermometers, disinfectant, cleaning supplies and face masks; a hand-washing station ($175); or help restocking health stations ($125) with medicine, medical equipment and supplies, and personal protective equipment.