Here are 16 progressive present and donation suggestions for the holiday season and beyond. Please spread the good cheer and add your own suggestions and links to our comment section at the bottom of the page!
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You may not know what the bookworm in your life wants to read next, but you can always buy him or her a gift certificate for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to pick up one of their feature books for themselves. Books range in themes and reports from gender inequality, how our schools are functioning, climate change and the economy. Make your loved one's Christmas an enlightened one.
The Canadian Boat to Gaza
This season, give the gift of comfort for the people of Palestine. By making a donation to the Canadian Boat to Gaza, you can help them gather the funds they need to have a Canadian boat in the next flotilla. Your donations will also help challenge the blockade and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's uncritical support of the Israeli government.
It has been a tough year for many across Canada, and food banks are being stretched. This isn't new news but we support them and other programs that help those living in poverty and unemployment. Check out this link for a list of food banks across the country to make donations. NOTE: The three territories are missing from the website -- Here is the link for Whitehorse, Yukon, and contact info for Yellowknife, NWT. The Niqinik Nuatsivik Nunavut Food Bank helps the people of Iqaluit, Nunavut, but we've had trouble locating contact info. Please add it below if you can help.
The pressure on information whistleblower Wikileaks is increasing, with the organization's funds getting choked off by Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. But donations are still being taken by other means. Make your progressive Christmas even more meaningful by donating and supporting Wikileaks releases so they can continue to reveal corruption and give true, unfettered access to what the powerful do and think.
Mamaluv catered meals
For the friend who loves food but doesn't cook, buy a gift package of Mamaluv's catered eco-friendly meals to have delivered straight to their door. It's nutritious, affordable, and -- most importantly -- good for body and mind. Packages include gift cards, gourmet entrees, gift bags, soups and desserts. It's even perfect for a night in. Only for delivery in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
Canadian Crossroads International
A gift that keeps on giving. By donating in the name of a loved one to the Canadian Crossroads International, you can change the life of someone on the other side of the planet. Your donation can give women the money they need to support their family through micro loans, put children in school, help the expansion of a community's legal services, and even stimulate economic development in rural villages.
If you have a rabble-rouser on your shopping list, pick up a book or film by The Yes Men. They chronicle the true story of two men who cause chaos by posing as high-ranking representatives of major corporations in the name of skewering corporate greed. Not only are the books and movies funny and eye-opening, all proceeds go to the Fix the World Outreach campaign.
Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders, aka Médecins Sans Frontières, gives you the option of picking a gift for someone who needs medical help in an emergency area where the nonprofit is operating. These gifts help their team perform their duties in situations like the current cholera outbreak and post-earthquake chaos in Haiti. You match your donation amount to a service like paying for a doctor ($90 a day or $3,780 for a six-week mission) or an essential item like a cholera kit ($30 a person or $18,750 for a full clinic to help 625 people); they'll deliver.
Every year, Operation Groundswell takes a group of young, eager, talented volunteers looking to dive headfirst into a new culture and work on a project. Trips include visits to the Middle East, Peru, Colombia, India and West and East Africa. Every volunteer has to fundraise $1,000 for in-country projects and carbon offsetting, just to name a few. Help lighten the burden send a friend or yourself!
For a gift that they can wear proudly, look into getting an item from Ecocentrik Apparel. The majority of their clothes and accessories are Canadian made, and all of their items are fair-trade and green. Specifically, their necklaces are charming and cost-effective. Order online.
The Council of Canadians
Support social justice by buying a friend or family a membership for the Council of Canadians. The council works towards bringing social, economic and environmental justice to Canadians. They'll get a membership card good for the year, and the most recent issue of Canadian Perspectives.
A donation to Amnesty International is an old classic when it comes to social responsible giving. A gift membership includes information about what Amnesty does every day, and a subscription for six issues of The Activist.
The Greenpeace store has everything from t-shirts highlighting their Canadian causes and actions, like the tar sands, the Great Bear Rainforest, or over fishing. There are also cards, water bottles, DVDs, and the now-legendary Vancouver concert by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs which raised funds for the fledgling environmental campaigning organization in 1970 -- on a two-CD set called Amchitka: the 1970 concert that launched Greenpeace.
An Ottawa-based eco shop, Arbour was established in 1990 and describes itself as a "purveyor of quality environmental products for your Home, Body and Spirit." The owner says it is a privately owned family business which heavily researches the products they carry, including anything from rain barrels to co-operative board games. They have a extensive online section for orders from across the country.
Local independent bookstores are under attack across the country from bookshop chains and discount stores. The website biblio.com offers an extensive list of indie bookstores stores in every province. Check it out by clicking here and short list from Wikipedia can be found here. Other recommended bookstores not on the list include People's Coop Bookstore in Vancouver, and McNally Robinson in Winnipeg and Saskatoon. Add other independent bookstore suggestions in comments.
Now that you've seen our suggestions, add your own below.
Did we say that you can also donate to rabble.ca?
Scaachi Koul is an editorial intern with rabble.ca.
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