In the last few years, donating to charities that fund a good cause has become very popular. The recipients will never see the gift, but know that the money was spent in their name for someone who needs it. The traditional donation to Oxfam was giving a goat to a village in Africa. Now charities are getting more innovative to capture our imaginations--and dollars.
The group "Intelligent Giving" has compiled a list of the top 10 charity gifts in 2008 and the camels are winning the race.
According to their survey, buying a camel is the top charity gift. People like them because they provide a full range of services--you can ride them, drink their milk in times of drought and use their dung for fertiliser.
The second most popular is fish cages, bamboo and net enclosures. These enable Bangladeshis to breed fish in flood-prone areas so that they can eat them and sell them.
3. The Collect and Destroy a Weapon Fund: it will destroy some guns and grenades in a war zone or clean up cluster bombs and rocket launchers.
4. Pineapple Plants: easy to grow and provide food and sales opportunities. Give a family 500 plants to make a start.
7. Sponsor a brain cell for Alzheimer's research--help to fund research into diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
8. 100 snails for a Liberian family to breed, eat and sell at the local market.
9. Give a Heart repair kit for stem cell research that could repair hearts.
10. Sea Boots for sea men who rescue people in difficulty in the sea.