Gifts That Give Back: The World In You

Go on.  Have a holiday of true indulgence. Linger long in the luxury of life’s finest offerings. Do something that feels good all over, even in the hard to reach spots. Chocolate and cashmere are so 2010 — why not kick the counterfeit pleasures this year and go all-in for something more than skin deep?

Give a gift that only you can give. It’s your choice what you give and what you ask for. Yours alone. Make the decision meaningful for you and for others.

Give kindness. Give respect. Give time. Give support. You’ll be wowed by what you get in return.  Don’t worry about the size of your effort, but do make the effort. Make action your present.

It won’t take much.  A simple “High Five” can help transform the life of an adolescent girl in Malawi, Ethiopia, Guatemala, or Liberia.  Give five dollars, tell five friends, learn five things about her life, and you’ll be adding up to something huge.  You’ll join American girls and their families across America in improving the health, safety, education, and life prospects for these vibrant young women around the world.  These American girls and their peers around the world share similar dreams.  Regardless of where a girl lives, she needs to know we believe in her.

As a teenager, I was lucky enough to have a mom who inspired me with the notion that any future was in reach.  Her love gave me confidence.  That faith in myself is the greatest gift she’s given me.  The greatest, but the easiest in a way, as anyone can give love, even from thousands of miles away. The Girl Up campaign gives you the opportunity to be a part of transforming lives. There are millions of girls who need to know they matter to you. Don’t miss your chance to tell them. Invest in their futures at It’s an offer of a lifetime.

Let me leave you with one more idea.  As I was just reflecting on own my mother, I realize that I don’t say thank you to her nearly enough. I don’t remind her of how grateful I am, nor how proud I am, to have been blessed with her constant presence in my life. So, I want to take a moment to thank her. I’d like also to honor the work she does, which makes her a constant presence in the lives of so many others. 

She is CEO of a non-profit company called Diagnostics for All (DFA).  DFA embeds health tests on a piece of paper the size of a postage stamp. Just prick a finger, touch the paper, read the results, then dispose of the test with the light of a match.  No refrigeration, no electricity, no transport is needed.  Thus, DFA is a critical link in delivering affordable, appropriate, timely health responses to people in the developing world. One can’t treat disease without a sound diagnosis, right?  DFA’s simple, cheap, efficient, and clean technology can save millions of dollars and millions of lives. Like the sound of that, give DFA a hand too!

Yes, she is one cool mom.  A gift.

This week on Intentblog, we will be featuring 1-2 new blog posts a day that will give you ideas for gifts that give back this holiday season: charities you can donate to, products you can buy that give back to worthy causes, and more. Check back every day this week until December 25 for more blog posts on gifts that give back.