Encourage your kids to think of others this holiday season with these charity-minded gifts for young people.
The Good Book(s)
Christopher Eck, author of The Story of Gumbo Yah-Yah the Blue Alligator and the Big Storm, is donating all the proceeds from sales of this hopeful and charming children's book to four charities dedicated to rebuilding post-Katrina New Orleans. Get a preview online by searching for the title at www.books.google.com. ($20; www.gumboyahyah.com)
Written by 14-year-old Freddi Zeiler, A Kid's Guide to Giving shows fellow young people how they can make a difference in the world, whether by giving money, volunteering, donating goods, or organizing charity events. The book includes a pocket that you can personalize with a note and a check to get kids started on the road to giving. (Ages 12 and up; $9.99; www.innovativekids.com)
Adopt one of the 200 animals (like this pot-bellied pig, pictured) cared for at Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Center, a pioneer in the field of animal-assisted therapy, and your gift recipient will receive a certificate of adoption, a photo and life story of the animal, and the satisfaction in knowing you are helping an agency devoted to the well-being of children. You can even stop by the farm in Brewster during specified hours to see how your adoptee is doing! ($25-$100, depending on animal; www.greenchimneys.org)
Sit down with your little one to leaf through the World Vision Gift Catalog, which contains more than 100 poverty-fighting presents you can purchase in the name of a loved one. The most popular gift is a goat ($75), which is given to a needy family. As a token of your good deed, you'll receive Gertie the Plush Goat (pictured). The catalog also contains inspiring stories of how gifts have made a difference. (Gifts range in price from $16-$39,000; to request a catalog, call 888-511-6511)
Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling includes six furry, textured pins, and one beastly ball all in a zippered St. Jude carrying case. One hundred percent of each sale benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (Ages 2 and up; $24; www.stjude.org)
The innovativeKids Green StartTM Little Polar Bear Storybook and Plush Set includes this huggable, 100 percent earth-friendly plush friend along with an illustrated storybook that details what it's like to be an endangered polar bear living in the Arctic. Green Start's goal is to give children an awareness of the natural world and help them incorporate environmentally friendly practices into their everyday lives as they grow. (Ages 3-12; $9.99; www.innovativekids.com)