Great idea for teacher gifts – goat and chickens and sheep, oh my!

by DaniGirl on December 7, 2012 · 8 comments

in Mothering without a licence

Instead of teacher gifts at Christmas, each year we have been buying a donation of a backpack of school supplies in each of the boys’ teachers’ names, and enclosing information about the donation in a hand-made card. The teachers seem to genuinely appreciate the notion, and it does support the principles of Catholic education.

Faced with a list of no less than seven teachers this year, I figured it was easier to just send a bigger donation of a goat to a family in need and dedicate it to the whole school. The boys are tickled by the idea of the goat, but there’s a lesson about privilege in there, too, and a conversation about how truly blessed we are. And look at me, I’m even doing this before 10 pm on the penultimate day before the Christmas break, which is when I traditionally get around to this. I’m so pleased with this idea that I thought I’d share it.

Here’s a press release I got from Care Canada with a bit more information:

(OTTAWA, December 3, 2012) – For too many Canadians, the holidays can be a time of stress and frustration.

The spirit of the season seems to get lost searching for a parking spot, slogging through malls and finding that “perfect gift” to be a dud.

This year, CARE is calling on Canadians to skip the mall and give their loved ones a gift that truly keeps on giving. A CARE gift will empower women and girls around the world to be healthy, educated and able to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the need to buy material items,” says Kevin McCort, president and CEO of CARE Canada. “A CARE gift is a perfect alternative for those who want to give their loved ones something that helps the world’s poorest communities build better lives for themselves.”

CARE’s new holiday catalogue features more than 40 fun and unique gift ideas that Canadians can give friends, family and coworkers to support CARE’s efforts to fight poverty worldwide. These include:

· Give the gift of a safe birth for a mom and baby in a developing country.

· The gift of a goat will improve a family’s nutrition and access to income.

· Send a girl to school for a year and give her the power to lift her and her community from poverty.

· Help a woman start a business and empower her family and community to thrive.

Why head out in the cold? Canadians can browse these gift ideas and more from home with the online catalogue at Each gift comes with a personalized holiday electronic card that shoppers can send to their gift recipient.

Why not give the gift of donation of a chicken or a goat or a pack of school supplies instead of a coffee mug or other bit of kitsch? What do you think of this kind of donation gift? Would you want to receive something like this as a gift, or give it to the person who truly has everything? As a teacher, how do you feel about this type of gift?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gus&otto December 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm

We got chickens and goats last year for grandparents and our staff. Another great organization working in this realm is CHF (Canadian Hunger Foundation). Check out I totally love their goat! They put him in different outfits throughout the year.

2 Sarah McCormack December 7, 2012 at 9:23 am

This will be the 3rd year that we have donated $100 (through World Vision) to busy school supplies for 2 classrooms, in the names of our boys’ teachers. I think that it’s a great way to go, and the teacher seem to as well 🙂

3 Anonymous December 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

of course, that should say “BUY school supplies”, not BUSY! oops.

4 suze December 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

your care link isn’t working… it’s directing readers back to an older post

5 DaniGirl December 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

Oops, fixed. Thanks Suze!

6 Shan @ the fairy blogmother December 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

I love this idea!

7 valerie December 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

we’ve done that with friends and grandparents through Plan Canada. Never thought of it for teachers, though – great idea.

8 Paula Schuck January 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

This year we opted to support children’s miracle network and give a small gift to teachers instead. We loved that we were supporting the kids in our community who are sick in hospital this year. It is so important to have these conversations.

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