Travel Charities - Gift Giving Ideas for the Holidays (2023)

Last month Dave and I had the pleasure of hosting the Orbis Flight For Sight Virtual Event where teams competed against each other testing their travel trivia knowledge as they raised money to help end avoidable blindness around the world. We are excited to announce that there will be more events taking place on December 1st, 2022. We’d love for you to join us! Register today here!

The holidays are always a time for giving. We often search for a charity to donate money to as the end of the year approaches, and if you are looking to do the same, the Orbis Flight for Sight event just may be what you are searching for.

Flight for Sight – Give the Gift of Sight

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Flight for Sight is a 60-minute immersive entertainment experience where Dave and I host teams competing in travel trivia challenges and interactive games. It’s the perfect team-building event for companies looking to bring their workforce together or you can sign up individually and join a team.

During the course of the event, participants will be entertained by yours truly as Captain Khoi Duong takes you through sets of live-streamed flight simulation experiences. The flight simulations are actual GPS Satellite imagery.

FedEx and Orbis Flying Eye Hospital

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Participants who take part in the Orbis Flight for Sight event will take a virtual tour of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital. FedEx donated a cargo jet that was transformed to a state of the art teaching and training eye hospital.

The next event is happening on November 30 just in time for Giving Tuesday. Teams of up to 12 people are required to fundraise at least $2,000. That’s just $166 per person. So get your co-workers, family or friends together for a fun way to raise money for a charity!

Now, if you are looking for other ways to give this holiday season, we’ve curated a list of some of the best charities to give to for travel lovers. Nearly all charities around the world are worthy causes and deserve our funds, but we can’t cover them all. This is just a list to help you get the creative giving juices flowing and to raise awareness about some of the causes that are dear to our hearts.



1. Orbis Flight for Sight

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Orbis is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that brings people together to help put an end to avoidable blindness around the world. They have been in operation for 40 years working throughout Africa, Asia, and South America.

It is truly astonishing to hear that nearly 1 billion people around the world live with blindness that could be treated or prevented if they had access to eye care. Orbis is working to ensure that everyone has access to eye health care no matter where they live. Not only do they have a network of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and biomedical engineers on hand volunteering their time, they share their expertise with the local medical professionals. For fundraising ideas visit their website.

2. Born Free Foundation

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The Born Free Foundation is something that is very dear to our hearts. Founded in 1984, the Born Free Foundation was founded to help stop the exploitation and suffering of individual animals living in captivity or in the wild. You can find more information on Born Free Foundation here.

Your donations will go to conservation, rescue & care, sustainability, anti-captivity, and education. Born Free are advocates for keeping wild animals where they belong, in the wild. They work to ensure the best outcome for wildlife including banning trophy hunting, illegal trading, and phasing out zoos while promoting better protection to animals.

3. Animals Asia

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If there is one thing that turns my stomach in this world it is bear bile farming. Animals Asia is devoted to ending bear bile farming and improving the welfare of animals across Asia. They have been rescuing bears since 1994 and Animals Asia was founded in 1998. They have bear rescue sanctuaries in China and Vietnam and are working tirelessly to end this most inhumane practice. And after years of cooperation, Animals Asia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vietnam Government to completely End Bear Bile Farming in Vietnam by 2022.

They also advocate and work to end the trade of cats and dogs for food in Asia and to help the suffering of animals in captivity that are abused in zoos and safari parks in Southeast Asia. Donate here

3. Plan International

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When we cycled through Africa, we saw first hand the world that Plan Canada was doing for communities in Africa. Plan focuses its attention on children around the world and for equal rights for girls around the world. We actually rode for their “Because I’m a Girl” campaign dedicated to standing with young women to support them through education and opportunity. But Plan supports all children and communities from child protection to schools and making sure that communities have clean water. One of the projects that we visited in Cairo that really peaked our attention was the economic empowerment they give to women in particular through micro-finance. Visit Plan for more details.

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4. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

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For those looking to help with a focus on Africa, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a charity that provides a safe haven for elephants and rhinos in Africa. We visited the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya where we saw their orphaned elephant rescue and rehabilitation program first hand. It is heartbreaking to see what elephants and rhinos are facing in Africa, but it is good to know that there are programs like this working to protect and preserve wildlife. From anti-poaching to educating communities and providing veterinary assistance, your dollars will go a long way in helping an elephant thrive.

5. Charity Water

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Water is our most precious resource and we are quickly running out of clean water around the world. An astonishing 785 million people lack basic access to clean and safe drinking water. When cycling through Africa and traveling through rural South America and Asia we have seen firsthand how precious water is. People walk for miles for clean water each day. Charity Water is workingto bring clean and safe water to families around the world every singlemonth. Founded in 2006, Charity Water is working on their goal to giving everyone access to water within our lifetime.

When you give to Charity Water, 100% of your donation goes to the field. Private donors cover their operating costs so you can be sure that your dollar is going towards funding waterprojects. Read more here.

6. WWF

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World Wildlife Fund is an oldie but a goodie. We have been giving to WWF for as long as I can remember. For 60 years WWF has been working on conservation in 100 countries. When looking for a charity to give to, WWF encompasses a broad range from the climate crisis to our oceans, freshwater, forests, and wildlife. Your donation will help to build a future where humans can live in harmony with nature


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7. Ocean Concervancy

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The Ocean Conservancy has been running theInternational Coastal Cleanup for more than 30 years. Working on the pillars of science, Ocean Conservancy has been tirelessly working to find solutions to the challenges our oceans. They lobby governments to make policy changes and, being located in Washington DC they wield true power. From ocean planning, creating sustainable fisheries, and working to reduce the waste that goes into our oceans, the Ocean Conservancy is a leading oceans charity to give to.

8. Take 3

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When we first heard about Take 3 we thought it was an excellent idea. Imagine if everyone on earth picked up just 3 pieces of rubbish whenever they visited a beach, river bank or lakeside park. This one little act can change our waterways. But Take 3 also has other programs from education, youth leadership and other programs.

9. Sustainable Travel International

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As travel lovers, we are all doing our own damage in the world whenever we step on a plane. With Sustainable Travel International, you not only are able to calculate your carbon footprint, but it also works to protect vulnerable destinations by working with communities to clean beaches and preserve culture. They work with governments and local leaders to help them implement policies that lead to healthier destinations. They work hand in hand with policymakers tocreate the best practices for sustainable tourism development. Plus, they work to inform travelers to make the world a better place through their choices of how they travel.

10. Pencils of Promise

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When traveling through Asia, Africa, and South America children have always asked us for a pen or pencil. It is the easiest thing to give a child and bring a smile to their face. However, it has almost become overwhelming when traveling to have everyone ask us for a pen. Instead, we prefer to give to organizations that help a community rather than giving to one child.

ThePencilsofPromisecommunity is committed to building a better world through education across the globe. When you donate, your money will go to providing support to a teacher or giving water, handwashing and sanitation to students. They build schools and classrooms and are currently in partnership with public school systems and communities in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos.

11. Make a Wish Foundation

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I’ll never forget my friend Sugar from YTV boarding a plane each year to join children of Make a Wish on their trip of a lifetime. Its aim is to fulfill the wish of critically ill children. Imagine helping to give a dream trip to a child to bring joy to what could be their final days.

12. SPCA

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If you are looking for a charity closer to home, your local SPCA is always in need of funds to rescue animals and provide care to animal shelters. This is always my go-to charity. We have given to the Ontario SPCA for years and it feels good to know that our money is going towards rescuing abused animals, adoption and humane education. If you love animals, this is a great local charity to give to. Look for the local SPCA near you.

Donating to charities is a personal choice and these suggestions for travel inspired charities are simply suggestions to help spark ideas for you to donate this year. There are hundreds of charities around the world worthy of your dollars. These are just the tip of the iceberg and are simply charities that we follow and believe in. When choosing a charity to give to this year, go with your heart and do your research and together we can help make the world a better place.

Read More:

  • Kenya Village Visit – Empowering People One Brick at a Time
  • How to Make Your Travel Meaningful
  • 10 Ways to Help Save the Oceans – World Oceans Day and Beyond
  • The Importance of Responsible Tourism in Thailand
  • Ethical Travel Tips – How to Travel With a Better Impact
  • A Visit to an Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai
  • The Human Elephant Conflict in Asia
  • Happy Earth Day – Celebrating Animals of the World in Photos


What is the best charity to give to at Christmas? ›

Toys for Tots

Spread joy this holiday season by helping less fortunate children receive a gift! Toys for Tots has donated presents to more than 280 million children since 1947—making it one of the best charities for children. Consider donating online and sending a personal message to a child in need.

How can I help people during the holidays? ›

But during the holiday season, we are often reminded that it's important to give back.
Below are seven easy ways to do just that by helping our neighbors facing hunger.
  1. Set up a holiday food drive. ...
  2. Teach your kids about hunger. ...
  3. Give a gift that gives back. ...
  4. Volunteer! ...
  5. Become an advocate.
5 days ago

How do I give this Christmas? ›

10 Ways to Give this Christmas
  1. Prepare the Spirit. ...
  2. Time in Prayer. ...
  3. Export Christmas. ...
  4. Invite Someone to Christmas Dinner. ...
  5. Give to Impoverished Children. ...
  6. Tip with Generosity. ...
  7. Show Care for the Orphaned and Elderly. ...
  8. Be a Secret Santa.

What do you give a charity for Christmas? ›

Need. Many charities at different times the of year will disclose what kind of help they need at this time. During Christmas time, gifts, blankets, or canned food may be a priority for charities (while monetary donations are always important).

What can you do for charity for Christmas? ›

You can also dedicate your donation to friends and family, and send them a personalised virtual or printable card.
  • Donate a Christmas present.
  • Make a Christmas charity donation.
  • Buy a Christmas card and make a donation.
  • Donate when you shop on AmazonSmile.
4 days ago

What do you give homeless people on holidays? ›

Gather up some clothes, toys, books, household goods, toiletries, warm clothes, towels, and blankets. Either give them directly to the homeless or to the organizations which work for them.

How do you show kindness during the holidays? ›

Ideas for random acts of holiday kindness
  1. Compliment someone you don't know.
  2. Shovel snow for a neighbor before they wake up.
  3. Donate food to the food pantry.
  4. Help a busy mother in the grocery store (or anywhere else!).
  5. Let someone move ahead of you in line.
30 Nov 2018

How can I make the holidays more meaningful? ›

5 Ways to Make the Holidays More Meaningful
  1. Change Your Expectations. Don't get hung up on what the holidays are supposed to be like and how you're supposed to feel. ...
  2. Start a New Tradition. ...
  3. Find Positive Ways to Remember Loved Ones. ...
  4. Concentrate on Gratefulness. ...
  5. Focus on Giving from the Heart.
12 Nov 2015

What is the 5 gift rule for Christmas? ›

In the 5 Gift Rule, the first four gifts are the same - something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. But the 5th? The 5th is the real winner. It's something they need or want but don't really know it.

What is the greatest gift you can give this Christmas? ›

Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.
The many benefits of giving your time this Christmas
  • A boost to their happiness.
  • A boost to their well-being.
  • A stronger immune system.
  • A reduction in stress levels.
  • Reduced anxiety.
  • More confidence to tackle and resolve issues.
1 Nov 2020

What is the 3 gift rule? ›

One popular tactic is to have your kids narrow their gift lists to just three categories: something they want (say, a new video game), something they need (like a puffer coat) and something to read (the Ramona series has been calling their name).

Is a donation to charity a good Christmas gift? ›

A donation to charity could become a bona fide Christmas present, according to Consumer Reports. "Giving to charity in lieu of, or in addition to, a traditional holiday gift has a lot going for it," the consumer watchdog noted. "It restores the idea that the holidays are about caring for and helping others.

What do you put in a charity Christmas box? ›

Gift Suggestions for Age and Gender
  1. Doll.
  2. Stuffed animal or toy.
  3. Small musical instrument (such as a harmonica or recorder)
  4. Small foam football or tennis ball.
  5. Finger puppets.
  6. Slinky.
  7. Interactive toys that include push buttons, lights, noise (include extra batteries)
  8. Skipping rope.

What is the 4 gift Christmas rule? ›

A trend which has gained traction over the past few years on social media is the "four gift rule". Parents pledge to give their offspring just four presents: Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.

What are some good fundraiser ideas? ›

14 Easy Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas
  1. Donation Jars. In the age of cryptocurrency and digital wallets, we often forget about cash as a quick donation option. ...
  2. Community Yard Sale. ...
  3. 50/50 Raffle. ...
  4. Bake Sale. ...
  5. Concession Stand. ...
  6. Car Wash. ...
  7. Team Trivia Night. ...
  8. Sports Tournament.
13 May 2022

How do you spread kindness at Christmas? ›

12 acts of kindness to do throughout Christmas
  1. Donate to your local food bank. Christmas is a time of giving and sharing. ...
  2. Pass on gifts. ...
  3. Donate pet supplies to your local shelter. ...
  4. Gift a friendship plant. ...
  5. Look out for your elderly neighbours. ...
  6. Gift toys to a children's hospital. ...
  7. Buy The Kindness Elves. ...
  8. Donate to a charity.
9 Dec 2020

What do homeless people request the most? ›

What Do People Experiencing Homelessness Need Most Besides Shelter?
  • Socks. Living on the street, many unsheltered people rarely take their shoes off. ...
  • Personal hygiene items. ...
  • Food. ...
  • Pet food. ...
  • Gift cards and transportation passes. ...
  • Raingear. ...
  • Compassion.

What is a homeless blessing bag? ›

Blessing Bags, also known as Necessity Bags or Care Kits, include a variety of items for people who are homeless, hungry, and in need of basic necessities. You can keep these bags in your car to offer when you see someone asking for help.

What are 10 ways to show kindness? ›

So, if you want to spread good vibes and compassion to the people in your life, here are 10 simple ways to practice kindness every day.
  1. Use Your Manners. ...
  2. Smile at a Stranger. ...
  3. Don't Be Stingy with Hugs. ...
  4. Use Your Coins to Make Change. ...
  5. Send (Real) Cards. ...
  6. Pick up the Phone. ...
  7. Help a Stranger. ...
  8. Bake Cookies or Buy Doughnuts.

How do you show gratitude during holidays? ›

Show gratitude during family meals and help clean the dishes. Enjoy taking time off work. Travel to see loved ones, new places, and experience a change of scenery. Notice the changing of seasons—it's a time of transitions and growth—learn to embrace change.

How do you show appreciation and kindness? ›

Here are a few ways to show kindness every day:
  1. Focus on others. Kindness puts others at the center. ...
  2. Offer a helping hand. ...
  3. Be there to listen. ...
  4. Send care packages—no matter how small. ...
  5. Stay connected. ...
  6. Expect good things to happen and be a positive light. ...
  7. Smile at others. ...
  8. Compliment others.

How do you spend holidays meaningfully? ›

How to spend holidays usefully? Here's how!
  1. Spend quality time with friends and family.
  2. Learn new fun activities.
  3. Earn money (garage sale, lemonade stand, private tutoring, part time jobs, etc.)
  4. Visit museums.
  5. Volunteer.
  6. Improve physical health.
16 Jul 2021

What is the 7 year rule for gifts? ›

The 7 year rule

No tax is due on any gifts you give if you live for 7 years after giving them - unless the gift is part of a trust. This is known as the 7 year rule. If you die within 7 years of giving a gift and there's Inheritance Tax to pay on it, the amount of tax due after your death depends on when you gave it.

How much cash should you give as a gift? ›

An easy rule of thumb is to stay within the average range of $75 to $200, but you can adjust the exact amount based on your personal finances, as well as your relationship with the couple.

What is a thoughtful gift? ›

Whether from a list or from studying their interests, a thoughtful gift shows the recipient that we care for them and want them to feel loved.

Is cash a tacky gift? ›

Giving money as a gift—or even asking for money as a gift—used to be considered tacky. But not anymore. "Money is an appropriate gift," says etiquette expert Elaine Swann, founder of The Swann School of Protocol. "Studies say that it is the most welcomed gift—the one gift that most people want."

Is it better to give a gift or receive one? ›

If you've ever felt like that, then you know it's true: it really is better to give than to receive. There's just a simple joy from giving freely of your time and talents to loved ones. This old saying has ancient roots in many religions. The Bible, the Torah, and the Quran all encourage helping others.

How many gifts is too many for Christmas? ›

Some people say that three gifts are sufficient since that's all the baby Jesus got. Others go by a “rule of four” or seven or 10. And some parents delight in celebrating abundance and want Christmas to be a time of merry excess in contrast to the disciplines of regular life.

How much should you give away for Christmas? ›

Take your total amount you need to save and divide it by the number of months between now and December. For instance, if you need to save $800 in the next 4 months, then divide $800 by 4. You'll need to save $200 each month to reach your Christmas savings goal!

What do Christians donate on Christmas? ›

These were often packages of food, the kind of thing that even the poorest in the congregation could bring. They were Christmas love gifts to be distributed to people in need. This beautiful idea quickly spread around the Christian world in the early 1900s, and is still celebrated today as White Gift Sunday.

Is Toys for Tots a good charity to donate to? ›

Did you know that Toys for Tots is a top rated charity? 97% of your donation goes to our mission of providing toys, books and other gifts to less fortunate children. The 3% spent on support principally covers fundraising expenses – not one donated dollar goes to pay for salaries or any other manpower costs.

What can you not give to charity? ›

Here are some common items that drastically add to disposal costs and should not be donated:
  • Broken or damaged items. ...
  • Incomplete sets or missing parts. ...
  • Food or drink. ...
  • Electricals that can't be PAT tested or are without the mains charger. ...
  • Bedding such as duvets and pillows. ...
  • VHS tapes. ...
  • Poor quality books. ...
  • Towels.

What is the difference between gift and donation? ›

The term 'gift' signifies a personal relationship between the donor and the donee. However, the term 'donation' may not have that personal under current between the person giving the donation and the one who accepts it.

What should I give up for charity? ›

Choose what you're giving up
  • chocolates or sweets: this will be a tough one for anyone with a sweet tooth.
  • coffee from coffee shops: stop yourself from grabbing your daily morning treat for a month or even a year. ...
  • alcohol: a popular one in January or October.
  • buying new clothes: for the shopaholics out there.

How much do you spend per person on Christmas gifts? ›

While the right amount to spend will differ based on your income, cultural norms and other factors, a basic rule of thumb is to spend between $50 and $100 on a gift for a family member and between $20 and $50 for a friend. Buying a gift for a coworker, like an assistant or a boss, usually runs between $20 and $50.

How much money do you spend per child at Christmas? ›

The national average on Christmas gift spending per child is between $200-$300 for the last 5 years. This year is no different, but choosing the amount to spend on Christmas per child is a personal decision with your budget as the main factor.

What gifts can we give the Savior? ›

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can, I give Him—give my heart.” Perhaps the only gift any of us truly have to give our Savior in gratitude for His life and for His infinite and atoning sacrifice is to love as He loved and to serve as He served.

What does the Bible say about giving gifts at Christmas? ›


Romans 12:6 reminds us that God, through Christ, has given each of us gifts to use for his glory. The holidays can be a great time to use your gifts for that purpose — to shine the light on Jesus while bringing joy to other people.

How much does the CEO for Toys for Tots make? ›

Key Employees and OfficersCompensation
14 more rows

How many toys do kids get from Toys for Tots? ›

Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Campaign

The Marine Toys for Tots Program collected and distributed 19 million toys to 7.3 million less fortunate children in this past year allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas and receive a message of hope that otherwise would not have been there.

How do Toys for Tots get distributed? ›

Coordinators pick up these toys and store them in central warehouses where the toys are sorted by age and gender. At Christmas, Coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, distribute the toys to the less fortunate children of the community.


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