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Toronto resident Ellen Reid is giving symbolic acres of land as gifts to 20 people in her life this holiday season because she says her family and friends already have everything they need.


A young girl in Mali, in western Africa, cuddles a newly donated baby goat. (David Ward/World Vision)
Her donation, made to an environmental group in the name of those on her gift list, is designed to create safe havens for vulnerable species in Canada.
Socially responsible gifts are growing in popularity in Canada as people turn to charities and aid groups for what are sometimes called gifts that give twice.
These include gifts that lay eggs, produce milk and provide shade and grow fruit in developing countries, particularly for families in need.
Among the things that Canadians can purchase on behalf of a friend or loved one are two hens and a rooster, a goat, a dairy cow and 10 fruit trees.

In making these types of donations, the giver gets a good feeling while the receiver usually is sent a certificate and details about the project that is being supported. In a very short period, gifts designed to make a difference in the world have become big business.
World Vision Canada, for example, raised more than $15 million last year by selling gifts to nearly 76,000 Canadians through its catalogue. That amount represented a 50 per cent increase over the amount raised the previous year. World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization, with its Canadian headquarters based in Mississauga, Ont.
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Have you given a socially responsible gift? What do you think of the idea?


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