Well, having poked around a bit, and finally heard them recommended on NPR and by pagan groups who, like me, want to help out but feel a tad twitchy about overtly religious organizations, I made my charitable choice of the season and donated half a llama to a family in a developing country. (Because c’mon. Who doesn’t llove a llama?) If you’re looking for a charity, these guys have the enormously practical notion of getting livestock (and training in breeding and how to care for them) for people who need ‘em.
I wish I could have afforded a whole water buffalo, but James has fond memories of llamas, so we went with that. You can buy shares of the animals if you can’t afford an entire goat, for example, and they do have a number of animals (including bees) that will not be primarily used for meat, for people who would prefer not to send an animal out to be eaten.
Kinda wish I’d have thought of this before this late a date, if I’d had enough forethought, I would have done a commission drive–I may still do that at some point, since they’re a year-round organization, and I think it’s an eminently practical approach to the whole issue. Worth checking out! (And next year, if they’re not careful, all those people I don’t know who to get gifts for may get a note saying that they bought someone an eighth of a goat…)
Edit: It occurs to me–if anybody else has any good charities to suggest, shoot!