Are you stymied on stocking stuffers? Feeling uncreative for Kwanzaa? Need inspiration for that seventh night of Chanukah? Look no further… here are a few ideas to take care of everyone on your list and make the world a better place at the same time. What could be better than that?

1. Bednets and Bracelets:

Imagine if every time you went camping you risked getting malaria in addition to those itchy bites. Why not donate a bed net to someone in Africa who doesn’t have the means to protect themselves and their family from this deadly disease? For the cost of two lattes, one bed net can protect a person in Africa for 3-5 years.  You can get a bed net here or here. If you would rather have something tangible you can get a United Against Malaria bracelet here, where proceeds also go to buy, you guessed it, bed nets.

2. (RED) Shoelaces:

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria helps prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the developing world. With these cool (RED) shoelaces from Nike, you can help fight these terrible diseases and look stylish. You can get them your favorite Nike store.

3. T-Shirts for Everyone:

Measles is a debilitating disease that not only can kill, but those lucky enough to survive can be left with disabilities such as blindness and brain damage.  You can save 81 children in the developing world from getting measles with one t-shirt. You can get your UNICEF t-shirt here.

4. Help a Teacher:

At teachers post classroom projects that they would like to get funded. Donations start at a mere $5 to help a teacher get what they need. You can find a project that you want to support here. If you would like to learn more about click here.

5. The Gift of Self-Reliance:

Heifer International works to end hunger and poverty by helping children and their families receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant.  You can help by choosing and sponsoring an animal to send to one of these deserving families by clicking here.

There are so many wonderful charities out there, and we’ve just chosen a few to highlight, but we wish we could mention them all.  Thank you for reading Impatient Optimists in 2011 and we wish happy holidays to one and all.