Forget That iPod for Christmas: Buy an Ox Instead Alternative Gifts International sends your life-giving gift to a needy world

    WICHITA, Kan., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- If you want to make your holiday
 gifts really count, consider a single present you can simultaneously give to a
 stranger, a friend or family member, and yourself, while making a difference
 that will resonate well past the holiday season.
     Alternative Gifts International (AGI) ( ) has been
 helping people give to worthy organizations around the world -- focusing on
 the hungry, sick, poor, homeless and the environment -- for 20 years. It helps
 match givers with specific choices of how their contributions will be used.
     Once a selection is made and a contribution completed, a card is provided
 that explains exactly what gift was given in the recipient's honor.
     A complete "gift list" is available at .
 Here are some examples:
     -- For less than the price of an iPod Nano, you can buy an ox for a
        Bolivian farmer. This will double the food output for a struggling farm
        family. Or buy a share of an ox for $14. Bolivia has a poverty level of
        70 percent.
     -- For the cost of a necktie, you can provide medicine and therapy to a
        child in the Republic of Georgia suffering from cystic fibrosis.
     -- For the cost of dinner and a movie, women and children threatened with
        blindness in Nepal or Bangladesh get screening and eyeglasses.
     -- In Asia, girls are kidnapped or sold by their families into a life of
        forced prostitution and unimaginable treatment as "sex slaves." A gift
        of $50 helps rescue one girl from these horrors, and $23 provides one
        week of aftercare for one girl.
     -- For between $12 and $68, you can help heal the trauma that former child
        soldiers in Columbia suffer - and provide a safe haven for other
        at-risk children who may be forced into such a life.
     -- In the U.S., poor women get transitional training and a "step up" in a
        job-readiness program that includes skills development, career
        planning, computer courses, parenting education, financial planning and
        more. For $44, one woman receives training, counseling and employment
        for one week.
     Many other choices are available within the categories of hunger, shelter,
 medical assistance, development, peace and justice, environment, child
 survival, sustainable agriculture, education, water, disaster relief and
 "where needed most."
     About AGI
     AGI is a non-profit, interfaith agency. In addition to providing global
 education for people of all ages, AGI raises funds each year in its
 Alternative Gift Markets and from individual donors. Designated grants are
 sent to established international projects of non-profit agencies for relief
 and development. AGI is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2005.

SOURCE Alternative Gifts International

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