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Dad Doesn’t Need Another Tie: Five Gifts that Give Back

June 17, 2011

Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday, and while CGP would certainly never deny Dads their special day, we do think that there are better ways to honor our fathers than the Ugly Tie.

Not Cool.

Inspired by Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save campaign, we’ve come up with five Father’s Day gifts that improve the lives of people around the globe. You can make a donation of any size, and over many Cups of Tea. Some have been vetted through every charity watchdog group out there. All are charitable foundations that have been highlighted and praised for their work, and although effectiveness was our first guideline, we’ve also tried to find groups that Dad may find interesting.

Here are five gifts that celebrate Dad and all that he stands for:

  • For the ESPN Connoisseur: If Dad’s a baseball fan, he’ll appreciate Pitch In For Baseball. By promoting the quintessential American sport, this nonprofit hopes to instill sportsmanship and a sense of community in countries across the world.  Pitch In helps kids be kids, and for that, we think Pitch In knocks it out of the park.
  • The Outdoorsman: If your dad’s been camping, he has probably experienced the pains of life without toilets. But while a camping trip is only temporary, 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation on a daily basis. Water for People tries to solve this problem by leveraging a public-private partnership to build water infrastructure in communities across Africa, Asia, and South America. With impressive online monitoring tools, focused interventions, and an emphasis on local ownership, we’re confident their work will please every toilet-hogging father.
  • The CrackBerry Addict: In a world of constant connectivity, it’s almost hard to imagine silence. But every year, after natural disasters, thousands are left stranded with no way of contacting their loved ones. Télécoms Sans Frontièrs (Telecom Without Borders) deploys emergency teams and provides satellite phones to disaster areas. With the support of the UN-Vodafone Partnership, TSF has traveled to Libya, Haiti, the Philippines, and elsewhere. They help bring the world together, one cell phone at a time.
  • The Gym-Rat: Did you know that Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie tries to bench-press a weight of 200 lbs more than his age? At 72, he’s still got it. If your dad is equally interested in health, consider an organization like VillageReach. Ranked as one of two Gold Medal organizations by GiveWell.org, VillageReach works to improve access to healthcare in Africa. One of their innovative programs has been a vaccine-supply system that works in tandem with a for-profit energy-supply service, promoting health and jobs.
  • The Day Trader: GiveWell’s top-ranked microfinance organization, the Small Enterprise Foundation works to eradicate poverty through entrepreneurship. Based in South Africa, SEF typically gives small loans to women to fund enterprises like “hawkers of fruits and vegetables and new or used clothing, small convenience shops, and dressmakers.” If your dad likes the smell of cash in the morning, surprise him by supporting fellow capitalists half a world away.

This Father’s Day, don’t just give—give back.
With contributions from Tom Vargas

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