All I want for Christmas is … a goat

Sooke residents open their wallets up to World Vision and the world's needy

When it comes to Christmas shopping, we’re usually talking about items like a new TV, a toy, furniture, perfume or a sharp-looking pair of jeans.

It’s all great stuff, but what if you could give a gift that would not only be invaluable, but would also make a huge difference in a person’s life. Like a goat. A chicken. Or, perhaps, a pair of fruit trees.

This is possible though World Vision’s gift catalogue (worldvision.ca/gifts) where you can purchase an item on someone’s behalf, such a goat, and the “honoree” receives a card saying a goat has been given in their name to a family in a developing country.

After all, there’s no greater gift than knowing your gift will feed a family for a year, or provide a source of income for many years.

Bet you a shiny new ipod can’t do that.

And Sookies are already ahead of the curb this year, with 30 locals donating $4,300 worth of items.

“With those 30 people who have given gifts, that’s 30 families around the world who’ve been impacted and they’ve made a positive difference for,” said Genevieve Barber, World Vision communications manager.

The generosity isn’t exactly surprising, as a recent survey by Ipsos Reid, a Canadian research company, shows 65 per cent of B.C. residents prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else, rather than another traditional gift like clothes or electronics.

And the person who receives these gifts really feels like a difference being made, as  the WV’s support in its line of communities (which is in 100 countries around the world) doesn’t just drop off a goat, or a jug of water on their doorstep, but helps people become self-sustaining, noted Barber.

“They’re getting the training on how to properly take care of the chickens, how to breed them, and maybe even start a small business,” she said.

Last year, British Columbians bought more than 8,800 essential items from the World Vision gift catalogue — tangible donations for children and families in developing countries like livestock, clean water, access to education and medical supplies.

Livestock items are popular, including nutritional items such as fruit trees and agricultural packs. Some medical-use items and educational items, as well as water are also hot on the list.

Categories are broken up between animals, education, health and nutrition, hand crafted gifts, agriculture and clean water, all of which add up to around 70 items to choose from.