I read about this in Metro-Parent, a Portland parent magazine. A great gift for the holidays is a "Mercy Kit," which helps do various things for people all over the world. For example, the Children's Food Kit ($25) helps to meet children's food needs in countries like Niger and Guatemala. There's a Family Garden Kit ($40) that helps to support families in being self-sufficient by building and maintaining gardens. There's even a Breastfeeding Kit ($75) that helps to train breastfeeding counselors in Jakarta. And, if you want to pool money with friends or make a large company donation, the Health Clinic Kit ($2500) helps to build and maintain health clinics in poverty stricken parts of the world.
I think my 9-year-old daughter, Tania, will really love spending money on something like this.