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Transforming Lives Through Meaningful Gifts

Transforming Lives Through Meaningful Gifts

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WRITTEN BY Abby Ryckman

Food for the Hungry’s (FH) gift catalog of meaningful gifts make life-changing differences for vulnerable people facing poverty, injustice, and marginalization. Each year the items in it are carefully curated by the countries we serve to include what they need most and every gift has the power to make eternal impact.

How Giving Meaningful Gifts Works 

Ninty-nine percent of FH staff work directly in the 19 countries we serve. Our country teams work closely with the people and leaders in these communities to understand their specific needs to build sustainable resilience to poverty.

In addition to determining what items will make the most meaningful difference, they are also purchased within the local community before they are given to families. So your giving goes on to have an even greater impact to strengthen communities.

Impact From Meaningful Gifts

Hasiaya, 14, and Mahafuza, 36, are two Bangladeshi women whose lives have been impacted by meaningful gifts through FH’s gift catalog.

When Hasiaya was a preteen, her parents almost arranged for her to be married. They could not afford to care for Hasiaya anymore and hoped a husband would provide for her. In her community, women have very few opportunities to earn income. Hasiaya’s options were limited.

However, she was involved in her local FH program and received a meaningful gift – two goats from the gift catalog. Along with the goats, she also learned how to care for them through FH training that supporters like you help make possible through our strengthen community efforts. The profits she made from these livestock enabled her to stay home and continue her education instead of getting married at just 14.

Hasiaya with her goats.
Hasiaya with her goats.

Hasiaya shares, “The positive changes in my personal life and the broader community have filled me with a profound sense of fulfillment and gratitude. … My voice is now heard and my dreams are nurtured, creating an environment where I can thrive.

Mahafuza, a wife and mother, also experienced a life-changing impact that started with the gift of goats. Because of this gift, she went from struggling to provide for her son’s needs to powerfully supplementing her family’s income. Mahafuza sold the goats she was gifted and bought a cow. Later, she sold that cow and purchased a cow and bull. She continues to raise livestock and expand her herd. Mahafuza also raises poultry and grows a vibrant vegetable garden. She took the opportunity she was given with the meaningful gifts from FH and changed her family’s future.

Mahafuza with one of her cows.
Mahafuza with one of her cows.

She shares, “I am now incredibly happy with the positive changes in my life. … My son is excelling in his studies, and our household no longer faces any shortages … I express my deepest gratitude to God for the blessings in my life.”

Transforming Futures for Families and Communities

Hasiaya and Mahafuza are just two examples of people impacted by meaningful gifts that transformed their lived and strengthened their communities. We share these gift ideas with you so you can choose how you will support families and communities to overcome the challenges of extreme poverty.


You are about to embark on a new FH Donor Experience

If you need assistance, please contact us at donorhelp@fh.org or 866-307-3259.

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Gift Policy:
You may send small, flat paper-based items that can fit into a standard #10 size envelope, have a value of less than $5 dollars and weigh less than 4 ounces. We ask that you send small, flat items of this size because shipping is expensive and even small gift items can cause issues clearing customs.
You can send postcards or photographs, however, we ask that you visit here for more details about culturally appropriate guidelines for photos and other images. Please write the child’s ID # on the back of each item that you enclose with your letter to ensure that it reaches him/her.
Best gifts to send your sponsored child:
  • Paper dolls
  • Postcards
  • Pictures of yourself or family
  • Sports cards, individual cards (baseball, soccer, football)
  • Stickers (flat, paper-based, only a few at a time)
  • Paper-based simple bookmarks, stationery, drawing, or writing paper (single sheets)
  • Coloring pages (single sheets, not books)
  • Please do NOT send:
  • Monetary gifts
  • Liquids, candy, or food
  • Batteries or magnets
Please note, all items should be compliant with airline transport and safety regulations. Gifts that don’t meet the gift policy will be donated to a local Christian non-profit organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that works with low-income families. We will not be able to return them.