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December 17, 2008

Gifts That Give Back


Matt Damon on Americans abroad at Condé Nast Traveler's 2008 World Savers Congress. 

In Condé Nast Traveler's September cover story, Matt Damon told us that a chance encounter with a young Zambian villager set him on his current path as founder of H20 Africa, a foundation that supports clean water programs all over the continent.  While we may not have access to Damon's wealth or his A-List friends, many of us--as travelers and as global citizens--have been similarly touched on our own road trips.  So this year, why not consider giving a gift that gives back?

You love: A world full of healthy children
Give to: Condé Nast Traveler's Five & Alive Fund
Why: Nearly 11 million children die every year before the age of 5 and almost all from preventable causes

You love: Ghanaian kenkey bread
Give to: Hot Bread Kitchen
Why: The bakery preserves culturally diverse breadmaking techniques and ingredients, gives jobs to immigrant women, and hopes to provide its bakers with ongoing ESL classes

You love: Rhinos and tigers and polar bears--oh my!
Give to: The World Wildlife Fund
Why: To protect the future of nature

You love: That after all these years, David's pecs are still in good form
Give to: Fondo per L'Ambiente Italiano
Why: According to our resident Italy expert, the group does a great job of conserving gorgeous churches, historic houses, and monuments

You love: Sprawling views, not views of sprawls
Give to: The Nature Conservancy
Why: The conservancy teams up with organizations all over the world to buy wilderness areas that would otherwise be subject to development

Check the Daily Traveler tomorrow for more ways to give back.

Further reading:
* OneXOne, another of Damon's passion projects
* Condé Nast Traveler's 2008 World Savers Awards
* Make a Difference: Resources for caring travelers

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