By Josephine Cusumano
Updated Oct 11, 2013 @ 7:45 pm
Credit: Courtesy (4)

Today marks the third annual International Day of the Girl Child, a day the UN sanctioned in 2011 to recognize the rights and challenges girls from all around the world face. The day is meant to remind us of the fight girls are still fighting, whether it be for the basic right to get an education, improvements in women's health, or programs for child protection against forced child labor and sexual exploitation. But this initiative doesn't just have to be one day, it can be every day -- and you can help improve the lives of girls in developing countries by doing something as simple as shopping! With every purchase of a handcrafted gift from the World Vision gift catalog, including a Thai crafted wooden beaded necklace, a hand-embroidered scarf from Thailand, a silver cuff bracelet designed by artisans in Old Delhi, India, or the popular semi-precious stone and glass bead necklace, all proceeds help fund numerous programs that prevent exploitation and provide basic needs to girls and women. Shopping to help girls run the world? Count us in!

Plus, see other gifts that give back.