If you're looking for a convenient way to help impoverished people in third world countries, I want encourage you to take a look at Mi Esperanza (My Hope). I first became acquainted with this project when I was in Honduras, where it is based.
This is spear headed by Lori Connell, who is a wonderful Christian woman. They work with women in Honduras, teaching them trades, so that they can have a way to support themselves, and hopefully even prosper. They've done everything from tortilla making, to sewing, to peanut roasting. On the website, you can purchase items of clothing and jewelry that these women make. If you're looking for a meaningful gift for someone this year, this might be something to consider.