New Facebook feature allows users to make charitable donations through Facebook Gifts

Facebook has launched a new feature that allows you to make charitable contributions through Facebook Gifts.

The test feature is launching with about a dozen partners, including the American Red Cross, Blue Star Families, Boys & Girls Club of America, DonorsChoose.org, Girls Inc., Kiva, Livestrong, Oxfam America, RAINN, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and Water.org.

Facebook Gifts launched in late September, and allows users to send their friends real gifts through the social network. Now, in addition to giving physical presents, you can choose to make a donation in a friend's name.

"With each charitable contribution on Facebook, you can choose which nonprofit you would like to support. Or if you don't know which organization to choose, you can let your friend make the choice," Facebook said in a blog post.

The launch of charitable contributions comes as those on the east coast of the US are dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Facebook said the option will also help its now one billion members "assist those most in need around the holidays."

"We hope that in addition to helping these important organizations raise funds, Facebook Gifts will also raise awareness about the thousands of nonprofits around the world," Facebook said.

Facebook Gifts overall is still rolling out globally and should be available for all members "very soon." When it appears, you'll see a "Give him/her a gift" underneath the birthday, engagement, marriage, and other notices on the top-right menu.