This holiday season, why not shop for gifts that give back to charity, or help the environment? There are so many websites and catalogs that can add a ray of hope to those in need.
There are many options when it comes to how to spread your goodwill — from proceeds for holiday greeting cards that can save a child’s life to donating at your local pet store that can aid animal shelters. Here is our list of suggestions:
You can buy finely-crafted holiday cards with the option to add your own photos and holiday greetings. Each purchase brings clean water, basic medical care, and education for children in 150 countries. To find out which cards can help, visit www.unicef
Why not buy a fabric bracelet with a nice print or a tie-dye scarf from Kenya? These gifts are fair trade products that play a role in poverty reduction and empowering female artisans in the poorest of countries. For more, visit www.Global
From candles to ornaments, each item purchased from Susan G. Komen For the Cure goes to breast cancer research and education. There’s also a beautiful tie for Dad. To shop, visit www.shopkomen.org.
Buying from Women’s Peace Collection helps women rebuilding their lives in the shadow of war, civil strife, or crippling poverty. The gifts purchased from this fair trade website celebrate women, peace, and enterprise around the world. For info, visit www.womens
The wines at Charity wines benefit celebrities’ charities. That’s something to toast to. To see a selection, visit www.charit
With every rugged Malpai shirt purchased, Orvis Company will make a donation to the non-profit Malpai Borderlands Group, which protects the land and wildlife of the Arizona-New Mexico border. For info, visit www.orvis.
St. Jude Doctor Dolls and “Mommy and Me” aprons make wonderful holiday gifts for your little ones. All proceeds benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which treats children with life-threatening illnesses. For more, visit shop.stjude.org.
Buy your child a new pair of shoes and TOMS Shoes gives a matching pair to a child who would otherwise go barefoot. Find a pair at www.tomsshoes.com.
Why not buy your cat or dog a first aid kit, animal tag, or toy from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? All proceeds fight cruelty to animals. Visit www.aspca.org.
If you don’t have time to bake for Santa this year, you can purchase chocolate chip cookies and brownies from Dancing Deer Baking Company — 35 percent of all proceeds go toward scholarships to help homeless families establish stable lives and move into homes of their own. For info, visit www.dancingdeer.com.
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So check your list for who has been naughty or nice, and shop where the gifts keep giving long after the holiday season has ended. Happy shopping, and happy holidays!
Mary Tomasulo is a freelance writer from Brooklyn. She has four daughters and a cat named Max.
©2011 Community News Group