Gifts That Give Back


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When you find yourself in the chaos and madness of Holiday shopping this year, remember that there is an alternative to mall madness—why not give a gift that gives back? These ten companies benefit various causes that depend on your kindness. Some offer unique goods with the proceeds going to charity while others will allow you to make a donation in your loved one’s name. Show your special someone you care about the causes near to their heart.

Global Girlfriend
This vendor specializes in green apparel and accessories made by women in need. Every purchase made through Global Girlfriend will go towards supporting the global women’s economy and a portion of the proceeds to go Campaign for Female Education, an organization that works towards ending poverty in Africa through education of girls and women. (globalgirlfriend.com)

Tea Collection
Not only is Tea Collection’s clothing line for tots absolutely adorable, the company is also partnered with an extensive list of organizations for children such as The Global Fund for Children, CarbonFund.org and March of Dimes. With their helpful holiday gift guide, you can make sure your favorite little niece doesn’t give you the stink-eye this year. (teacollection.com)

Kiva
In a stride to fight poverty, Kiva aims to connect real people who wish to lend money to entrepreneurs in need of support. Kiva’s directory allows you to browse profiles to learn about the organization and person whom you chose to aid. While Kiva itself has already pre-screened candidates before posting their information, you can then choose which party is right for your contribution. (kiva.org)

Lesbian Fun World
The snarky t-shirt is as all-American as apple pie, so why not stick with a classic gift that gives along the way? Lesbian Fun World’s selection of Sapphic-positive shirts (they’ve even got some L Word tees) are perfect for the living-out-loud woman in your life. The company donates a minimum of 10 percent of its proceeds per year to various charities such as Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives, World Wildlife Fund and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. (lesbianfunworld.com)

Heifer International
While many world hunger organizations aim at providing food to developing countries, Heifer International’s goal is donation of materials and education to help the hungry become self-sustaining and thriving. Their online gift catalogue will allow you to purchase gift packages including milk and wool-producing animals or just shares of whole packages. Each purchase includes an e-card for you to address to your loved one that tells them you have made a donation in their name. (heifer.org)

Dog Fostering
With animal shelters over-crowded nationwide, many of them are recruiting volunteers for temporary dog fostering until a permanent home can be found. Help prevent euthanasia while gaining a companion. Contact your local Humane Society to be matched with a dog in need. If you are a new dog-mama, they can also provide useful tips to help ease the transition. (humanesociety.org)

Green Belt Movement
GBM’s goal is to provide economic growth to the people of Kenya through tree planting. The organization also aims to educate Kenyan citizens on women’s rights and civic empowerment. To contribute, you can simply donate directly or you can participate in “gift matching” where your employer or company can match your own contribution. (greenbeltmovement.org)

Local Harvest
Does your loved one have a passion for fresh, organic foods? You can purchase a Community Supported Agriculture certificate and have delectable items delivered to their home while supporting local farms. (localharvest.org)

One Laptop Per Child
Providing learning tools to the world’s most impoverished children is this company’s mission. By donating $199, you will provide one child with a built-for-toughness laptop complete with engaging educational content. If, however, that price tag is too steep, you can donate any amount or even your used vehicle, which will fund several laptops. (laptop.org)

Product (RED)
Just to make sure we haven’t all forgotten about U2’s Bono and his groundbreaking African relief project, check out the newest RED products, which provide 100 percent of the proceeds to the fight against AIDS in Africa. With products from brands like Armani and Gap to choose from, why isn’t this your first stop for online shopping? (joinred.com)

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