I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet. -- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

19 December 2010

Giving Good-Presents for a Better World

Heifer International

It would be nice to think that we Give all year round, not just in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's. We should always reach out, show our affection, remember those who make a difference in our daily lives. We don't always do that though, nor do we stop and remember to care and give in our daily lives to those who may not share our good fortune. No matter what this New Year brings we all have much to share and there are some very simple ways to give. Celebrate the season by cleaning out the closet and donating coats that your kids have outgrown, each time you open a gift, give something away to make room for that gift-that is the tradition of Boxing Day. If you are still shopping then the perfect "Don't Have a Clue" present is a donation to an organization that makes a difference in a child's life such as The New England Home for Little Wanderers, Alex's Lemonade Stand, or First Book where publishers are matching every donation book for book through December 31...This year especially your local Food Pantries are in need as are local shelters...Holiday Season 2010 requires us all to Give!

You can also give when you shop! Now there's a No Brainer!

Here are some organizations and companies that are making a difference through their products and their extraordinary work. Please Support them!

Women for Women International is dedicated to helping women survivors of war and injustice rebuild their lives through a one year program preparing them for independence and leadership. The belief that through educating and training women we can build a better world as women are the force of change. You can give a gift in honor of someone you love that will help women rebuild their lives in post-war Bosnia-give a sewing machine for $75, teach a woman to read for $50, help a woman start a business for $250.

Kate Spade joined with Women for Women in 2005 to build and promote micro-enterprises.  Beginning in 2012 Kate will offer cashmere pieces from Afghanistan.  This season there are several ideas including this Hand in Hand Bangle and yummy scarf/wrap available to give and give back.  This is not a cash donation effort, rather through Hand in Hand Kate Spade is helping women in war torn areas to establish their own financial independence through enterprise.
Dancing Deer Bakery offers Sweet Home Gifts

their charitable initiative offering a collection of yummies with proceeds helping families move out of poverty through their partnership with One Family Inc offering scholarship programs to at-risk mothers and their families

Presents for Purpose

Presents for Purpose brings great gift ideas that each support a special cause .

Partners for Just Trade
builds "partnerships through a just marketplace" offering products from the hands of artisans and farmers around the world.

Some of the best Gifts that Give come from Heifer International 

This Holiday give a Flock of Sheep, a Gaggle of Geese, a Flock of Ducks or my favorite, a Knitting Basket made up of 2 sheep and 2 alpaca.

Kiva has received a lot of notoriety and for good reason--a very simple concept-Loans that Change Lives!  Make a loan to help a business grow.  Through Kiva you can find a micro-businesses across the in 209 countries across the globe, 81% of the businesses that are funded are women-owned businesses- and select which you would like to help.  Kiva organizes it all including repayment, 98% of the loans are repaid, which you can then choose to reloan to another business... You can give a Kiva Gift card and the recipient can then choose the business they would like to help finance...

A great spot to find gifts is your favorite museum shop-These from Museum of Fine Arts. All museums have shops and most have online stores with great gift ideas inspired by their exhibits. Best part-proceeds support your favorite museum!

Truly one of my favorite ideas this year is Generation Cures' Project Good Gift which asks kids to give up a gift this season and have their moms and dads donate to Generation Cures Boston Children's Hospital Fund instead. Generation Cures is a wonderful Project reaches kids through animated stories, games and videos designed by kids to tell stories that help kids learn to care and give back.

Necklace of Courage, Afghanistan Women's Peace Collection

The Women's Peace Collection is dedicated to empowering women in regions of conflict and poverty-Afghanistan, Darfur, Ethiopia, Israel/Palestine... through "sustainable enterprise" and the wonderful products they offer are all handmade by women in these areas with the belief that "...women's hands are a force for peace."

Remember Me Bracelet, Afghanistan

Peace Candle-Israel/Palestine Peace Basket, Darfur

Shop Give is a beautiful line of travel accessories with a portion of proceeds going to designated charities

In this Season of Wrapping Paper, Bows, Shopping Bags and Tinsel...Plant a Tree! Plant a Tree USA sells gift cards to redeem on their site for tree planting-that is giving the future

Global Girlfriend is an organization that supports fair trade and Women entrepreneurs in countries in need throughout the world  

Global Girlfriend is filled with great gift ideas made around the world as they support artisans through Fair Trade, goods which are not only beautiful but provide independence, a living wage and proper working conditions.  You can also give Gifts that Give More -for under $50 you can help build a house in Haiti, fund a mobile health clinic, give a girl shoes to go wear to school...


SU2C-Stand Up to Cancer has teamed up with designers  for their signature line with all proceeds going to a CURE!