This Holiday Season, in the wake of the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and Rita and World Poverty, people are looking differently at possessions. They are seeing that life itself is more important than mere things. According to retail expert Francey Smith, gift giving this Christmas and Hanukkah season will be connected to products that give back to worthy causes. “Children will still be getting their biggest dreams fulfilled at the retail level, but adults will be making a shift as our country’s conscious is with those in need.” From the natural disasters we have experienced to breast cancer, teen suicide, poverty and domestic violence, Smith has compiled a top twelve list of holiday gifts ideas that give back.
1. Stevie Wonder’s uplifting “Shelter In The Rain,” is an inspiring and timely anthem featuring gospel legend Kirk Franklin directing the angelic chorus on a song cited as a humanitarian ode of healing for victims and survivors of the devastating hurricanes continuing to ravage the gulf coast. Net proceeds from the sale of this single are going to Wonder’s charity organization “The Wonder Foundation”, which is earmarking the donations for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
2. Lance Armstrong Foundation’s wristbands available at http://www.store-laf.org/wristbands.html have all proceeds going to cancer research. According to Livestrong.org, the LAF currently sells about 125,000 of the yellow wristbands every week.
3. Newman’s Own® Organic and U.G.L.Y.’s “Chocolate & Chuckles” is a new product combo that is this holiday season that will have the family giggling while they enjoy sumptuous chocolate. Available at http://www.heyugly.org for $25.00, proceeds from Chocolate and Chuckles benefits two wonderful nonprofits. Paul Newman gives away all his royalty payments after taxes from the chocolate sales to educational and charitable organizations and proceeds from “Laugh It Off” CD containing 60 minutes of contagious laughter benefits HeyUGLY.org, a 501C3 non-profit that empowers teens with self-esteem building tools, to help them counter challenges such as eating disorders, bullying, violence, substance abuse and suicide.
4. Salma Hayek and the Avon Foundation are working together to raise funds for Speak Out Against Domestic Violence with a rubber bracelet for $3.00. 66% of each purchase supports the cause.
5. The DVD, “Things you should know before entering the hospital,” was made to address the alarming news that 2 million people contract infections and 98,000 people die in hospitals each year due to medical errors. The film contains step-by-step advice on how to keep yourself and family members safe if they have to be hospitalized. $2.00 from each DVD sold at http://www.patientsafetyvideo.com is being donated to Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS). CAPS works with hospitals to stop medical errors.
6. Jones New York’s “In the Classroom” program has created a fundraising T-shirt designed by Ryan McGinness and modeled by Brooke Shields. The T-shirt, available at http://www.jnyintheclassroom.org, is $20 and proceeds aid the organization’s mission to improve the quality of education for America’s children.
7. At http://www.polo.com you can buy the “Fashion For Relief” Tee-shirt designed by Ralph Lauren. Fashion For Relief is an initiative organized by Naomi Campbell, and all profits from the sale of this $35.00 t-shirt will be donated to AmeriCares’ hurricane relief efforts.
8. ALDO and YouthAIDS’ stylish “Empowerment Dog Tag” necklace helps raise awareness and necessary funds to help save lives around the world. The $5.00 “Empowerment Tags” available at http://www.youthaids.org, are engraved with “Hear”, “See”, or “Speak” on one tag, and the AIDS ribbon on the other. 100% of net proceeds goes towards the education and the protection of vulnerable young people via YouthAIDS, which is run in over 60 countries.
9. Penny Block, author of “A Banquet of Health,” cookbook, available at http:/www.blockmd.com for $17, is donating $5.00 for each cookbook sold during the Holiday season to “Living Beyond Breast Cancer,” a nonprofit organization that empowers all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. The cookbook contains over 200 tantalizing recipes, including many of the world’s favorite traditional dishes, only with a healthy twist.
10. Pink rubber boots made by Hunter boots are benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Available at http://www.hunterboots.com for $94, the company is donating $50,000 for every 10,000 pairs sold.
11. Totes pink umbrella which is available at http://www.totes.com for $24. Totes is donating a portion of the proceeds to organizations dedicated to raising funds to help fight breast cancer.
12. Magnolia pins are handmade with silk resting on a velvet leaf. The beautiful pin is approximately 4 inches and available at http://www.michelleroydesigns.com for $28. All profits go the Red Cross in their efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.
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