Friday, December 4, 2009

More Gifts that Give Back

If you are like me you're probably having a mini-panic attack that it's already December 4th and you have no idea what to get anyone if anything for Christmas. With money being tight all around it's enough to just call the whole gift giving thing off and celebrate just being with friends and family. I've decided however, that if I am going to get someone something it's going to be a damn good present that actually means something not just a mass produced P-O-S that is going to break or be forgotten about a month from now. I'm talking about a fabulous gift too and not something that just donates $1 to charity...because it's Christmas damnit and I want to make a difference! (isn't that the point after all?)

So after a little research I found these fabulous causes. The first is the gift of.....


This is actually a beehive kit from and it costs $65 and it benefits indigenous families in Guatemala and Honduras. Most of the families here live in isolated rural areas and subsist mostly on the meager crops they grow. Raising bees is one way Mercy Corps helps indigenous families in these two Central American countries increase their household income so their children can enjoy better healthcare and more educational opportunities. Chad and I had a bee theme going on through our wedding so for some reason this particular kit really "speaks" to me. I just love the idea of raising bees which not only helps the environment but also helps the people who raise them. Brilliant! If you are too cheap to spring for the bee kit you can always go for the $18 Emergency Food kit which provides non-perishable food items like pasta, rice, beans, and cooking oil to families recovering from crisis involving conflict or natural disasters. The website also has a drinking water kit for $20 or a rice kit for $29 among many others. Once you purchase your kit the person you are sending it too will get a card (like the bees pictured above) telling them all about what a fabulous thing you did for them in their name!

Of course, there are some people (Ok I'm guilty as well) who like to give but also like to get say, more than a greeting card in return. And being the holiday season who couldn't use a little bit of this:
Who doesn't like a nice bottle of wine? Now what if this bottle of wine was helping your favorite cause? No guilty drinking here! I found this at For each bottle of wine purchased half of all the proceeds go to the charity YOU select based on the wine you buy. So as you can see here I am featuring the Support our Troops Zinfandel because my brother-in-law is fighting overseas right now and I felt that this would just make an awesome gift for my sister. They also have wine that supports AIDS, breast cancer, autism and saving the planet. You can buy each individually for $18.99 or buy a gift pack of all of them for $120. The best part is if you buy 12 bottles or more you get 1 cent shipping. Now honestly I've paid a lot more for some not so great wine in my life and here you can buy one of these bottles, that's not even that expensive and feel good about donating to a worthy cause. Everyone wines (I mean wins...right?)
And if you aren't a wine lover or a fan of bees and rice patties you can certainly appreciate a good pair of shoes. (who doesn't love a new pair right?) Well at they have made doing good very simple for you, for every pair of their shoes you buy they donate one pair to a child in need. You can even go on their website and see all these adorable kids in these rocking shoes and if that doesn't make you feel happy about yourself nothing will. Compared to what we normally spend on shoes (ladies I'm talking to you) these really aren't expensive at all. I saw a few cute pairs for $44 and I just spent about $10 less than that at Old Navy and I didn't help anyone with that purchase. (the guilt is setting in)

You don't have to look very hard to find some extremely worthwild causes out there and my philosphy is if you are going to help yourself, why not go a little bit further and help someone else in return. And if you are wondering what to tell grandma who keeps nagging you what you want for christmas...well I hope you found some great inspiration here...

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