So here we are. It’s holiday season again…and you need to find that perfect gift. Here in New York City, lines and lines of people wait to see the festive window displays on 5th Avenue, unimaginable crowds snap photos in front of the Rockefeller Christmas tree, and someone is hosting a different holiday party each night. Now if you’re like me, you wait until the last minute to buy gifts for your loved ones! To avoid the crowds and the stores, I prefer to do my shopping from the comfort of my own home. As I was looking through the million “gifts that give back” lists, we thought it would be cool to share some new products and organizations you might not know about…but that anyone on your holiday list will love. Now, I’m not saying I don’t love TOMS Shoes or FEED bags, but here are some new and unique gift ideas for your loved ones this holiday. Enjoy!
For your Family Member, Mentor or Boss
Let’s Get Ready: College Access
Let’s Get Ready is an amazing organization that wants to see a day when all students, no matter what socioeconomic background, can have the support they need to reach college. The Mission of Let’s Get Ready is to expand college access for motivated, low-income high school students by providing FREE SAT preparation and college admission counseling. Let’s Get Ready relies on a cadre of student volunteers, or “coaches” to be mentors and role models in order to achieve its mission. Here’s what your money can provide:
$50 provides all books and materials for a Let’s Get Ready student.
$100 supports a training session for our college Coaches.
$250 funds a program graduation ceremony (including diplomas and refreshments).
$500 sponsors one Let’s Get Ready student.
Visit www.letsgetready.org to donate in a loved one’s name and help a student go to college.
For your Best Friend, Sister, Significant Other
Nomi Network*: Job Creation for Survivors of Human and Sex Trafficking
Did you know there are more humans in slavery today than ever in history? According to the UN, there are over 27 million slaves and trafficking is a $32 billion dollar business. Nomi Network was created to address this issue and is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty that perpetuates human trafficking globally. Specifically, Nomi Network leverages the fashion industry to implement product design, development and marketing strategies for slave-free products.
This process creates employment and career development opportunities for women who are survivors and/or at risk of being trafficked. Nomi also manufactures products with its signature label, “Buy Her Bag, Not Her Body ®” to raise awareness about this global humanitarian issue. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these bags provide wages, healthcare, childcare, transportation, and meals for the women in South East Asia. Visit www.nominetwork.org to donate or purchase slave-free products at www.buyherbagnotherbody.com .
For your Client, Family Friend, or In Laws
ONEHOPE Wines: Cancer, Veterans, Autism support
ONEHOPE is a great example of companies who build in philanthropy into their business model, much like TOMS, Warby Parker, and many other socially conscious companies we love. ONEHOPE was started by eight friends who created a thriving business from wanting to support a friend who was fighting cancer. They believe that giving back is good business. What’s amazing is that 50% of their profits will be donated to deserving causes, including issues such as children’s health, veteran’s support, autism, cancer, among others.
To date ONEHOPE has raised over $400,000 for a wide range of charity organizations. This holiday, you can give your co-worker, family member or loved one with a great bottle of wine that gives back! Wines starting from $18.99, with a minimum of $3 to a non-profit, can be purchased online at www.ONEHOPEWine.com.
For your Co-Worker, Sister-In-Law or Friend
Made With Love: Women and Children
My secret is out. This is one of my all-time favorite cause-related product site. Made with Love is a global initiative that is dedicated to raise awareness and funds for NGO’s (non governmental organizations) helping women and children in Brazil, African and Haiti, a country very close to my heart. The production and sales of these products provide fair wages.
Made With Love works through the Cygnet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-for-proﬁt public foundation, which through the proceeds realized from art-related programs, seeks to help those in need – principally children and women, the homeless and the hungry as well as abandoned or endangered animals. www.cygnetfoundation.org
For your College Student, Hipster, Friend
UNICEF and Threadless Good Shirts: Children in the Horn of Africa
Ok, I know this post is supposed to about organizations you probably haven’t heard of, but I couldn’t resist my last pick. Disclaimer: I used to work here, so I am a bit biased, again. Currently, over 13 million people are affected by the emergency in the Horn of Africa. That’s more than the population of New York City and Houston combined! To aid children in famine and drought-affected areas of the Horn of Africa, the very cool company, Threadless and BBH New York have partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to release Good Shirts. For a donation of $18.57, which is the exact cost of three insecticide treated mosquito nets, supporters receive a t-shirt featuring a foiled mosquito.
One hundred percent of donations go to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support lifesaving relief efforts for children in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Every Good Shirt is a chance to wear something good. They are available at www.threadless.com/UNICEF .
There you have it. Feel good about giving one of these gifts that gives back, learn about a new cause and who knows, maybe it will inspire you to do more! Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!
*Disclaimer: I volunteer for this organization