With so many charities and foundation vying for attention during the holidays, and some ringing bells in our faces, how do you choose which to support and which to walk away from? Well, if you are seriously looking for me to answer that for you, find another blog, because that is an absurd request. You need to find an organization that is either close to your heart or a cause you believe in. If you give back based on one or both of these notions, you will be giving for the right reasons and truly gain some pride knowing that you helped someone less fortunate than yourself. Another way to give, which is a fairly new concept is through the companies themselves when you purchase their products. It is a great way to give to those you care about while giving back and supporting great causes worldwide.
Here are some great charitable gifts!
The Gift: TOMS
The Price: $48+
Everyone has heard of TOMS—the simplistic shoe that took the U.S. by storm. TOMS has always been a charitable company and they donate a pair of shoes for every one purchased. They donate shoes to over 60 countries across Africa, South America, Asia and other areas worldwide. They have evolved since their inception to include men’s, women’s and children’s shoes in many styles and sizes. So, if you are looking for a simple gift, maybe last minute, that will be functional and good looking, these could be for you.
The Gift: Apple: Product Red
They have iPhone cases, iPad covers, an iPod Nano, Touch, & Shuffle
Some people would probably lay down their lives for anything from the late Steve Jobs’ prized company; others run the other way when the words Apple are even whispered near them. Either way, they started a great program called (Product)RED. For every purchase of (Product)RED merchandise, Apple donates proceeds of that sale to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. This has been an organization around for some time and AIDS has been an ongoing battle worldwide. If you are thinking of buying someone the new iPhone, or latest “i” product, think about purchasing from the (Product)RED program to help support a long lasting cause.
The Price: $60
The One Million Lights program is a unique foundation that has a great cause. They want to replace the kerosene lamps and other dangerous light sources from those that are still unfortunate to have electricity. They aim to provide clean and healthy lighting worldwide. If you need a gift for that outdoorsman or woman, hiker, or a good emergency gift to keep in someone’s car, that will last for hours, this is the one. Give a nice gift and help everyone to see a brighter future—get it?
The Gift: One World Futbol Project
The Price: $39.50
You probably think I just spelled “football” wrong—well this is actually the proper way to spell soccer around the world and with the World Cup around the corner, why not give a gift that will get someone in the mood. The One World Futbol Project donates their very unique ball, that doesn’t need to be pumped and never goes flat, to places like refugee camps, war zones, disaster areas, and inner cities. This is a great cause and if you give this to a young kid, who knows, you could be forming the next Pelé.
If none of these items tickle your fancy, there are literally dozens upon dozens of others. They may take some time to search for, but if you are serious about giving a gift that helps to give back, then you will find them. Here is a list with a few of these items and some other unique gifts http://mashable.com/2010/11/07/buy-one-give-one/. The holidays are about giving, and with this style of giving you are able to give twice without batting an eye—so be creative and research some of the great gifts out there that will make a difference.