Shopping for good is more popular than ever, and there have never been so many ways to do it. So why not ditch the guilt and make a purchase that combines the good feelings of gift-giving and charitable giving?
Any holiday will do, as well as all of our personal celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. To make things super easy, here are suggestions for online shopping so you can just click, wrap, give, and feel good. Get started today!
"Fighting for an AIDS Free Generation" around the world, Product (RED) covers a big selection of name-brand products. Choose from iPads to laptops, from sneakers to watches, from Starbucks coffee to t-shirts from the Gap. All purchases trigger a donation towards the elimination of AIDS. The amount of the donation varies among the brands and products.
Slavery still exists in many forms and in many places. Punjammies is a shopping site that supports the International Princess Project. It helps victims of sex slavery in India to escape and build new lives.
The signature product here is punjammies, pajama bottoms that are comfortable and beautiful. Get them in long, short or capri. Wear, enjoy, feel good about helping girls and women.
For more clothing and accessories, check out the fashion channel at Global Goods Partners. This site works for the economic betterment of women and girls by selling handmade, fair trade products. It works with artisan groups that employ more than 3,000 women in some 20 countries
TOMS Shoes is famous for one type of unique, super-simple shoe (in a jillion variations), and, for every pair sold, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need somewhere in the world. Buy a pair of shoes for someone you love and enclose the TOMS Shoes story in the package.
If sunglasses are on the wish list of someone you know, TOMS offers a slick line of fashionable ones that supports the company's newest charitable mission - the gift of sight. For every pair of glasses sold, TOMS will help one person somewhere to achieve better vision. That might be through giving a pair of glasses, providing eye exams, or even providing surgery to those who need it. What a deal.
Have a child who loves beads? Give him or her this cool Alphabet Jewelry Bead Box from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Irresistible designs and colors for your little fashionista. The money goes to help the children at St. Jude.B.Toys, a toy company that donates to Free the Children when its toys are purchased, has incredibly cute educational toys. Many of the toys can be bought online through various online retail outlets.
At Losinoni Primary School, located in a remote village in Tanzania, many of the school's 700 students walk more than five miles to attend class every day. When AfricAid volunteers visited the school in 2003, they encountered overcrowded classrooms with few school supplies. AfricAid partnered with the village to improve the school and encourage attendance.
Written in collaboration with 61 Losinoni students and illustrated by Penny Weber, "On My Way to School" gives American children a colorful glimpse into Losinoni students' multiple mile trek to school from their remote village. All proceeds from sales of this delightful book support AfricAid's ongoing projects at Losinoni Primary School.
Do you ever dream about Australia? Know someone who does?
Support The Wilderness Society in Australia by shopping for gifts in their online shop.
Give The Wilderness Society Calendar for 2014 to remind your favorite adventurer of what lies in wait there. Or pick outdoor clothing, note cards, diaries, or toys like scary Tasmanian Devils or cuddly Koalas.
Think big and adventurous. You'll help preserve one of the great wilderness places. Just browsing this shop is thrilling and fun!
Purchase the card and then the recipient can pick a project from the website. It might be to provide basic materials like pencils, or to buy musical instruments, or to get samples for a biology project. The donor receives photos of the project, a report showing how the money was spent, and even thank-you letters from the students.
Another popular gift card is the The Good Card. It can be ordered online from NetworkforGood.org. You can send it via email or actually have a plastic card sent to you (how about a stocking stuffer for the holidays?) or to the recipient of your choice. The gift card can then be redeemed right online to support a specific charity.
Every time you purchase an item from one of these sites, a portion of the purchase price helps the cause. In addition, you can donate directly with 100% of the donation going to the cause by clicking on the "Gifts That Give More" button on each shopping page.
GoodShop lets you shop more than 2800 stores online and designate a portion of your purchase to your choice of its 100,000 affiliated charities and schools. Similar sites include ShopAnthropy; GiftBack.com; and iGive.com.
Are you an online auction junkie? You can shop for good by buying or selling at eBay's Giving Works. Sellers can choose to donate a portion of what they receive for items to charities that have been screened by PayPal Giving Fund, eBay's nonprofit partner. Goodwill also has an excellent auction site.
If you're a heavy user of Amazon, don't miss the opportunity to give back at its cause-related site, AmazonSmile. You can pick a charity and Amazon will give a small portion of many of your items' purchase price to it.