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.
Jedidiah makes clothing and shares its profits with good causes. Every Jedidiah piece is creatively inspired and tied to a cause. What can you buy here? Things that young people will love, from t-shirts and tanks for either gender to accessories such as caps and bags.
Jedidiah is just one of the brands that are part of the Made for Good consortium, a network of brands and nonprofits that don't just add on charitable giving, but that are based on it. The other brands include Beautiful Feet, which sells sandals and t-shirts, donating a matching item to needy children around the world.
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 wishlist of someone you know, TOMS now offers a slick line of fashionable eyewear 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.
Give a child in your life the sweet, cuddly 50th Anniversary bear from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He (she?) is oh so sweet and only $12 or two for $20. 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.
Send holiday cards that remind people of the outdoors. The Sierra Club has just about the greatest line of holiday greeting cards you can imagine. Gorgeous photos of wildlife and scenic wonders by outstanding photographers will get your holiday hello beyond Santa and jingle bells.
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, up to 30% of the purchase price helps the cause. In addition, you can donate directly with 100% of the donation going to the cause; or you can simply visit each site and click the "Click Here to Give" button, which triggers a small donation at no cost to you.