Just 19 shopping days ’til Christmas and 15 days to Hanukah, but what’s a socially-conscious giver to give this season?
Here are five fun ideas, appropriate for Christmas or Hanukah, with something for almost anyone on your list. All are gifts that give twice; once for your intended and once for a worthy cause.
- The Camelbak Groove water bottle, in either stainless steel or plastic generates a $10 donation to the nonprofit Water.org, whose mission is to bring high quality water to the billion people or so worldwide without ready access to it. Both versions are BPA-free, have a limited-edition design that would be equally at home on the desktop or in the Outback and feature Camelbak’s easy to use valve. But they come with a little something extra: Matt Damon’s sincere thanks. Like few entertainers around, Damon is devoted to his cause. So much so that he’s listed as a co-founder. Available at Amazon.com and Camelbak.com.
- A number of charities and causes put out special catalogs in the holiday season. My desk has a stack that includes catalogs from UNICEF, the Smithsonian, the Met and others. But my favorite may be The Most Important Catalog in the World from Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International gives families in 50 countries “wealth on the hoof” in the form of animals that produce milk, eggs, transportation or the like. And, when the time comes, meat that can be eaten or sold. The catalog has something all across the price range. For example, a full share of a heifer costs $500, while a flock of ducks is $20. Partial shares are less. Available at Heifer.org.
- Back in 2004, the Livestrong yellow silicon bracelets became a totemic fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Everybody who was anybody seemed to be sporting them. Now Starbucks wants to brew up similar results to boost the still-sagging United States economy by selling for $5 woven wristbands in the patriotic color combination of red, white and blue. The money goes to the Opportunity Finance Network, an umbrella group of nearly 200 community development financial institutions, which provides financial and lending services to the underserved, especially small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the American economy. Available at 6,800 company-operated Starbucks outlets and at CreateJobsforUSA.org.
- Buy a pair of Oboz shoes or boots and the Bozeman, Mont., company will plant a tree. Cool enough, right? Better still, the benefiting cause, Trees for the Future, thinks of trees much the same way that Heifer International thinks about domesticated animals; that is, as a provider of wealth for local families in the developing world. Think about it; in addition to the environmental benefits of removing greenhouse gasses from the air, trees also provide fruits and nuts, fuel, sap, windbreaks, shade, fertilizer, fodder, a protective canopy for other plants, and more. In its 22 years, Trees for the Future has planted 50 million trees in 12,000 villages in 58 countries. Oboz shoes are available at select retailers nationwide, or online at Oboz.com.
- Kiehl’s since 1851, the premium cosmetics brand, has an almost cult-like following for its Crème de Corps body lotions. Now in benefit of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, pop artist Jeff Koons has designed limited-edition labels and bottle toppers … inspired by his famous balloon sculptures … for select Crème de Corps products. One hundred percent of profits from the sales of Koons-designed bottles of Crème de Corps benefit the cause. Available at Kiehl’s retail stores, select department store cosmetics counters, and online at Kiehls.com.