'Tis the season of giving! Finding the perfect gift for a loved one is the greatest feeling in the world. Yet imagine if that same gift could reach out to others, could spread some joy (and money) to strangers who need a little help.
We've discovered a few companies that offer great holiday gift options: from soaps to snacks, flowers to furniture. What makes these selections truly special is that for each purchase, a portion of the profits go straight to well-deserving charitable organizations. If you know of any other great charities, tell us about them in the comments. After all, 'tis the season of giving...back.
Watch for gift guides this December from each of our Editors at AT: Chicago.
• What to Buy (on left): Spa products, including cold-pressed soaps and organic body oils, from The Enterprising Kitchen.
• Who Gets the Money: Profits go straight back to the women who make the products. This local organization works toward providing lower-income women with the opportunity to learn business and life skills, therefore, becoming self-sufficient. • What to Buy (on right): Any of the Sweet Home cookie assortments by Boston sweet shop, Dancing Deer Baking Company.
• Who Gets the Money: 35% of each purchase goes to One Family, a MA organization which strives to end homelessness through job training, education, and child care.
• What to Buy: Sweaters to party dresses; a WHAM! album or a copy of Maxwell's book; tons of unique furniture and lighting; original artwork and racks and racks of dish ware. You can find pretty much anything at the Brown Elephant Resale Shop.
• Who Gets the Money: Each of the four Brown Elephant locations helps support Howard Brown, a health care organization that focuses on the needs and rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
• What to Buy (on left): Chicago-centric holiday/greeting cards designed by young Chicago artists.
• Who Gets the Money: The proceeds get funneled directly back into the Marwen program which provides Chicago youth with 85 separate courses in varied artistic mediums, such as painting, sculpture, and printmaking. • What to Buy (on right): Giftback sells lots of flower arrangements and gift baskets but they also have homegoods, furniture, and jewelry.
• Who Gets the Money: 10% of the cost of any item purchased through this site goes directly to a non-profit organization of your choice, like Habitat for Humanity or NPR.
•What to Buy: The 2008 "A Year on the Land" calendar. Besides 12 months worth of glossy "food porn," the calendar features reminders on when to harvest the broccoli and what time of year to weed your onions.
• Who Gets the Money: Funds go to The Land Connection, an IL organization which works to preserve farmland, train farmers, and support sustainable farming through land conservation.