Charitable Gift Giving

We surf the Web to find good products that help out a great cause.

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Baby Socks that Help Charity

December 30th, 2021 · Uncategorized

If there’s one gift that every parent of a newborn needs, it’s baby socks. Thin ones, thick ones, ones with rubber things on the soles, long ones, short ones, cute ones, colorful ones, and more. It’s a gift that is both practical while letting you express how much you care. Your gift recipient will think fondly of you every time they slip the socks onto their baby.

You could go to your local Carter’s, pay 25 cents for a pair of socks, and throw them in an old shoebox. But that sentiment would be worth about as much as you paid for the socks.

Or you could buy socks from Sticky Be Socks. They have a wide selection of socks of many styles and colors, all packaged beautifully in an attractive presentation box that makes a perfect gift for a baby shower or newborn baby.

As the name implies, each pair of socks is no-slip, which is perfect especially as baby grows older and starts to crawl, walk, or run on your hardwood or linoleum floors. The little rubbery grips help keep the little one stable and the socks themselves are made of the highest quality materials.

The company was founded by Nancy Giftos, a Pilates and yoga instructor. Her company develops socks not just for babies, but for grown-ups too (yes, we can slip and fall too).

What I love about the baby socks is that for every pair sold, a pair is also donated to Baby2Baby, a non-profit organization that provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing, and basic necessities. To date, they have donated over 200 million items to families in need.

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The reBoard Cutting Board

December 19th, 2021 · Uncategorized

The reBoard is an example of a simple idea that just gives, and gives, and gives some more.

The product, made by Material Kitchen, is a colorful, BPA-free cutting board. But this is no ordinary cutting board. The design is beautiful and simple and comes in one of six stylish colors–not the gaudy color you see in your local Target or Walmart, but subdued and modern colors that show off your sense of style. The cutting surface is strong and has received rave reviews from Bon Appetit, USA Today, Epicurious, and many more.

It’s made of a combination of 75% recycled plastic and 25% renewable sugarcane, so instead of buying something from a factory around the world churning out endless runs of plastic that will be destined for landfills, you’ll be buying something that’s both sustainable and much high quality.

Here’s the coolest thing. As if saving the planet weren’t enough, a portion of your purchase price will go to help Heart of Dinner, a New York City-based charity that was started during the pandemic to help elderly, low-income Asian Americans combat hunger and isolation; and Drive Change, another New York City-based charity that helps young people who were formerly incarcerated to get a new chance on life by introducing them to culinary jobs.

Buy one at Material Kitchen, or save $20 and buy three that you can use to separate meat from vegetables and fruit .

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Save the Bees – Honeybee Awareness Gifts

December 1st, 2021 · Uncategorized

Bees get kind of a bad rap. While wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and killer (Africanized) bees tend to be aggressive, their distant cousin the honey bee just kind of wants to be left alone, doing their job of going from flower to flower spreading pollen and making honey and wax. In fact, without pollinators like honeybees and bumblebees, flowers would never turn into fruit and vegetables. So it’s not hyberbole to say that we owe our very existence as a species to them.

Contrary to what a lot of people thing, honey bees are not aggressive. They’ll sting if they feel threatened, or especially if they are defending their hive. But if they’re just flying around you trying to figure out if you’re a flower, just close your eyes and wait it out and the bee will figure it out and leave eventually (assuming you’re not sitting on their hive).

Something a lot of people don’t know is that in the winter of 2006-2007, something catastrophic happened. Beekeepers noticed that 30%-90% of the honeybee hives they were maintaining suddenly collapsed. Generally, the queen bee survived, as well as the young bees (brood), and the colonies still maintained honey and pollen at the time of their collapse. But the worker bees just sort of vanished. And without worker bees, eventually the hives were doomed.

This phenomenon is called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and to this date there’s no simple explanation for why it happens. It’s likely a combination of many things–increased use of certain pesticides, introduction of various pathogens, loss of habitat, and other factors. Since 2014, the federal government has funded research. But it’s an uphill battle.

But the most powerful person who can affect change? It’s YOU. If you have a backyard, plant flowers or vegetables to attract bees and butterflies. Or if you can’t, donate to an organization that does. Lobby your local government to plant public gardens that attract pollinators. Discourage the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides that people are using to keep their lawns green and weed-free, but that are deadly to honeybees. And SPREAD THE WORD, just as those honeybees spread pollen.

Here are some amazing gifts that can help.

Honey Bee Enamel Pin ($12.50) – This is a beautiful enamel pin that you can pin onto a shirt, blouse, or bag that’s beautiful but also a conversation starter.

$1 of the proceeds will go to help The Bee Conservancy, which was established in 2009 after the catastrophic collapse to help protect and preserve populations of bees. Visit their site for eye-opening information. For example, did you know that 1 in every three bites of the food you eat are pollinated by bees?

Crochet keychain of a bee ($15.00) – This is one of those oh-so-cute gifts that’ll put a smile on anyone’s face. It’s a crocheted, handmade keychain that’s about 3 inches long. Perfect for pinning onto a purse or backpack.

15% of proceeds goes to the Bee Girl Organization, a non-profit founded by Sarah Red-Laird aimed at educating and inspiring commuities to conserve bees, flowers, and food.

Save the Bees Yoga headband ($12.99) – Want to really show off your love of bees?

Try this Save the Bees headband by the appropriately-named Mandabees, one of the most popular makers of yoga headbands that, in the words of founder Amanda, keep hair back, keep sweat off your face, are oh-so-cute, and which don’t give you a headache.

A portion of proceeds will go to the Cielito Lindo Ranch’s efforts to save honeybees.

Charity Wild Flower Bee Buffet ($5.00) – Here’s a great idea for a gift where not only the proceeds will help save the honeybees, the gift itself will too. It’s a packet of custom blend wildflower seeds that you or your recipient can plant in a yard to attract bees. It’s a way to help restore the habit that was lost with development, as well as provide a little oasis for bees from pesticides.

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Elephant Charm Necklace

November 19th, 2021 · Uncategorized

These necklaces with elephant charms are perfect for the elephant fan in your life. The designs are simple and at the same time adorable. They’re handmade out of California by Danna Valko who has an entire store filled with amazing and original charm designs.

A portion of proceeds for each necklace sold goes to Wildlife SOS, a non-profit organization in India that was established in 1995 to rescue and rehabilitate India’s wildlife, including leopards, bears, and of course, elephants. They have been on the forefront of eradicating cruel practices such as “dancing bears”.

These necklaces are handmade using sterling silver and gold, and can be personalized with the name or initials of one of 22 elephants that Wildlife SOS has saved.

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Walt Disney World 50th Anniverary Books

October 16th, 2021 · Uncategorized

As Disney World celebrates its 50th Anniversary, Disney Editions has released a few amazing books to commemorate the occasion.

Art of Coloring Walt Disney World: 100 images of detailed coloring pages. While it’s technically an “adult coloring book”, kids of all ages who can color within the lines will enjoy it. In addition to typical coloring book art, it features concept art, posters, and maps from over the years. It was put together by Kevin Kern of the Walt Disney Archives.

Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World: This is the latest in a series of books called “Delicious Disney” which highlights recipes from Disney resorts and theme parks. This volume explores the history of food at Disney World since 1971, and provides lots of recipes so you can create them at home.


Best thing about it, if you buy these books from Shop Disney between October 1 and December 31, 2021, Disney will donate a book to First Book, a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged children with books and supplies.

(A third book, A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of the Most Magical Place on Earth, doesn’t seem to be available at ShopDisney at the moment, but you can find it on Amazon).

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Site to find Products Not Made in China

July 1st, 2021 · Uncategorized

products not made in china

No To China is not a charitable site per se, but it does represent a cause that I consider to be one of the most important facing our world today.

Over the last 20 years, the People’s Republic of China has all but taken as the world’s leader in manufacturing. Everything from your cell phone to your computer monitor to your pots and pans to your coffee maker went through China–and more specifically through a Chinese company that is totally under the shadow of the Chinese Communist Party. The same CCP that murdered millions of its own people, denies its citizens their God-given freedoms, and is guilty of unspeakable human rights abuses to Uighurs, Falun Gong, and Christians.

What’s most chilling about this is that not only has the Western world failed to raise any concerns–we are the ones who are actively feeding this beast. Shareholders and executives of companies salivate at the increased profits of using cheap–even forced–labor. Consumers salivate at the cheap prices made possible by the CCP undercutting competition through a State that subsidizes undercutting of prices to corner a market and that looks the other way when intellectual property laws are completely ignored.

Of particular interest is a series of articles on how companies in China effectively took over Amazon. It’s an eye-opening read.

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Bamboo socks from Australia that help animals

June 27th, 2021 · Uncategorized

My favorite animal is the panda. I could sit for hours at the National Zoo or the San Diego Zoo and watch one of those chubby critters sit, break, and chew on bamboo stalks and leaves (and I have). And so when I saw this sock brand’s logo, it got my attention.

One thing you may not know is that in addition to being a tasty treat, bamboo fiber can be spun into clothing. In fact, bamboo fiber is naturally breathable and allows moisture to evaporate mor quickly, meaning that your sweat doesn’t stay in your socks and your socks don’t stink. Bamboo also has great insulation qualities–it keeps your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

These socks are made of a bamboo and organic cotton blend, meaning they’ll benefit from the best of both kinds of fibers. Reviewers rave about how soft and comfortable they are, as well as the beautiful colors.

Even better, a portion of each sale is donated to animal charities. This year, they’re donating to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Wildlife Victoria, who is helping animals who were harmed by Australia’s brush fires last year.

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Great gift for cat and coffee lovers

June 23rd, 2021 · Uncategorized

I had to do a double-take on this Etsy product called “Cat Coffee”–for a moment I thought it was talking about cat poop coffee, something I’ve heard about for a while but never quite dared to try (even if I could afford it).

But no, these are just regular roasted coffee beans for sale that haven’t gone through any creature’s digestive tract. That said, if reviews are any indication, people love it anyway.

This is dark roasted coffee which you can buy in any grind–whole beans, course, fine, drip, percolator, Turkish, and French Press. It’s sold out of a coffee and tea shop in Lilitz, Pennsylvania. The coffee itself comes from Brazil and has more than 14,000 sales and practically all 5-star reviews. There’s also a lighter roast version available.

At $5.25 for a quarter pound, it’s not a whole lot more expensive than that Starbucks bilge you get from Walmart, especially if you factor in the free shipping for orders over $35. And it’s nice to know you’re supporting a small business in a small town that still knows the art of sourcing great coffee. Furthermore, a portion of proceeds goes to help local cat rescues!

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“Wishing” Bracelets

June 21st, 2021 · Uncategorized

Emma Dalby operates a store on Etsy called DollBeeDesigns. She offers cute and remarkably affordable bracelets for sale. The designs are invariably adorable; in recent years she’s offered bracelets with charms shaped like acorns, stars, lightning bolts, dinosaurs, horseshoes, snowflakes, tiny feet, and many more to suit just about any occasion.

bracelet to help charity

As adorable the charms are, the more meaningful part of this gift is that it comes with a card with an inspirational quote or thoughtful message perfect for a huge range of specific gift-giving occasions. One design specifically is to invite someone to be a bridemaid. Another is to congratulate your “star” teammates at work. There are designs to thank someone for being a teaching assistant or a great sister, and designs to congratulate someone on retirement or a new baby. And dozens of other occasions and wishes.

And all bracelets come with a “promise”: Wear the bracelet and make a wish. Once the bracelet wears off and the charm falls…your wish may just come true!

These bracelets and cards are much more meaningful and personal than the factory-produced drivel you find at your local pharmacy.

This particular design comes with a poignant story. In 2018 Ms. Dalby’s father was on vacation with her mother, and he suddenly passed away of heart failure, with no symptoms. Just the day before, both her parents had been cycling. Emma and her brothers and sister set up a fundraising page to remember their dad and to raise funds for their local cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation charity.

Today is Father’s Day 2021, and I’m sure the Dalbys still miss their dad as much as I miss mine. Help support a brilliant small business and a great cause by buying a bunch of these bracelets for your gift closet. They’ll mean more to your friends and your coworkers than anything.

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Rett Syndrome Necklace that helps Retts Research

June 17th, 2021 · Uncategorized

There are lots of places you can find gifts that promote awareness for common diseases and ailments like cancer and heart disease. In fact, for some cases fundraising through gift giving has become an industry in itself.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years highlighting those kinds of products, and of course I’ll continue to. But I also love to bring attention to causes that no one knows about. Here is one of them.

Rett Syndrome is a very rare neurological disorder that results in severe muscle movement. It happens to girls primarily, and can be extremely debilitating. It’s perhaps hardest on the parents. For the first 6 to 18 months of a child’s life, they may see their baby developing naturally, and then Rett syndrome can hit between 12 and 18 months over a short period of time, where their child suddenly can lose the ability to move their hands, walk, or communicate.

Often, there’s a feeling of helplessness and even guilt among the parents, even though there’s nothing they could do to prevent it. It’s a genetic disorder that affects the MECP2 gene, which is found on the X chromosome.

There’s no cure for Rett syndrome, maybe in part because it’s such a rare disease (under 20,000 cases a year) that most funding and efforts go towards other diseases. But of course for the families that experience Rett’s, it’s life-altering, as the child will need constant care for the rest of her life. And yet with a loving home, a young girl with Retts can live a full life.

I chose this gift to highlight because it was designed by a jewelry maker on Etsy with an amazing story. She’s a scientist, researcher, and art instructor who, as she puts it on her Etsy profile has an unlikely Super Power–autism. She and her husband (also on the spectrum) have designed incredible jewelry, including jewelry based on the amazing patterns that happen in nature’s molecules. Check out her designs for the molecule for catnip (perfect for cat lovers), and the molecule for caffeine (for coffee lovers), and dozens more.

This particular pattern hits especially close to home. It’s a rendition of the IGF-1 molecule of the brain. People with Rett Syndrome have a decreased level of IGF-1. There’s promising research around therapeutics involving this molecule that gives hope to girls and their families suffering from Retts, including one of the artist’s own daughters.

It’s a beautiful piece on its own, but so much more meaningful when you know the story behind it. And when people ask you about it, you can help bring attention this ailment that needs a lot more attention and funding.

Portion of proceeds goes to Girl Power 2 Cure, a charity dedicated to finding a cure. Visit here to make a direct donation yourself. You can also learn more about Rett Syndrome here and here.

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