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Mind and Body

7 Gifts That Give Back

 

With the holidays fast approaching, it can be easy to forget the season’s true meaning – especially because of our country’s economic downturn.

But, you can still give a gift and contribute to charity – at the same time – with ‘gifts that give back.’

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, recently spoke to Amanda Woerner, an editor at Self Magazine, which does an annual feature on gifts that give back.

A portion of the proceeds of each of the following gifts goes to charity and helps someone in need.

1. Jewelry
Log onto projecthavehope.org to purchase a bangle made out of recyclable paper and 100 percent of the proceeds go to women in Uganda.

“The cool thing is that the women of these communities in Uganda are actually making the jewelry,” Woerner said. “They use the revenue from jewelry sales to fund educational and economic programs as well. In this way, the women are actually using their skills and hard work to help pull themselves out of poverty.”

2. Hat
A warm and stylish winter hat, made in Nepal, called the ‘helping hat,’ can be purchased at unicefusa.org, and 15 percent of the proceeds go to UNICEF USA, which provides vaccines and clean water to people all over the world.

3. Makeup bag
Go to www.feedprojects.com and order a beneficial bag for just $30. A portion of the proceeds will provide a child in need with five school lunches.

“You may remember these bags from last year as well,” Woerner said. “They are the FEED bags, and this is a new addition called the Feed 5 Kikoy Pouch. FEED Projects, was actually co-founded by Lauren Bush and to date they have provided over 66 million meals.”
They are also available at Lord and Taylor.

4. Pet pillow
Dog lovers will want to get something for Fido, so check out pbteen.com for the Puppy Love pillow. The pillow is $39 and the ASPCA receives $5 from every purchase. According to Woerner, $20 will feed a homeless dog for three weeks – and you are helping to put an end to animal cruelty.

5. Sunglasses
Click on toms.com and check out the Classic 301 sunglasses for $145. For every pair sold, Toms will provide eye care to a person in need.

“Think about how that price is actually going to give the gift of sight to someone this season,” Woerner said.

6. Tree
Looking for a ‘green’ gift? Look no further than Seeds of Change, at peopletowels.com. A tree gift set, costing $20, will plant 10 trees and your recipient gets to plant one too.

This organization works with Trees for the Future, a non-profit that has been helping communities around the world plant trees, according to Woerner. Through seed distribution and training, they have empowered rural groups to restore tree cover to their lands—all over the world.

7. Sneakers
Everyone loves old-school Converse sneakers, so buy a pair of savvy sneakers at www.converse.com for $50 and a portion of the proceeds will go to Project RED, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria started by Bono.

For more great gift ideas, go to Self.com.