Double Duty Holiday Gift Giving

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The holiday shopping craziness is in full swing. ‘Tis the season to spend money, fa la la la la, la la ka-ching! As you’re battling crowds in the stores and scoping out the best deals online, here are a few ways that you can make holiday gift giving choices that double as world-changing donations.

  1. Amazon Smile: Amazon’s hot new program is in it’s second year, and so far so good. Visit Amazon via smile.amazon.com and all of your qualifying purchases provide a little something for the 501c3 non-profit of your choice. The products and deals are exactly the same as regular Amazon, as are the Prime membership benefits. All you have to do is log in and pick a charity!
  2. Give the gift of donation: Do you have someone on your holiday shopping list who has everything and then some? Want to teach your kids generosity? Give a charitable donation in place of a gift. I’ve done this as a stocking stuffer for my son and husband. I just made small donations to charities they appreciate, and made up a little certificate to stick in their stockings.
  3. Sevenly: Have I mentioned Sevenly before? This company makes t-shirts that benefit a different non-profit every week. The shirts themselves are soft, fair trade cotton tees, and the artwork is really on trend. Check them out at http://www.sevenly.org
  4. Multi-level-marketing: Is it ok to say MLM? Sometimes that seems like a bad word, but you and I both know that not all MLM reps are pushy and difficult. If you have a friend who sells a product you like, buy from him or her and watch the profit from your purchase stay in the family and support someone you love. My personal favs are Noonday Collection (fair trade jewelry and accessories), Pampered Chef, Jamberry nail wraps, and Mary Kay cosmetics.
  5. Shop small: just like MLM’s, small businesses benefit from your business in a local and personal way. Etsy is one place to find local artisans and craftspeople, but I’m guessing you know at least a few small business owners. One of my favorites is Live.Simple Soap (http://livesimplesoap.com/) from Ohio. My friend Emily makes soaps with clean, natural ingredients, scented with essential oils. My skin is super sensitive, so I love having a product that smells good and doesn’t irritate my skin, and I love that my purchase supports my friend.
  6. Buy Fair Trade: I’ve talked up Fair Trade before, I know, but keep it in mind when you’re holiday shopping. Your purchase can provide hope and opportunity to farmers and artisans around the world.

I know other bloggers and websites have hit on this topic before. I’m starting another page on my Pinterest site where I’ll put together a bunch of resources for double-duty shopping. If you know of another site or idea, leave a comment!

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