Budgets are tight this year, we know, we know. Unfortunately, that also means charitable giving is down, a lot. And the recipients of said charity need the basics in life a lot more than your Dad needs another novelty tie. With that in mind, we encourage you to give to some (or all!) of the following charities this holiday season - and, if you don't have the money for any gifts, why not give some of your time? Be a mentor. Serve up chicken noodle at a soup kitchen. Help sort gifts at Toys For Tots. We guarantee that the experience will be one of the best gifts you ever get.
Changing The Present.org - Even $1 can go towards something good here. Gifts range from $1 to donate to the Nature Conservancy to plant a tree, or $50 to give computer training to a low-income child or teach ecologically sound agriculture to farmers in underdeveloped countries.
Common Threadz - Buy any t-shirt from Common Threadz (from $38), and they will donate a school uniform to an orphan in Africa so they can go to school. The designs, all limited-edition, are donated by fabulous artists and designers like Santiago Uceda and Kneil Melicano.
Heifer International - Donate here, and Heifer International uses your money to give goats, chickens, cows, pigs, and more to families in need all over the world. The families can use the livestock and crops to feed themselves and create small businesses in their communities.
One Pearl Jewelry - These makers of gorgeous pearl, bead, and gemstone jewelry donate over 50% of their total sales revenue to nonprofit organizations that are improving the lives of children.
Original Good - This gift catalog features Fair Trade certified gifts made by artisans in villages the world over, and funnels the profits back to the artists to help them start a better life. Shop for jewelry, accessories, home décor, and more.
The Red Cross - Gifts like disaster relief supply kits, phone cards for the troops, and bicycles for aid workers in remote areas start at just $20.
Share Our Strength - Devoted to ending childhood hunger in America, this organization allows you to donate on your own or purchase gift cards to let friends know you've given in their name, in their honor.
Unicef - We've all gotten Unicef's holiday cards in the mail before, but they also sell jewelry, stationary & calendars, holiday décor, and kids toys. Proceeds go towards helping children all over the world.
EDITOR'S NOTE - Outblush reader Celeste just pointed us towards the awesome GiveCard, a first of its' kind: Buy a GiveCard and the recipient can use part of it to make a donation to the charity of their choice, then spend the rest of the amount like cash. Sweet!
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