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…and Peace on Earth!

This holiday season philanthropic gift-giving is quite the trend.  This should come as no surprise in light of the recession … as a matter of fact, the loss of jobs for so many Americans has been an eye opener to the needs not only in the United States but around the globe.

Making the transition to charitable gift-giving in lieu of conventional gifts can be a tough one, but we’ve got you covered.  Various non-profits throughout the world have taken advantage of the time of year by offering seasonal gifts with proceeds benefiting their cause to entice current shoppers while others have implemented drives and campaigns as year-end goals.  We’ve listed a few for you that are doing just that. 

1. UNICEF Inspired Gifts– When you buy an Inspired Gift on behalf of a friend or family member, UNICEF will send that person a personalized card with a photograph and description of the gift.  Your purchase will then be dispatched to any one of 155 countries depending on the greatest need.  The wide variety of gifts to choose from includes: first aid kits, vaccines for children, water pumps, therapeutic milk, and other essential items ranging in price.

2. Network for GoodTM the good card® is a gift card that can be redeemed as a donation to any of more than 1.8 million charities.  You simply choose the amount and they choose the cause.

3. National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – Give your friends and family the experience of playing a personal role in saving wildlife and wildlands.  Some gift options include planting a rainforest tree for $10, rescuing a polar bear for $15, or protecting newborn gray whales for $20.

4. TOMS shoes– This season “CHOOSE SHOES”.  With every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.   So, if you are considering purchasing apparel as a gift this year, give shoes a chance.

5. Operation Smile Give a smile this holiday season.  There are gifts ranging from $20.00 – $600.00 and with every purchase you’ll receive a gift card and e-card to let your loved ones know a remarkable gift has been given in their name.   Imagine, $240 can help pay for a surgery that would end a lifetime of pain and isolation.

This is just a snapshot of the non-profit organizations you can support this holiday.  If you’re still looking for a tangible gift for your friend or family member consider a purchase with charitable proceeds such as (PRODUCT) RED or Livestrong.     Just remember the spirit of the season and give a gift that keeps on giving!

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