Gifts That GiveTwice


Cash donations in a recipient's name and gifts from organizations whose profits support worthy causes are great ways to maximize the good your gift dollars can do. Here are just a few ways to give gifts that give twice.

The United Nations Children's Fund offers lovely bound blank books of high quality paper, memo boxes with padded lids, card sets, books, games, bookmarks, mugs, and other gift items. Profits go to children's programs all over the world. UNICEF cards and gifts are available through participating retail outlets as well as through the UNICEF catalog and website. See www.unicef.org.

Give a stuffed animal, a toy, a piece of jewelry, or a knickknack depicting an endangered species. These and other interesting items are available from the World Wildlife Fund. Profits support the fund's programs to protect endangered species and their habitats. See www.worldwildlife.org.

Make a contribution to—or give a gift from—the National Wildlife Federation. Choose from books, T-shirts, toys, holiday ornaments, cards, and more. Profits fund the federation's programs. See www.nwf.org.

Make a contribution to The National Arbor Day Foundation. A letter will be sent to inform recipients of gifts made in their honor. Choose from several gift options including the Gallatin National Forest reforestation project, the Rain Forest Rescue program, or construction of a conference center at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska. See www.arborday.org.

Serrv International is a nonprofit program which promotes the social and economic progress of people in developing regions of the world by purchasing and marketing their crafts in a just and direct manner. They offer a huge variety of Christmas collectibles, musical instruments (pan pipes, reed flutes, raffia rattles, shakers, tribal drums, thumb pianos), baskets, toys, jewelry, and other gift items. See www.serrv.org.

A donation given in honor of a friend or family member will support your choice of projects funded through the Alternative Gift Catalog. Choose from hunger relief, emergency disaster relief, medical assistance, environmental projects and more. See www.altgifts.org.

The not-for-profit General Store features gifts that create jobs for people with disabilities. Each gift comes in an attractive, multiuse container and may be customized to your individual or corporate specifications. Selections include golf baskets, stationery baskets, luxurious spa baskets, gourmet picnic hampers, sugar-free samplers, sympathy baskets, and much more. See www.generalstoregifts.org.

Bazaars and craft fairs are great places to shop for one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts. Many are sponsored by school, church, and community groups with profits going to a worthy cause.

Habitat for Humanity offers a wide selection of card sets, books, wearables, and kids stuff perfect for giving to new homeowners and their families. Sharing Habitat gift certificates are also available. See www.habitat.org.

The Smithsonian Institution sells jewelry, toys, calendars, ornaments, sculptures, books, globes, art prints, and much more through its museum shops and catalog. See www.smithsonianstore.com.

National Geographic Society offers books, DVDs, calendars, gloves, maps, games, and magazine subscriptions to fund research, exploration, geography education, and television programming. See www.nationalgeographic.com.

Center for Marine Conservation sells marine-themed clothing, accessories, jewelry, toys, books, DVDs, sculptures, and the like to fund research, education, and conservation programs. See www.cmc-ocean.org.

The Humane Society of the United States offers T-shirts, totes, books, notecards, greeting cards, and posters to fund its animal protection activities. See www.hsus.org.

The Charleston Mint offers a Toys for Tots tree ornament with proceeds going to the Toys for Tots Foundation. Other companies also donate a portion of holiday sales proceeds to Toys for Tots. See www.charlestonmint.com.

The Sierra Club, Avon, Discovery Toys, and Paul Newman also donate a percentage of sales to charities.

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