Gifts That Give To Those Who Need It Most #GiftGuide

As you buy gifts for loved ones this year, consider what you could do to help impoverished children throughout the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well. Gifts are made through Cross Catholic Outreach, a 501c3 Catholic relief and development ministry that provides food, shelter, medical care, water, education, self-help programs, care for orphans and emergency relief. These are a few of the options people can choose from as gift ideas (more ideas are here):

  • Food for the hungry – Send lifesaving supplies of Vitafood to starving children and their families. $27 can feed a family for a whole month.
  • Toys and gifts for a needy child – Let Cross Catholic Outreach pack your Box of Joy with toys and gifts and send it to a child. For $34, Cross Catholic Outreach will pack your Box of Joy and send it to a needy child overseas.
  • Mosquito nets – Send a gift that will effectively help prevent malaria in Zambia. A gift of $26 will provide 3 mosquito nets and help prevent malaria.
  • Bicycles – Send one of the most useful gifts for the poor that you could ever send. $66 provides the gift of a bicycle.

Want to give back to the environment? Check out The Sierra Club. 

These Holiday Gift Guides have Gifts That Give Back, they are the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization. This holiday season, Sierra Club is asking families to put the environment first by purchasing gifts that help protect our communities and our future.

Adopt A Wild Animal: From a grizzly bear or polar bear, to a gray wolf or humpback whale, your symbolic adoption will help protect wild animals and the wild places they call home. “Adopt” today and receive an adorable plush animal to love.

Heroic Red and Valiant White Wines Give Back To Soldiers

Heroic Red and Valiant White wines are distributed by Leer Vineyards in Byron, CA. The wines are pretty much like Tom shoes but for wine. $1.50 for each bottle of wine sold goes to purchase a mortgage and tax free home to a wounded warrior. They’ve already presented four houses to soldiers this year.

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Heroic Red shows aromas of boysenberry with hints of leather, cedar and cigar tobacco. Flavors are of raspberry jam, chocolate and black pepper, with a faint echo of blake tea on the long finish. This blend contains 58% Syrah, 29% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon.

pic5Valiant White shows aromas of peach and orange blossoms, the circus flavors are intense, peaches and tropical fruits dominate. It’s a soft and luscious mouthful with a hint of effervescence for a beautiful liveliness and a balance to the sweetness. While crisp and sweet this Moscato is a perfect pairing with spicy seafood or chicken and is amazing while paired with bleu cheese and desserts that include pears or peaches.

Cofféy is the official spokesperson for Heroic Red/Valiant White and his song Mr. Red White and Blue has garnered over 4 million views on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ds3MvMUdNk

Leer Vineyards is nestled in East Contra Costa County in the town of Byron complete with stunning views of Mount Diablo that features a tasting room and will host summer concerts as well as weddings, private parties and corporate events.  The property is a unique 44-acre parcel that boasts a softball diamond, Bocce Ball court, snack bar, and 36 acres of lush vineyards.
Leer Vineyards is a quiet, relaxing piece of property that encourages picnics, lounging, and simply hanging out with a glass of wine.
The Leers moved to Byron in September of 2013 and hand picked over 3 tons of grapes themselves. The grapes were then transported to Estate Crush, a custom crush facility in Lodi, California. Currently the Leers are working with winemakers in the Lodi area to crush, barrel and bottle current varietals. The Leers have produced several varietals of wine and have already sold out of many

Get your wines here, and know that every purchase gives back.

Share Some Goodness this Holiday! Gifts that Give Back

Looking to give gifts that not are not only great gifts, but will make the gift-ee feel better as well? Life is Good, ORGANIC INDIA and Manduka make giving feel even better- and they are fantastic, ethical companies that also give back.  These are fantastic brands with really awesome items, you will love them.

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Life is Good, lifestyle brand spreading the power of optimism, from t-shirts, self-help book, mugs to comfy pj’s, introduces  the Holiday collection ($10-78) and has something for the kids, mom, the office, and even the grinch who could use some positivity in their life. There is a lot to choose from, and the quality is top notch- nothing that will have to be quickly tossed. The clothing line lasts, and wears well.  They will have their items a long, long time. (I still have a t-shirt I got in high school!) It’s nice to be able to spread a nice message wherever you go. In addition, Life is Good donates 10% of their net proceeds to kids in need-that’s something to smile about. 
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ORGANIC INDIA’s, Tulsi Tea Line ($5.99) have become one of my son’s favorites. He especially loves the peppermint variety, (there are several to choose from) and I like that it’s completely organic. These USDA organic teas are infused with a sacred Indian herb that’s packed with goodness + deliciousness in over 20 flavors. A cup of Tulsi tea warms up the soul – lowers stress, bolsters immunity, enhances stamina and promotes a healthy metabolism. He has some health issues, so I am all for anything that will give him any kind of a boost.  These teas are not only good tasting and good for you, as well as environmentally friendly- but they are good for the people who farm them. ORGANIC INDIA works directly with marginalized farmers in India providing healthcare, education, gender equality and empowerment programs. Sipping fireside, never tasted so good! 

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Mandukaleader of yoga gear, offers the most sustainable yoga gear for the fitness fanatic in your life ($4-128). From eco-conscious eKO mats, fully recyclable LiveON Mats for kids and adults, one-mat-for-life PRO Mat, yogitoes towels made from recycled plastic bottles, hbands headbands, bags, to props, Manduka takes mindful gifting to another level.

My son likes his new mat, and so does mommy.  If it weren’t so grinchy, I’d be tempted to “borrow” it for my own class.  He also likes the color and the feel of it- he doesn’t like when his mats feel “sticky” to him, but this texture is great.  It’s also comfortable, gives enough cushion, and works well for him.  It’s easy to get into his yoga bag as well.

These are great “feel good” items for many reasons- they feel good to give, feel good to get, and are from companies who care and give back- which feels good to everyone.  This holiday season, give from the heart and support those that support others.

Happy Holidays from me and mine to you and yours!

World Vision Gifts For Christmas- Gifts that Give Back

Looking to give a beautiful, unique gift this year?  Maybe you want to do something even better then that- maybe you want to give a gift that gives back.  World Vision lets you do both- you can not only give beautiful gifts that the gift-ee will love, but when you buy, your money goes to those who need it most.  World Vision is Fair Trade, and helps artisans make a living wage that they can raise their families on.

This year more than 50 percent of holiday shoppers plan to purchase holiday gifts online. Look into new gift ideas that give back with just a few clicks of the mouse from the 2014 World Vision Gift Catalog.
More than 250 items, ranging in price from $10 to $39,000, are available online and in the print catalog to help improve quality of life for women, children and families in the U.S. and around the world. Give help where it is needed most and receive handcrafted gifts that are beautiful accessories:

African Soapstone Box – New to the 2014 World Vision Gift Catalog, the hand-carved African Soapstone Box is a safe place to store necklaces and rings. Coated in light blue with an image of a giraffe, this ornate box features pretty details that will complement nearly any decor. Donations go toward the Kenyan artisans who crafted the box to help provide medical care for their families. $85

 

Royal Silk Scarf – A recent addition to the Catalog, this gorgeous silk scarf adds color to the holidays and supports the needs of children and families worldwide, including those in the community where it was crafted; the luxurious silk was woven by Vietnam’s Ma Chau villagers, who receive fair wages & sustainable income through their craft. $95
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Rufus the Red Monkey – Monkeez Make a Difference #SockMonkey

We are always looking for ways for Little Man to be able to express his more sensitive side. The Little guy wants to help everyone possible all the time, and an important part of helping others is getting that feeling of actually helping. This can be in the form of meeting someone new, a smiling face, or even a heartfelt thank you. Yes, I know you can’t do something philanthropic for the reason of getting recognized for doing it- that is just wrong. But it’s nice to hear “thank you”, isn’t it? Especially for a child who is learning to express himself, social awareness, and care for others as he does himself.

We are also huge fans of companies (big or small) who try to make the world a better place then they found it. The creators of Monkeez and Friends are one of those companies. The idea behind their newest line of toys Monkeez Makes a Difference is to teach kids how to help others in different ways while still having fun and enjoying yourself. Getting recognized for helping, being generous and sharing. The [Read more…]