January 23, 2021   7:33am

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10 Places to Go for the Very Best Presents to Give!

Some of the most extraordinary and wonderful gifts can be purchased and sent from retailers and organizations who are giving to others as well (and you don’t even have to leave home to shop) …


.Shop with any of the 10 listed below and feel triply good about giving because: 1) Your gift is cool, 2) the proceeds go to a good cause, and 3) you never have to leave home to buy and send.    How “happy season” is that!


Orangutan Outreach (redapes.org)  — Orangutans are one of earth’s smartest creatures (so much like us that sometimes you can’t tell the difference); they’re totally loving with a true family life.  But they’re losing their habitats and endangered.  You can give a terrific gift by “adopting a baby;” your “giftee” will receive a personalized adoption certificate, the baby’s story, color photos for framing, and periodic updates.  Or for a donation of $50 you can purchase a cuddly plush Orangutan “friend” to be nurtured by someone you love.


Museum of Natural History — Give a wonderful gift knowing that you’re helping to support one of the most remarkable museums in the world.

National Geographic — Buy a calendar or DVD, a book or one of the many other offerings this Christmas and help promote the diffusion of geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical and natural resources.

World Wildlife FundDonate and help reverse the degradation of our planet’s natural environment and build a future in which human needs are in harmony with nature’s needs.  You’ll find animals to adopt here as well …


One Laptop Per Child — For the price of one netbook (a portable laptop optimized for the internet), you can buy two “XO” laptops for $399:  one for your family and one for a budding mind in the developing world.  This very cute, seemingly toy-like computer is actually quite rigorous and has dozens of useful unique applications you won’t find on PC’s or Macs.  It runs on a Linux operating system and is built so the world’s poorest children can figure it out.  Recommended for travelers (2 lbs; doesn’t need much power), people who break things (amazingly water and fall resistant), adults who are hunters and peckers (small keyboard), and kids of all ages.



ABC Carpet & Home–This store is at the top of our list for uniquely beautiful merchandise, but also because they have a real commitment to changing the world for the better.  As part of this effort, if you buy any of their extraordinary crafted pieces from Africa, part of the proceeds goes to one of the causes they support, for example: education for women, protecting the environment and providing safe refugee for rape victims.  Purchase truly amazing baskets, handbags, fabrics, indigo shawls, throws, furniture, jewelry, ad infinitum and you’ll also be helping women in Africa to generate income, cultivate self-confidence and reinforce a sense of community. (For merchandise call: 212 473 3000 x288)


KIVA — Don’t just give, lend — to a mom, a couple, a family, a group of friends.  A Kiva gift certificate gives someone you care about the power to change the lives of others who care as well — how cool is that!

Buildanest.com — Purchase any of the Build a Nest products, all of which are very special artisan-made, and you’ll be supporting women artists, weavers, soap makers, and designers in the developing world by helping them create sustainable entrepreneurial businesses — a few examples below from left: Rosemary Mint–old fashioned cold process soap, feather mix headband, Isadora bag, keyhole flats.



Product (Red) Buy a (Red) product like a (Red) iPod or many other gifts to choose from, and the company who makes the product will give up to 50% of its profit to buy and distribute antiretroviral medicine to those dying of AIDS in Africa.



Changing the Present — Choose from 1500+  options and give a gift that truly does “change the present” — whether it be, for example, (left to right)  outfitting a deaf child, supplying a classroom, giving a llama, or saving an elephant.  It is impossible not to find something here for someone on your list.  Wow!


If you’ve got a giving merchant you’d like to add, just type it into the comment box below and press the”send” button.


Snoety symbol
Robert Tolmach says: December 7th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Hi Harriet,
Thank you so much for the nice post about ChangingThePresent.org. Have you seen the fantastic new PSAs that StrawberryFrog shot for us? They’re at http://www.ChangingThePresent.org/film.

Jen says: December 8th, 2008 at 8:00 pm


I also wanted to let you know about Redefine Christmas, a new nonprofit site dedicated to encouraging charitable donations in lieu of traditional gifts. You can check it out here – http://www.Redefine-Christmas.org

Mo says: December 9th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Also, check out eBays new site WorldofGood.com– a marketplace for independent organizations whose products have a positive impact on people and the planet.

Harriett says: December 11th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

For “carbon offset” gift ideas, go to http://www.nativeenergy.com where you can also calculate your (or your family’s) carbon footprint …

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