The Joyful Heartshop
Gourmet chocolates, personal pampering items, cozy blankets and fine jewelry are all available in the Joyful Heart Foundation's online Heartshop. A portion of each purchase benefits the foundation's groundbreaking work with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. There's truly something for everyone in this online store. (Seriously, the Fran's artisan Smoked Salt Chocolate Covered Caramels are about as good as chocolate gets. Better.)
This global program dedicated to the welfare of children around the world always has beautiful cards, handcrafted ornaments and other holiday wares at more than reasonable prices. This year, you might also consider something even more inspired. UNICEF's Inspired Gifts program allows you to purchase lifesaving items for needy children, gifts like High Energy Protein Biscuits, Oral Rehydration Salts, books or soccer balls. Make your gift to these children who need your help and dedicate it to a friend, complete with a card. Really, it's the perfect gift for most of us who have everything. Everything we need, anyway.
This international program dedicated to creating lasting change to children around the world has a similar giving program. Just $30 will buy a sheep for a needy family, giving the gift of warm wool, nourishing milk and the potential for additional income. Thirty dollars. Most of us spend that much on coffee in a month. Save the Children lets you dedicate your gift to a loved one of your own and will even send a plush sheep toy as a reminder of the difference you made. Spend $100 dollars and Save the Children will donate in-kind, brand new books to a suffering U.S. library. Many more inspiring options are available here.
THE LITERACY SITE
Like many Mamas I know, I'm a real sucker for just about anything that smells good. At $5.50 a piece, these soothing soaps in scrumptious scents make perfect stocking-stuffers. These fair trade items were created to "help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families." The soaps are also eco-friendly. And, if you're not convinced yet, the Literacy Site will donate one children's book to a needy American family for every soap you purchase. Talk about stretching your dollars. Interested? They have many more gifts here
Check back before the holidays for more gifts that do double duty. This is what I call happy shopping.