Since I'm all about killing two birds with one stone, and I'm always TRYING to finish Christmas shopping before Christmas Eve, a great way to shop is to shop philanthropically and online. We've all heard of and probably own a pair of TOMS by now, but here are a few places that are near and dear to my heart that you can check out for the holidays:
Designers Care – Stamped Cards for a Cause
Beautifully designed stationery for an even better cause: Hurricane Sandy Relief Aid. Thank you cards, Note Cards, Inspirational art prints, and gift tags are available, and all the profits aside from shipping and transaction fees go to the American Red Cross.
If you love baking or cooking with butter, check out the gifts tags I designed for a great finishing touch to homemade holiday gifts or even lunch box notes:
Krochet Kids – "buy a hat, change a life"
I used to work at the Apple Store with Stewart Ramsey, one of the co-founders of Krochet Kids, and I'm not surprised at what an amazing company this is because he was such a likable fellow. This company was started by GUYS who crocheted and wanted to empower people to rise above poverty, so they started by passing on these skills to a group of women ... and now, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future. You can buy a hand-crocheted item and then personally thank the woman who crocheted it (the label on the inside shows who made it).
Beloved International – Belong. Build. Believe
It's been a privilege for me to occasionally help out Beloved when they need some graphic design work done. Two of the founders attend my church, and this non-profit Christian organization is currently working to create a self-sustaining home for orphans where the orphans are actually adopted into the home by two loving parents. The Beloved Rehoboth Children's Home in Kenya is currently in need of a kitchen and dining hall for the family, and it's their goal to raise enough money by Christmas. Make a donation on behalf of a friend, or visit their small shop to buy t-shirts or a hand-crafted "beloved" bracelet.