about the american diabetes association

(For more information on the Gift² project, click here.)

ORGANIZATION: American Diabetes Association

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of apparel; stocking stuffers of pens, notecards, or the ever-coveted Bret Michaels bandana

COST: $.01 – $76.95

WHAT YOU GET: Apparel, bags, home decor, holiday gifts, cookbooks, jewelry

WHAT YOU GIVE: Funding for research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes.

BOASTS: Last year the American Diabetes Association provided more than $33.5 million in research funds to combat diabetes, supported 435 awards at 142 leading research institutions in the US. They deliver services to hundreds of communities, including children with diabetes and their families and high-risk populations.

MY PICK: Reindeer Apron and Towel Set or Magnetic Measuring Spoons

LEGITIMACY: You probably already guessed it, but the American Diabetes Association is a BBB accredited charity and a registered 501c3.

MORE DETAILS: You’ve almost certainly heard of the American Diabetes Association before, and it’s incredibly likely you know at least one person with diabetes. What you probably didn’t realize is they have gifts and products you would actually want and use on their website, and the purchase of that product can benefit your loved ones who have diabetes. Like all the Gift² posts, it’s a win-win.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the American Diabetes Association main site. Click here to go straight to the store.

about charity: water

(For more information on the Gift² project, click here.)

ORGANIZATION: charity: water

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of jewelry apparel; stocking stuffers of electronics skins or notepads

COST: $20 – $199.99

WHAT YOU GET: Bracelets and other jewelry, apparels, thermoses, stationery, electronic skins, and more

WHAT YOU GIVE: Clean, safe drinking water for people in developing nations

BOASTS: As of the last quarter, charity: water has been able to bring clean water to over 2 million people. They’ve funded 4,282 water projects in 19 countries with 25 local partners.

MY PICK: The Thermos Hydration Bottle or The Jerry Can Pendant

LEGITIMACY: Charity: water is a registered 501c3 and is not listed on the BBB website

MORE DETAILS: The stats on the dramatic effects of unsafe drinking water are shocking. Charity: water combats these dangers by developing sustainable water solutions in developing countries. After each water project is completed, charity: water shares the GPS coordinates, photos, and other details. You can even view the locations of previous water projects on their website here.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the charity: water store. Click here to go to the charity: water main site.

about better world books

(For more information on the Gift² project, click here.)

ORGANIZATION: Better World Books

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of books; stocking stuffers of gift certificates

COST: Wide variety, and with 8 million books, it’d be hard to narrow down

WHAT YOU GET: Basically every book you might ever need, from textbooks to leisure reading

WHAT YOU GIVE: Funding for high-impact literacy projects both in the United States and around the world

BOASTS: Better World Books keeps a running counter at the top of their website to track and display giving progress. At the time I’m writing this, Better World Books has donated well over 5.6 million books, raised over $10.5 million for literacy and libraries, and recycled or reused over 67.7 million books.

MY PICK: “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski or “Complete Poems and Plays” by T.S. Eliot (both of which I own and highly recommend)

LEGITIMACY: Better World Books is a BBB accredited business with an A+ rating.

MORE DETAILS: Each purchase of a Better World Book helps fund organizations like Room to Read, Invisible Children, the National Center for Family Literacy, Worldfund, and Books for Africa. Additionally, for every book sold on BWB, the BWB company donates a book to Books for Africa or Feed the Children.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the Better World Books website.

about invisible children

(For more information on the Gift² project, click here.)

ORGANIZATION: Invisible Children

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of apparel; stocking stuffers of pins or bracelets

COST: $3 – $115

WHAT YOU GET: Hipster shirts, DVDs with bracelets, bags, necklaces

WHAT YOU GIVE: Raised awareness for the state of unrest in Uganda, programming for affected children and their families, including provision of educational scholarships, mentorship, and rebuilding of secondary academic institutions

BOASTS: Invisible Children has many different facets. The Legacy Scholarship Program provides scholarships and mentoring to 590 secondary and 195 university students from Gulu, Amuru, and Pader districts. The Schools for Schools campaign raised $1,144,174.87 for 1,162 schools. The Frontline campaign has raised $1,346,810 so far for humanitarian assistance in the LRA-affected regions of DR Congo. And those are just a few of the results from Invisible Children’s many different campaigns.

MY PICK: The Justice Wreath Pullover or The Gray Rescue Bracelet (Click here for more information about this amazing product’s lasting returns)

LEGITIMACY: Invisible Children is a registered 501c3. It is listed on the BBB website but not is not officially accredited. All of their financials are listed online here.

MORE DETAILS: I first heard about Invisible Children when my friend bought me an Invisible Children shirt for a birthday gift. She knew I’d love a gift that also supported a great cause, and she was right. Now I’m passing the torch on to all of you, to buy Invisible Children products for your friends and continue spreading the word. The Bracelet Campaign is one of my favorite campaigns they’ve done. The people who made the bracelets were taught classes in investment and savings. The money they make from the bracelets they’ve been able to invest and later open their own small businesses to see a much greater return. And as for gifts, each bracelet/DVD combo comes with two bracelets–one to the recipient and one to pass on to a friend to spread the word. So let’s keep it going.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the Invisible Children website. Click here to go straight to the store.

about product (red)

(For more information on the Gift² project, click here.)


PERFECT FOR: Gifts of electronics and apparel; stocking stuffers of iPhone apps or gift cards

COST: Varies way too much for me to track down

WHAT YOU GET: The same items you’d already be buying, such as popular electronics, apparel, iPhone apps, even vodka

WHAT YOU GIVE: Financing for HIV health and community support programs in Africa, with a focus on women and children

BOASTS: To date, (RED) partners and events have contributed more than $180 million to the Global Fund and impacted over 7.5 million people. The Global Fund grants support locally-designed programs that provide ARV therapy for HIV+ individuals, support HIV prevention, feed and educate children orphaned by AIDS, and provide the low-cost treatments needed to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV from mother to child. There are currently more than 240,000 HIV+ positive people on ARV treatment, more than 95,000 HIV+ pregnant women with preventative antiretroviral treatment to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to their babies, and 7 million people have undergone HIV testing and counseling as a result of funds from the Global Fund and (RED).

MY PICK: Anchored in Hope T  or Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD Headphones (for Ronnie)

LEGITIMACY: (RED) is technically a brand name, officially Product (RED). All of the money raised through the (RED) items is given to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, a public-private partnership based in Switzerland. As such, I found no information on the BBB website.

MORE DETAILS: If I started a charity, this is about what it would look like, and not just because I love red colored items. I think it’s a great idea if people bought less of what they didn’t need in order to donate to people who need more than we can ever imagine. And yet realistically, that isn’t going to happen with the vast majority of Americans (I can’t speak for other countries). So (RED)’s genius is that it allows people to keep buying the exact same things they’d already be buying, but a portion of it goes to something good, all by choosing a (RED) product over a regular product. The product price is the same. And I love ideas like the (RED) Starbucks gift card–people who are Starbucks fanatics can get the (RED) gift card, preload it for a month’s worth of coffee, and then use it to pay each time they order coffee. Five cents from each purchase goes to the Global Fund, and it may not sound like a lot, but if you’re willing to drop $5 every day on a cup of coffee, why not make sure someone somewhere can benefit directly from that? And in exchange for promoting the (RED) partners for the (RED) campaign, partnerships pay a licensing fee to create the products. Basically it’s a win-win-win-win situation. I already own several (RED) items, from apparel and accessories to electronics and an iPhone app. I love it, and I highly endorse it.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the list of (RED) products available. Click here to start at the official (RED) site.