about blood:water mission

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

ORGANIZATION: blood:water mission

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of shirts and water bottles; stocking stuffers of pins and stickers

COST: $.25 – $50

WHAT YOU GET: Lots of project-based items, like the “I Know Someone” merch line. Apparel, water bottles, stickers, pins, and other methods of showing support.

WHAT YOU GIVE: Empowerment of communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.

BOASTS: blood:water mission has opened 3 HIV/AIDS clinics, tested 27,130 people for HIV, enrolled 250 people in HIV programming, and served 6,579 people. They’ve had 1,039 water projects and served 632,670 people with water in 11 countries.

MY PICK: Cement Your Love or I Know Someone Tee

LEGITIMACY: blood:water mission is a registered 501c3 organization and is certified by the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability (ECFA). It is not a BBB accredited charity.

MORE DETAILS: The blood:water website states, “All orders received after 12/19 will ship after 12/28 due to our office being closed.” If ordering in time for Christmas, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ll get your purchase in time.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the blood:water mission website. Click here to go straight to the store.

about the nature conservancy

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

ORGANIZATION: The Nature Conservancy

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of apparel, home gifts, or “adoption” gifts; stocking stuffers of pins, earrings, keychains

COST: $4.99 – $100

WHAT YOU GET: Apparel, cute jewelry, weather stations, mugs, calendars, other miscellaneous typical gift items, and also opportunities to invest in the earth as a gift in someone’s name

WHAT YOU GIVE: Preservation of plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

BOASTS: With six decades of experience, the Nature Conservancy has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 river miles. They operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally.

MY PICK: Wireless Sun/Moon Forecast Station with Oscar Outlook or Protect Oceans and Coasts

LEGITIMACY: The Nature Conservancy is a BBB accredited charity and a registered 501c3. You can read more about their accountability practices by clicking here.

MORE DETAILS: As we get closer to Christmas, shipping times for online purchases is obviously going to be an issue. The Nature Conservancy, like other upcoming Gift² features, offers unique opportunities to buy something in someone’s name rather than a gift for the person himself. I’ll say this again, but my suggestion is similar to the kids’ gift items listed on the Nature Conservancy page. For example, if you purchase the Gift of Clean Water in Ecuador for someone, your gift recipient will also get a canteen as a symbol of the gift in his name. A friend of mine gave me a similar gift a year or two ago. She purchased a flock of geese in my name and then gave me a goose ornament as a symbol of it. It was thoughtful, clever, and one of the best gifts someone could give me. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this gift idea.

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

about red cross

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

ORGANIZATION: American Red Cross

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of apparel and first aid kits; stocking stuffers of keychains or first aid tins

COST: $1.95 – $99.95 (some training items higher)

WHAT YOU GET: Mostly first aid and care-related items, some apparel and gift items

WHAT YOU GIVE: Aid to services in six areas: domestic disaster relief; community services for the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; collection, processing, and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; international relief and development programs

BOASTS: The Red Cross boasts half a million volunteers, 35,000 employees, and nearly 700 local chapters who help more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the US. They help thousands of US service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.

MY PICK: Track Jacket Asphalt/White or Vintage-Style Personal First Aid Kit

LEGITIMACY: The American Red Cross is (obviously) a registered 501c3 and a BBB accredited charity

MORE DETAILS: The Red Cross store is offering free shipping today only, but make sure the particular item you’re purchasing is covered with that deal if you’re looking to get it in time for Christmas. For items purchased on the Red Cross store website, up to 50% of the retail price goes directly to the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross National Headquarters, and 20% of that goes directly back to your local chapter. Pretty cool.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go straight to the store. Click here to go to the main Red Cross website.

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.