about product (red)

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

ORGANIZATION: Product (RED)

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.

about st jude

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

ORGANIZATION: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of brand name items for the women on your list; stocking stuffers of pens, candles, and teddy bears

COST: $1 – $88

WHAT YOU GET: Brand name items from Juice, Lucky, DKNY, Paul Frank, & 9 West as well as other apparel, home gifts, jewelry, children’s items, and accessories

WHAT YOU GIVE: Funds for research and treatment of cancer and other catastrophic diseases, specifically in children

BOASTS: In 2009, St. Jude was named the Number 1 pediatric cancer care hospital in the country. They have developed protocols that help push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20% when they opened in 1962 to 80% today, including 94% survival rate for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 90% for Hidgkin lymphoma and Wilms tumor, and 85% for Medulloblastoma. In the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude.

MY PICK: Juicy Couture “Give Thanks” Tote or Soft Touch Travel Mug

LEGITIMACY: Most likely, you’ve heard of St. Jude’s before. It’s been around since 1962, and it’s legit. St. Jude’s is a BBB Accredited charity, and you can find out every detail about the business on the BBB website here. St. Jude is a registered 501c3.

MORE DETAILS: I’ve heard about St. Jude since I was in elementary school, a private school that had many activities to raise funds for St. Jude. I’m specifically including this shop on the Gift² list for my dad, as St. Jude is one of his favorite charities and he requests no one in the family get him gifts but rather donate to St. Jude instead. So for me this year, spreading the word about this charity and ways you can bless it while buying gifts for the people on your list, is the equivalent of that.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the St. Jude online shop. Click here to go to the actual St. Jude website. Click here to go to the BBB report on St. Jude.

about peace cord

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

ORGANIZATION: Peace Cord

PERFECT FOR: Gifts or stocking stuffers of bracelets

COST: $10 – $15

WHAT YOU GET: Bracelet hand woven by Afghan women, made out of parachute cord and American military buttons

WHAT YOU GIVE: Aid to grassroots programs in Afghanistan, i.e., American soldiers directly helping the local people

BOASTS: Peace Cord is a project developed by two non-profits, ARZU STUDIO HOPE and Spirit of America. While the Peace Cord itself is a relatively new opportunity, it already provides jobs for impoverished Afghan women to make the bracelets, delivers access to education and healthcare, and 100% of the profits goes back to the U.S. troops to carry out humanitarian projects that supply necessities like shoes, food, and school books to isolated Afghan communities.

MY PICK: The Marine Dress Peace Cord Bracelet, in honor of my handsome Marine brother

LEGITIMACY: The two non-profits spawning the Peace Cord project, ARZU and Spirit of America, are both registered 501c3 organizations. I see neither on the BBB website.

MORE DETAILS: ARZU sells mostly expensive rugs online which also aids women in Afghanistan. Because of the high prices of nice rugs, however, I likely won’t include it as a separate Gift² post, so I’m mentioning it here. Spirit of America is an incredible organization that works like this: troops in Afghanistan let the organization know what the locals’ needs are; the organization raises funds for that need; the organization delivers the need to the troops, who then distribute or implement it. You can find a list of needed donations on their website here, including job training, community based security team training, radios, birthing kits to help reduce infant and maternal mortality rates, and schools, among many others.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the Peace Cord site. Click here to go to the ARZU site. Click here to go to the Spirit of America site.

about feed

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

ORGANIZATION: FEED Projects

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of bags; stocking stuffers of bracelets and clutches

COST: $5 – $495

WHAT YOU GET: Mostly bags, a few items of jewelry, accessories, and apparel

WHAT YOU GIVE: Food, obviously.

BOASTS: So far, the FEED site boasts 570,938 bags and 66,834,945 meals provided. The FEED Foundation feeds people through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF. The WFP boasts daily meals for 21 million children in 74 countries.

MY PICK: Feed 1 Bag (feeds 1 child for 1 year) or Feed 3 Bear or everything else on the website

LEGITIMACY: The FEED Foundation is a registered 501c3 organization and is not listed on the BBB website.

MORE DETAILS: I really don’t know what else to say about this site, other than I love it.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the FEED Products store. Click here to go to the FEED Foundation’s official site.

about me to we style

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

ORGANIZATION: Me to We Style

PERFECT FOR: Gifts of hip new clothes; stocking stuffers of gift cards

COST: $16 – $60

WHAT YOU GET: Mostly t-shirts, some hoodies

WHAT YOU GIVE: Sustainable community development processes, such as school buildings, alternative income, health care, clean water, and sanitation projects in rural areas of Kenya, Sierra Leone, China, and Sri Lanka.

BOASTS: Me to We Style is donates half of all profits to Free the Children. Me to We Style is actually a subset of Me to We, the parent organization. In 2010, Me to We donated $1 million to Free the Children in cash and in-kind contributions, $650,000 in-kind donations to Free the Children, including services and volunteer hours from Me to We staff, and $351,000 in cash donated to help lower the charity’s administrative cost. Me to We also claims 1,300 travelers on 74 volunteer trips to help build schools, teach children, and serve in developing communities in 2010. And that’s not all. You can see the full annual report here.

MY PICK: Jessi’s Tee or the Africa Tee

LEGITIMACY: Me to We is not listed on the BBB website. Me to We’s charity partner, Free the Children, is a registered 501c3, although it is also not listed on the BBB website.

MORE DETAILS: Me to We Style is located in Toronto. The website claims if you order by tomorrow, you’ll be guaranteed to get your order by Christmas. Not sure if that includes the US, so be sure you pay attention to shipping if you decide to purchase Christmas gifts. It also seems Me to We Style has special options for organizations who wish to sell MtWS clothing for their own fundraisers.

CONTACT INFO: Click here to go to the Me to We Style store. Click here to go to the actual Me to We site and learn more about the larger organization.