Attention all you last minute shoppers… and anyone who struggles to buy “the perfect gift” for someone who has everything! We have some fabulous gift suggestions, sure to delight the recipient, and in some cases, also provide a tangible helping hand to many less fortunate people.
So what are you waiting for – awesome and unique gifts in every price range are just a click away (via each organization’s hyperlinked name).
Time to Get Shopping!
Shop Local: Support Small Businesses & Entreprenuers
We are extremely fortunate to have a few “local” entrepreneurs as Listing Members! Check out the following for cool jule gifts (click on the business name to go to their website, click on the person’s name to see their WomenCentric Professional Listing:
- Handmade socks, mittens, toys: Stitches In Time by Rachel Moffat
- Eclectic Handmade – Custom Jewelry: Aych Designs by Heidi Woerner
- Unique Jewelry & Wearable Art: CeciliaCove, Co-Founder, Sally Heineman
- Original Handcrafted Jewelry: RitaSunderland, by Rita Sunderland
- Children’s Books: Nate Rocks the World, by Karen Pokras Toz
- Eco clothing and Accessories: Annatarian by Anna Mkhitarian
World-Changing Gift Ideas
Enable Childhood Literacy and Lifelong Learning
Organization: www.familyreading.org, Founder: Brigid Hubberman
The mission of this organization is to enable an early love of learning through reading to children. Studies prove that kids who have been read to from an early age tend to be better students – and that the act of family reading creates great bonding experiences that everyone benefits from.
Susanne Kernan’s husband gave us the heads-up about this fabulous organization – thanks so much Dean!
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Feed a family, create a new Income Stream and help struggling families around the world! Imagine – you can buy a cow or a water buffalo, a llama, camel or maybe some geese. Something as simple as this can provide much needed sustenance for the entire family, as well as possibly help create a new income source for the family.
Organization: Heifer International www.heifer.org
Thanks to an anonymous WomenCentric supporter for this terrific idea. This globe-trotting Associate Director and her husband decided to spend their Holiday gift money to helping several families – he “bought” some pigs* and her donation purchased a water buffalo – kudos for their kindness and the tip about this wonderful organization!
*NOTE: as of this writing pigs were not listed on Heifer International’s website, so consider donating sheep or goats instead!
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Help Combat AIDS in Africa!
Organization: AIDSfreeAFRICA.org, Founder: Dr. Rolande Hodel
I’ve personally met Dr. Hodel, an amazing woman dedicating her time and talents to building new medical centers in Africa. The crux of her vision: build mini-research, development and treatment centers in under-served communities plagued by AIDS, staffed and run by trained locals. The goal: help Africans become self-sufficient in producing life-saving pharmaceuticals. An awesome program with serious positive repercussions!
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Feed the Needy in New Jersey with Real Food
Organization: TabletoTable.org, Founder:Claire Insalata Poulus
What happens to all the leftover prepared food in corporate caferias, restaurants and catering halls? In northern NJ a lot of it gets quickly redelivered to area food banks, to help feed a growing number of needy, as well as the working poor. This organization is amazing – helping to get tasty and many times gourmet-quality food to folks who can use it the most.
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Give Needy Children the Comfort of Pajamas and a Bedtime Book
Organization: ThePajamaProgram.org, Founder: Genevieve Piturro
Many underprivileged children go to bed in their regular clothes or sweats. While this may not seem to be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, something as simple as PJ’s and a bedtime story can help a child feel comforted and cared for. Founder Genevieve’s story – and her mission – came to her when she was volunteering in a shelter. Her organization is working to provide PJ’s and a book to thousands of children waiting for adoption, living in shelters, orphanages and group homes. A $10 donation will help them get one set of pajamas and a new book to a child; so forego a couple of grande lattes and provide comfort and literacy opportunities to a child – priceless!
Other worthy organizations….
Kiva.org – provides micro-enterprise loans to new entrepreneurs in developing countries. Helping someone to become self-sufficient, learn new skills and improve their family’s circumstances… all good stuff!
The Hermitage – if you’re a Revolutionary War or American history buff – you have a vested interest in preserving special buildings and land around the country, where historic events took place. The Hermitage in Bergen County, NJ is one such place – General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette camped here for three days; Aaron Bur married Theodosia Prevost here as well. As with many historic locales, The Hermitage relies heavily on private donations, special events, lectures and memberships to keep the house and grounds in good condition, to offer tours and off-site history lessons about the site’s occupants and their doings to metro NY/NJ school children.
PeopletoPeople – a Rockland County, New York based food pantry, provides food and other needed services to families and seniors in need. With the rocky economy and so many out of work, this organization is always seeking assistance and donations.
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Chances are you’ve got a favorite charity, a food pantry, a social service organization or historic landmark you want to preserve. For those difficult to buy for or “have everything” folks on your Holiday Gift List – considering a gift that gives back.
And remember, all or a portion of your gift is usually tax deductible (consult your tax professional for specific tax benefits).
Have a question about the effectiveness of your favorite charity?? Check out CharityNavigator to see how much of your donation goes towards making a real impact/positive change.
Whatever you celebrate – we hope you have a blessed Holiday Season and a healthy, adventurous and exciting New Year!