Sunday, November 30, 2014

Giving (aka Huge List of Toys, Non-Profits, Businesses, and Ways to Do Some Good and Shop).

Tuesday is considered "Giving Tuesday," which is a time to make donations to causes we love at the end of the year and on the heels of Black Friday.   This post includes some ways to give back with your shopping, as well as some great causes for Giving Tuesday.  If you're going to spend a lot this season,  make it count. 


For the ladies, I love Noonday.  I just found out about Noonday this year, and there's tons of cute jewelry and accessories that provide opportunities for workers in developing countries.  If you host a party, you can donate to adoption funds.  Yay!  Props to Kelle for sharing this company.

My Noonday Ambassador introduced me to Material Fix, which empowers girls.  Another winner for pretty accessories.

How fun is this indestructible soccer ball?  It's a buy one, give one model (like Toms - for every one you buy, the company donates one.)


Each year, we let Ellie pick an animal from Heifer International to donate.  World Vision has something similar, we just happened to get the Heifer catalogue the day we planned to donate last year.  When she gets older, we will let her pick an organization, but for now, we just let her select her favorite picture.

I love companies that employ people with disabilities.

Locals, I have heard amazing things about Cameron's Chocolates.  Check them out.  I promise I will just as soon as I get outside the beltway.  Cameron's Chocolates employs people with disabilities and all my friends who have tried them love them.

Slightly less local, Furnace Hills Coffee Company also employs people with Down syndrome.  You can order beans online.

My aunt loves this company that makes kazoos.  I can't fully support a kazoo company because of Ellie and the kazoo.  I think you should go support them, and then send your kazoo to someone that is not Ellie.* In fact, my mom and aunt went to the factory and my mom was really excited to give Ellie a kazoo until I reminded her of the kazoo incident.  She was kind enough to give the kazoo to another small child.

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty employs people with disabilities.  And ready to get super crazy?  You can get it on Amazon!

I've mentioned BlueQ before, but my friend Meriah just reminded me about them.

Also, Walgreen's and Trader Joe's both hire people with disabilities regularly.  Win.


And as a belated celebration of Small Business Saturday, which we spent driving from Lake Placid to DC and visiting highway rest areas, here are a few of my favorite small businesses.

You all know I love Jude and Fi hair clips!  Tell Shannon I sent you.  (I don't get anything for that, I just want her to feel love!)

Ellie's mane tamed by Jude and Fi over summer.
A friend got a gift from The Ruffled Bird at a baby shower recently and it was great.  Check them out.

Shannon of Jude and Fi told me about Alley and Rae.  She also told me that they are big on giving back, so shop away.


If nothing else, you can always set your Amazon to AmazonSmile.  Just enter a charity of your choosing and a tiny percentage of your purchases are donated.  It's not much, but it can add up.  I currently use mine to support Down Syndrome Education, USA.  You can donate to Young Life, to Casa Chirilagua, to the DSANV (our local DS organization) and many, many more.  You just search for your favorite charity - I just plugged in the names of non-profits I like as examples.  I started giving to DownsEd because I got an email that asked me to sign up.  And whether or not you use AmazonSmile, I'm sure any of those groups would love your donation!

A few favorites from Amazon?  These are all items we've owned that get Ellie's seal of approval.  They aren't exactly small business, but if you're buying "big box" anyway, give back while you do!

For the little ones, Ellie loved this house. It's super annoying though.  (I love you Sarah and Dan!)
This fake food is always a winner, too.
And for my little animal lover, these magnets were a hit.

Can't forget the Slinky. Ellie loved it as a baby and still loves it!

Happy Holiday shopping!

*I never blogged about Ellie and the kazoo.  Ellie and I were home alone one evening.  She found one her teacher gave her.  I showed her how to play it.  I got an awful headache from the kazoo in my ear.  I had a beer.  Then I got a worse headache because Ellie screamed at me, "NO!  That's DADDY'S DRINK!"  I could not have more than three sips because the scolding was driving me nuts.  So I don't like kazoos anymore.

P.S. I think I make a grand total of 8 cents from the Amazon links.  I don't really care if you use them.  I do care if you take a second to think about how to give back.
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