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Gifts that keep on giving

The trees are up, the lights are lit, and the lists are made. But, before you ask for more gifts this holiday season; ask yourself “What can I do to give back to others?”
This time of year has been so commercialized, with people spending more and wanting things they do not actually need.
However, this year a few brands have some products whose proceeds are going to charities. This way, when you receive or give one of these gifts, part of the proceeds will go to a charity. Literally, these are the gifts that keep on giving! So what are you waiting for? You do not have to feel guilty about spending to spread this holiday cheer!

  • Ralph Lauren has a line of Pink Pony t-shirts and polos that are very cute. A percentage of sales from all Pink Pony products supports programs for screening, early diagnosis, treatment and research for breast cancer. Many girls my age (16) love Ralph Lauren. Charity has never looked so good! The link is https://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2470341
  • Product (RED) is a collaboration of many brands that sell special edition (RED) products. A portion of the sales of these products goes to combating AIDS in Africa. You can get Gap attire, iPods, Motorola Razors, Giorgio Armani, Converse, and even iTunes edition (RED) products. Go to www.productred.com.
  • MAC has a special seasonal lip-gloss compact with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the MAC Aids Fund. Go to www.Mac.com.
  • A very fashionable thing in high schools this season is the Invisible Children Bracelets. Each different color bracelet represents the face of a different child in Uganda and a different difficulty they have had to overcome. The bracelets are $20 and they have become somewhat of a fashion statement and humanitarian statement at my school. The proceeds go to supporting children in war-torn Uganda. In addition, the bracelets are made by women in refugee camps in Uganda. It creates jobs and helps boost the economy. The bracelet truly does come full circle. For more information, go to www.invisiblechildren.com.
  • A bigger Christmas gift (and a New Year’s resolution) is signing up to do an endurance sport event with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. You raise money (usually $4,000-$5,000) for blood cancer research during a 6-month period as you train for a marathon, half marathon, triathlon, or bike race. This past October, my friend Sara and I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon with Team in Training. We were the youngest girls in our local chapter and the two of us raised $10,000 combined. Go to www.teamintraining.org for more information.
    If you were to do any one of these things, or maybe a service activity, I am sure you will not find coal in your stocking on Christmas Day. Always remember, the best gifts are the ones you give. Moreover, many of these gifts are accepted year round.
    So, do not be a Scrooge, go out and make the world a better place.
    We all have the potential to be Santa’s helpers.

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