You know the holidays are coming when you see good ol' St. Nick standing outside Rite Aid with his bell, collecting for the Salvation Army -- which, for a lot of us, is our usual charity of choice. But do you ever wonder exactly how your money helps?
The season of giving is here. Companies are getting wise to the global economic crisis and are stepping in to assist in some pretty cool ways. There are becoming more and more opportunities to help people all over the world -- without even leaving your home or spending any extra money. And even better, you know exactly how your donation is helping.
As you are shopping for the holidays, consider these:
Nearly one billion people in world desperately need eyeglasses, but can't afford them. Because of this, 15 percent of the population cannot learn or perform their jobs effectively.
If you have a near-sighted loved one, consider buying them a stylish set of frames from Warby Parker. For every pair you purchase, a pair is donated to a person in need. So far the company has raised the economic impact by $100+ million.
For mission doctors working in third world countries, clean scrubs are imperative to prevent the spread of disease. Due to limited budgets, millions do not have access to these.
Scrubs are not only for medical professionals, but are actually becoming the hip version of pajamas. FIGS designs and creates high quality tailored scrubs made out of ridiculously soft fabric, making them perfect for cuddling up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa. For every set you purchase, a set is donated a healthcare provider through the company's 'Threads for Threads' initiative.
Domestic abuse is an epidemic in our country. Many of the victims have been humiliated by their abuser to the point where they don't feel like women anymore and due to the violence, have had to flee to a shelter with no clothes.
If this is a cause that is near and dear to your heart, you may want to shop for your girlfriends at Soma. They make very cute and comfortable bras, but the best part is, they donate underwear to domestic violence shelters -- giving victims a renewed sense of femininity and hope.
Global warming is a constant worry. Enough said.
Patagonia is an obvious gift-stop for the outdoor sports enthusiast in your life, but you may love this company even more when you realize their commitment to keeping the great outdoors great. One percent of all sales goes to the preservation of the natural environment and they have donated over $46 million to grassroots organizations from all over the world.
If you are a parent, you can imagine how scary it would be to not be able to feed and clothe your baby. Sadly, too many parents struggle with this every day.
If you have a baby in your life, try buying his or her gifts at Baby Teresa. They have really adorable, 100 percent organic cotton baby clothes and accessories. For every piece of clothing you buy, one is donated to a baby in need and formula is donated for every accessory purchased.
Amplify your feelings of gratitude this holiday season by giving gifts that matter. If any awesome companies were missed in this list, please add them in the comments below.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!