RED Hearts: Gifts for Good

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 7.54.39 PMRED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today. Today’s RED Hearts post is from RED author Eliza Appleton, 23, in NYC, who has found a virtuous and cool place to do of your holiday shopping:

I don’t want to sound too presumptuous here, but every time I ask a friend or family member what they want for Christmas or their birthday or graduation, they always say, “You have the best taste. Whatever you get me, you know I’ll love it,” or something of that ilk.

So I guess I’m a bit of a stylistic genius or something. (Bear with me, it’s for charity…)

That, combined with my recent move to New York after graduating from college in Maine, has turned me into a bargain-hunting shopping guru. Ballin’ on a budget, if you will. Though I’m all about thrifting these days, I feel a little weird giving someone a gently-used gift from a thrift shop or something. You never know who you might offend.

Anyhow, I stumbled upon this cool website that has great things that are inexpensive and cute and are not only totally giftable (is that even a word?), but charitable, too. It’s called Given Goods Co. It even has a Gifts Under $30 section -- perfect!

The cool way their business works is that every time someone purchases an item, part of the proceeds go to a charitable cause --supporting education, environmental preservation, sustaining job opportunities, etc., via partner organizations around the world. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about philanthropy, so that just makes me want to buy more from this site. Since everyone seems to think I have such impeccable taste -- again, people, charity! -- I’ll bet you and your friends won’t go wrong with my $30-and-under recommendations.

♥ Petite Statement Earrings ($20). First of all, teal is the new black (although these come in many great colors). Second of all, I love how dainty these are. Totally chic, as is their cause. How many other people at the holiday party can say their earrings help to provide jobs, housing, health care and education for female refugees in the U.S.? Dress them up with a LBD or dress them down with skinny jeans and a t-shirt. They’re extremely versatile!

♥ The Cocktail Board ($30). I’m not even sure what a “cocktail board” is, but it looks like a cutting board to me, albeit an extremely high-style one. It’s simple and gorgeous. One corner is kind of lopped off, which only adds interest. I’m all about asymmetry because going with the grain is so boring. And when you’re cooking for yourself, like I am in my new NYC apartment, cutting boards are a MUST. This is certainly one I wouldn’t be ashamed to leave out on my counter or even hang up on the wall when I’m not using it. Plus, it benefits people living in poverty in LA.

♥ Eat Well Napkins ($29). First, a thought more cheerful, even, than the bright graphic design of these napkins: They help fund warm meal deliveries to senior citizens across America through Meals on Wheels. For your meals, they’re great for throwing dinner parties, and they’re cotton, so you’re not adding paper to the landfill; you can throw them in the washing machine and use them over and over. Hello helping the environment! Hello helping old people eat! These are imperatives.

♥ Triple Wrap Leather Bracelet ($16). Wrap bracelets have been in since I can remember, and they’re not going out of style anytime soon. It’s so hard to find inexpensive ones that don’t look cheap though, so better snatch this one up while you can. Half of the colors are already sold out! They’re made by and support artisans in Peru.

♥ Brazilet Wish Pack Cost ($15, pictured). These are so indie-boho, and I love the bright colors. You can wear them as friendship bracelets (yes, I’m still a sleepaway camp girl at heart), or keep them all for yourself and coordinate them with your outfit for the day. So many colors and messages to choose from. They’re an absolute steal. And speaking of happy campers, they help fight deforestation of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.

RED Hearts guest poster Eliza Appleton is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.