For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer

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2015 Gifts That Give Back

Tis’ the season for giving! I’ve curated a fun list of gift ideas that give back in more ways that one. By giving these gifts, you’re also giving back to a great cause.

2015 Gifts That Give Back


1. The Gemma Hat by Krochet Kids: Krochet Kids supports women living in poverty in Northern Uganda and Peru by providing them with jobs, an education, and career counseling in order to create long lasting, sustainable change. This classic, gray pompom beanie is perfect for colder weather.

2. Dime Collection (tortoise frame with gold mirror lenses) by Diff Eyewear: These shades not only keep you from squinting on bright, sunny days, but also help to supply eyeglasses to rural areas in Africa. For every pair of eyewear that is bought through Diff Eyewear, a pair of eyeglasses is given (at no cost) to communities that do not have access to vision care.

3. Resilience Necklace by Made By Survivors: Made By Survivors provides jobs, education, and shelter to thousands of human trafficking survivors in Nepal, India, Cambodia, and Thailand. This particular necklace is inspired by vines that grow in Northern India. Like the women who make these necklaces, vines are very resilient. When you cut them down, they grow back even stronger.

4. Black and Gold Striped Vase by Ten Thousand Villages: Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations. They are the founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and strive to improve the lives of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. This vase is made with a traditional Peruvian technique, but the black and gold stripes give it a modern twist.

5. Nine West Cross Body from The Fashion Foundation: Recently Nine West donated over 300 bags to the Fashion Foundation. So if you want to get a good quality bag for a fraction of the cost while also supporting a good cause, this is the place to do it. The Fashion Foundation has donated over $10,000 to schools in need of basic supplies like pencils, crayons, uniforms, and basic gym equipment. You can read more about The Fashion Foundation in this interview I did with the founder, Amanda Munz.

6. Maria Poncho by Moorea Seal: Moorea Seal is an awesome store that donates 7% of profits to a variety of causes. This poncho combines comfort and style and gives back to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I call that a win-win-win. You can also check out my Moorea Seal gift guides from last year: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

7. Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch by Endangered Species Chocolate: There’s no better winter combination than chocolate and peppermint. 10% of the proceeds from each bar go to one of two foundations Endangered Species Chocolate is currently partnered with: African Wildlife Foundation or The Xerces Society.

8. On Purpose Blue Leather Tote by Kate Spade: What girl doesn’t want to find a Kate Spade bag under the tree? This particular bag is from the On Purpose collection, which provides jobs, heath care, and fair wages to 150 women in Masoro, Rwanda. The end goal is to positively transform the entire community of over 20,000 people.

9. Tiny Treasures Lil’ Zip by Dogeared: The makers of this adorable pouch are a little different than the rest of the companies on this list. Dogeared is a certified B-Corp, which means it is a for profit company that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

10. In-Ear Wired Sport Headphones by SMS Audio: These headphones help support Feeding America, which is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. SMS Audio was founded by 50 Cent so you know they’ll be stylish, yield high quality sound, and will be appreciated by the music lover in your life.

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Battling Cancer With Song

When it comes to music, I don’t like to limit myself to one genre and I am pretty open when it comes to listening to new songs. I would even give a modern pan flute polka dub step remix a whirl. I love finding new songs. So when I read a buzzfeed article about Harry Hudson and his music, I was very intrigued.

Harry had just released his first single and was well on his way to his dream of becoming a recording artist when he was diagnose with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. But rather than let this get in the way of his dreams he said “I wanted to show the world that you can still be positive no matter what you’re dealing with, even if you’re dying, if you’re just happy with yourself. When I lost my hair, I shared a photo. No eyebrows? That’s funny”. With this positive attitude, Harry was able to write and shoot a video for his song “Learn 2 Love” all while going through chemo. Today Harry’s cancer is in remission and going forward he hopes to inspire others with his music. You can download “Learn 2 Love” on iTunes and 100% of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

I think the electric beat contrasts nicely with his melodic voice. I could definitely imagine it among other pop/hip-hop songs that are on the radio. And I have had it stuck in my head the past few days, but the only words I know so far are “if you learn to love”. So it is kind of annoying. And now I hope you get it stuck in your head all day too. You are welcome!

Harry’s journey reminded me of the story of Zach Sobiech, which was a pretty big in the news last spring. If you haven’t seen his Soul Pancake mini documentary, I highly encourage you take a gander. But I suggest grabbing a box of tissues beforehand. This video could make Lord Voldemort tear up.

You can also download his song “Clouds” on iTunes and 60% of the proceeds go to the The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.

Although each song has a very different tune, they share a very similar message: be kind, be positive, and enjoy your life.