Gifts for the greater good.
Wed Nov 2 2011
Still stuck on what to get your foodie friend for the holidays? Try a do-gooder gift. New York's major hunger charities—City Harvest and Food Bank (cityharvest.org; foodbanknyc.org)—are good places to start. Both organizations help secure and distribute food to needy locals, and offer easy options for online donations. Name a dollar amount and your pal will receive a letter confirming that an honorary gift was made in their name.
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For the global sympathizer—or your best-traveled bud—go broader with Blue Marble. The Brooklyn ice-cream shop, run by Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen, started a non-profit called Inzozi Nziza (which means "sweet dreams") in Rwanda (bluemarbledreams.org). Your online donation goes to training and compensating the staff (all local, often impoverished women), keeping up the shop and sourcing African ingredients. E-mail Blue Marble directly (firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com) to request a customized note for your giftee.
If you prefer your philanthropic funds to stay on NYC soil, try Added Value, a nonprofit dedicated to getting underprivileged Red Hook youths involved with educational community projects—including transforming public parks and city property into sustainable farmland. The fruits (and veggies) of their labor are used in local restaurants like Fort Defiance and the Good Fork; you can help make sure the organization's got the lettuce they need to open shop next spring by gifting a donation online (added-value.org). Then go back to being a grinch—you've earned it.