Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where Are You Shopping This Year?

For Christmas and/or Chanukah where will you be doing your shopping for your loved ones, co-workers and other gift giving necessities?  Gift cards?  Something nice from one of the big box stores?  This year, consider an alternative - consider shopping at local businesses, buying from local artisans, buying only Made in America products, giving your time on behalf of a charity or giving financially to a charity.  What about tickets to a play, concert or other event - this is supporting the local economy.  These are all alternatives to the usual gift giving ideas and just a few I dreamed up in the writing of this blog - I'm sure you can all add your ideas to the comments page!

With the US economy stalled at the bottom of a big (OK, humongous) dip, wouldn't it be powerful if the majority of Americans shopped for locally made products?  Think of the economic boost that would provide to their community and their country.  Below are some ideas.

An American product only website -
New Balance - Many of their running shoes are made in America, they also have lots of other products.
Cool Building blocks for kids
Dog and Cat products
Made in California Products
Online Store - Every item made in New England
If you just put a little effort into it, it's a piece of cake to buy your gifts, American Made.

Donate your time and volunteer - here is the Los Angeles website for all opportunities
Want to give to the needy - donate a couple chickens with Heifer International
Top 25 rated children's charities
Putting homeless to work in Hollywood  -- donate time, money or clothes!
People helping people - in Los Angeles

Yes, charities are always iffy as you never really know how much money is given to their actual programs versus to their administrative costs.  Well, wait - you can know - check out the Charity Navigator - this rates all charities - I find any charity with 3 stars and above is great.  It's hard to find a charity with over a 70% program rate but they are out there.  3 stars is usually in the 60's. 

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