Give and Give Again

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Have you ever given a donation in a friend’s name as a gift? How about a pig for a family on the other side of the world through Heifer International? If you’re anything like us, you love the idea of these gifts but worry that come Christmas morning your sweetheart or sister will thank you outwardly while grumbling on the inside. Worry no longer, we’ve found three places where you can purchase a creative gift (books, music, photography) and the profit from your purchase will benefit a good cause. You give a feel-good gift, artists sell their wares and spread their names, charities receive donations, and your giftee goes home happy. Holiday giving dilemmas: solved.

At collect.give you can purchase original works of limited edition photography and the photographers donate the profits to a charity of their choosing. Brooklyn photographer Dalton Rooney has chosen MillionTreesNYC to receive proceeds from the sale of his prints. We also love the mid-winter moodiness of Melissa Kaseman‘s print (above), and that she’s chosen Inglis House, a facility for adults living with physical disabilities, as her charity because they took such good care of her mom.

Much like collect.give, Madras Press publishes short stories and novellas, and the proceeds go to charities that the authors handpick. Many of these works fall outside of what’s considered commercially viable: the stories are too long for a magazine or journal to print, yet not long enough for a book. Supporting the Madras Press opens up new avenues for writers by expanding the types of stories that are published, and makes for a much more personal relationship with your reading than the point-click-done ethos of Amazon.com.

Sweet Tomb, a story about a candy-loving witch who can’t stop munching down her own gingerbread house, by Brooklyn resident Trinnie Dalton, makes a great stocking stuffer in lieu of candy canes and chocolate oranges. Proceeds go the the Theodore Payne Foundations for Wildflowers and Native Plants. Online sales have closed until the new year, but Madras Press books are available at St. Mark’s Bookshop and we have it on good authority that Word in Greenpoint will soon start carrying the eclectic collection. Or, order online via Powell’s Books.

If you need music for your holiday party or a musical stocking stuffer, Do You EAR What I EAR is the hottest holiday charity album out there. Our friends at Ear Farm have compiled an album of new and old, classic and quirky holiday songs from Tom Tom Club, Asobi Seksu, Sean Bones, Julie Doiron, Sharon Van Etten, and more. Suggested donation of $5 and up goes to the Association to Benefit Children. Think of the children! Download while you whip up a batch of hot toddies (or our new favorite hot booze: the Ben and Jerry) and enjoy.

Sent by Annaliese. Photos courtesy of Melissa Kaseman and Ear Farm.

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