By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein
No doubt you’ve been stocking up on gifts for all your friends having babies and the countless birthday parties your child has been invited to. Well, stop right now! Instead of shelling out tons of money on extraneous gifts your friends will most likely return, opt to give them the gift that keeps on giving – to charity that is. Here are just a few of the many companies dedicated to improving the lives of others. By donating a portion of their proceeds to a worthy cause, they help to make the world we live in a better place for everyone.
Happy First Tees
For every tee purchased from this fabulous women and children’s line of apparel, Happy First donates a portion of its proceeds to cancer research. Long before it was an apparel company, “Happy First” was a simple greeting conceived by Debbie Vinyard, a cancer survivor and all-around optimist. It was her way of celebrating: the first day of every month, the first big milestones in life, the first moments of living each day. With her line of clothing and accessories for the metro mama and her baby, Debbie Vinyard has created something that motivates others to actively identify and pursue personal happiness. Visit http://www.happyfirst.com.
Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project
Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project is both a timeless benefit effort and a uniquely compelling multimedia experience. The ambitious project—which incorporates a two-CD, 26-song set; a lavishly illustrated hardcover book of 17 songs from the album; a corresponding e-book encompassing the entire collection; and a documentary film—gathers many of contemporary musical theatre’s greatest composers and vocalists, as well as illustrators, all of whom have donated their talent to deliver an emotionally affecting set of new lullabies, some written specifically for this project. The project will raise money for such respected breast cancer charities as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Young Survival Coalition.
The album features Broadway powerhouses like Raul Esparza, Sutton Foster, Brian D’Arcy James, Kelli O’Hara, Donna Murphy, Anika Noni Rose and Vanessa Williams. Esteemed writers and composers include Rupert Holmes, John Patrick Shanley, Stephen Schwartz and David Shire. The book features a distinctive cover illustration by fabled cartoonist/playwright Jules Feiffer, along with a foreword written by stage and screen legend Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton.
This product of passion and dedication by the album’s co-producers, Kate Dawson and Jodi Glucksman, is available at http://www.overthemoonbroadway.com/about.
Star Pupils Sunglasses from Real Kids Shades
Summer might be over but every child needs UV-blocking sunglasses all year round. Prevent Blindness America has partnered with RKS (Real Kids Shades), a company that manufactures such sunglasses for children and infants. RKS has designed a pair of infant sunglasses with proceeds from the purchases going to the new children’s eye health program from Prevent Blindness America called Star Pupils. By visiting http://www.StarPupils.org, parents can receive essential information on everything from common eye problems in children to eye safety. In addition, StarPupils has a free one-of-a-kind comprehensive database that provides information on individual state requirements of what vision care is needed prior to enrolling kids in school. To order, visit http://store.realkidshades.com.
Protect our Earth with these ultra hip school supplies from TerraCycle – all of which are made from upcycled materials. Each product, from backpacks to pencil cases to notebooks, is upcycled from common trash items you might find in any classroom or cafeteria such as drink pouches, chip bags and granola bar wrappers. TerraCycle pays schools and charities to collect their trash and send it to them, free of charge. And for every item they receive, TerraCycle donates money to the school or a charity of the school’s choice. Sign up at http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/ and visit http://www.dwellsmart.com/Products/School-and-Art-Supplies to purchase.
Watch out Project Runway! Kids can design their very own backpacks, messenger bags, lunch sacks and drawstring bags online at Forever Frogs and choose from over 40 different fabrics and prints on each section of the bag, down to the zipper, handles and pockets. Every bag is truly one-of-a-kind, just like Payton Wright was – the girl who inspired this charitable company. Every time you design and buy a bag, Forever Frogs will donate a portion of the proceeds to The Payton Wright Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting pediatric brain cancer research and assisting families who have a child with brain cancer. Get your style on and visit http://www.foreverfrogs.com.
Lucky Puppy T-Shirts
Lucky Puppy T-shirts will not only make you feel good on the outside with its super soft vintage-y fabric, but warm and fuzzy on the inside too! By teaming up with select animal organizations and donating a percentage of sales to them, this canine friendly company is helping to make every doggie a Lucky Puppy. This month, you can help homeless senior dogs by supporting the Grey Muzzle Organization with your purchase of a Lucky Puppy item. Visit http://www.luckypuppyonline.com.
Have fun on the shopping spree you can feel good about!