Miss A Columnist

Spandana Singh is the San Francisco Editor and Tech Editor for Miss A. Better known as Spandi, she is a junior at UC Berkeley with an avid passion for foreign affairs and journalism. Originally from India, she has so far lived in countries like Kenya, Italy, Ethiopia, the United States and Indonesia and looks forward to living in many more.

Spandi is pursuing a double major in International Development and Media and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. She loves to play the piano, box, travel, explore new cultures (especially their cuisines), and spend time with her friends. By the time she is 30 she wants to have lived in every habitable continent in the world.

Charitable And Stylish Holiday Gifts 2014: San Francisco

Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to spread the holiday cheer than to gift your loved ones with gifts that give back? Not sure where to go or what to buy? Don’t worry, Miss A San Francisco has compiled a list of ten organizations and stores that are selling charitable and socially conscious presents this winter.

Photo Credit: http://magazine.fourseasons.com

Laughing Man Marketplace Photo Credit: http://magazine.fourseasons.com

Invisible Children: Over the past few decades, over 30,000 children have been abducted in central Africa and forced to join Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army as child soldiers. Invisible Children is an organization that seeks to aid these children and help end the conflict. The store boasts a variety of items for sale such as tee shirts, tote bags, shoes, jewelry and laptop sleeves – there’s something for everyone. All proceeds from purchases on the website fund the organization’s mission to protect and rehabilitate civilians and children that have been abducted by the LRA. The organization’s programs include water and health sanitation and child and adult literacy programs.

WHERE: Please click here to visit the Invisible Children online store.

Laughing Man Coffee & Tea: Founded by David Steingard and Hugh Jackman, Laughing Man Worldwide is an organization that recognizes and fosters entrepreneurship around the globe. Laughing Man Coffee & Tea is one of this organizations first endeavors, of which 50% of the proceeds are contributed to Laughing Man Worldwide’s mission. The organization also sells gifts such as chocolate and accessories such as coffee grinders, tea pots, bags and mugs. All of Laughing Man Worldwide’s revenue is used towards programs of education, community development and business development.

WHERE: Please click here to visit the Laughing Man Worldwide Website:

Photo Credit: http://www.thedieline.com

Kiehl’s and Norman Rockwell Limited Edition Photo Credit: http://www.thedieline.com

The Body Shop: Have you ever walked into a Body Shop? It quite literally is a dream come true. The shelves are lined with product after product that cater to your every beauty need. But why should we be the only ones whose dreams come true?  This holiday season Body Shop has teamed up with War Child, a NGO that provides assistance to children around the world who are suffering due to ongoing conflicts or trauma from past conflicts. With every Christmas gift (which range from under $15 to over $25) you purchase, you can help War Child send a child to school.

WHERE: Please click here to find your nearest Body Shop store.

Kiehls and Norman Rockwell: This holiday season beauty and skin care store Kiehls has partnered up with Norman Rockwell to foster a tradition of giving. Customers have the opportunity to select from a range of Limited Edition items for men and women and help Kiehls and Feeding America fulfill their commitment to provide 1 million meals to families in need this winter. For every $1 spent, 10 meals can be provided to individuals in need.

WHERE: Please click here to find your nearest Kiehls store.

FEED: In 2007, FEED was created by World Food Programme Honorary Student Spokesperson Lauren Bush Lauren with the goal of “Creating Good Products That Help FEED the World.” The socially conscious business donates a certain amount of money for every product sold and thus far has been able to provide more than 85 million meals around the world through WFP and Feeding America. FEED has also aided the nutrition programs of WFP and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and since its inception has established partnerships with large companies such as Target, Disney, Whole Foods Market, Gap, Tory Burch, DKNY, Godiva and TOMS to retail their products which include bags, accessories and apparel.

Photo Credit: http://www.zimbio.com

Lauren Bush Lauren with a FEED Bag Photo Credit: http://www.zimbio.com

WHERE: Please click here to find your nearest FEED retailer.

Creativity Explored: Committed to fostering the artistic careers of individuals with developmental disabilities, Creativity Explored provides their studio artists the opportunity to generate income by selling their pieces and by crafting their own art-based businesses. If you have any art-inclined loved ones, this is a great place to go. They sell a range of mediums including watercolor paintings, digital prints and papier mache.

WHERE: Creativity Explored’s Studio, Gallery and Offices are located at 3245 16th Street (at Guerrero Street) in San Francisco, CA.

7 Hopes United: Founded on the notion that consumers have the power to change the world by supporting sustainable and ethical business practices, 7 Hopes United aims to promote equality across the globe by ensuring artisans and their families receive living wages for their products. All of the products that are sold by the organization (which include items for the household, beauty and accessories and jewelry) are environmentally friendly and are made in safe and non-exploitative conditions.

WHERE: Please click here to visit the 7 Hopes United website.

Rocks with Soul: Whether it’s the Christmas season or any other time of the year, who doesn’t love a little bling? Founded by Kerri Lehmann, Rocks with Soul is one of the most sought after jewelry collections in San Francisco. The collection includes necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets and is renowned not only for the precise detail of each piece, but also for the consciousness that comes with each item. Each year the organization gives a portion of their sales revenue back to charities and causes, which this holiday season include UCSF Breast Cancer Research, SPCA San Francisco, The Princess Project and InnVision Shelter Network.

WHERE: Rocks with Soul’s gallery is located in San Francisco. Please view the website for location details.

Junto: Give your loved ones the gift of El Zapata de Lona, or the Ecuadorian street shoe this winter. An identifier of the working class, the shoe has been adopted, transformed and refined by Junto to become a stylish but meaningful fashion accessory. The organization wants to ensure that you understand the heritage and context from which your adorable gifts are coming from so each shoe includes a map of Ecuador inside. For every pair of Junto shoes sold, a pack of educational supplies is donated to a local child, giving the term “ethical footprint” a new meaning.

WHERE: Please click here to visit Junto’s website.

Urban Outfitters: I’m sure we all have a loved one who’s walked into an Urban Outfitter’s and drooled at the selection of apparel and items available for purchase. Well this winter you can help supplement their wardrobes with something from their favorite store, while also giving back. This season, Urban Outfitters has partnered with STATE Bags to sell Smith canvas backpacks (which are approximately $110). For every one of these backpack that is sold, STATE bags hand-delivers a backpack to a child in need in the United States.

WHERE: Please click here to find your nearest Urban Outfitters store.

Italian Teardrop Diamond Earrings from Rocks with Soul Photo Credit: http://www.rockswithsoul.com

Italian Teardrop Diamond Earrings from Rocks with Soul
Photo Credit: http://www.rockswithsoul.com

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