Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  December 2016  >  December 8, 2016  >  Holiday shopping with a heart: Gifts that give back
Holiday shopping with a heart: Gifts that give back

Members of the Love Your Melon Campus Crew model the organization's knit caps, sold to help raise funds for children battling cancer.Gift giving is, of course, a cornerstone of the holiday season. Finding that perfect present for loved ones is a time-honored tradition that – along with family, food and festivities – is part and parcel of Christmastime.

For so many of us, the pursuit of presents has become an adventure in consumerism. The holidays are heavily seasoned with a seemingly ceaseless barrage of advertising for goods and gadgetry.

However, there are alternatives to the typical retail holiday shopping route that aim to do a little good in the world – gifts that can be given to friends and family members on your list that support a cause, sometimes half a world away. Call it socially conscious shopping, or gifts that give back. There are many options from which to choose, and below, we feature three with connections to Creighton University.

Sari Bari
The product: artisan-produced accessories
The cause: freeing women from the sex trade in India
Where to buy: https://www.saribari.com/

Winning the 2016 Opus Prize, which Creighton hosted last month, has helped shine a well-deserved light on Sarah Lance and the “freedom business” she co-founded, Sari Bari. The Kolkata, India-based organization rescues women from the city’s infamous sex trade by employing them and training them as artisans. They repurpose saris, the traditional Indian garment worn by women, and transform them into beautiful, sustainable and handmade products – while also transforming their own lives.

Unique and stylish purses, bags, blankets and much more are available for order online and shipped to your door. All profits benefit the women of Sari Bari and their families and are used to create opportunities for freedom for more women.

Love Your Melon
The product: knit beanies, caps and other apparel
The cause: supporting children with cancer
Where to buy: https://www.loveyourmelon.com

Founded by two classmates at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, Love Your Melon began with a simple idea: to put a hat on every child battling cancer in America. It accomplished that goal, donating 45,000 hats, one for every cancer-stricken child in the U.S. The company didn’t stop there – it set a new goal to donate $1 million to pediatric cancer research, as well as to provide immediate support to children and their families.

The company has established a number of student-run “campus crews” – one of which resides at Creighton and is staffed by its students – that work to raise awareness for childhood cancer and represent the brand through promotions and sales events.

Love Your Melon deals chiefly in products that, well… cover your melon. The company’s website showcases several styles of fashion-forward knit beanies and other caps in a wide array of colors – all developed to be soft enough for the bald heads of children battling cancer, and which healthy customers also happen to love. Half of all proceeds are donated to nonprofits to keep up the fight against pediatric cancer.

Proseeds
The service: credit-card linked marketing
The cause: your favorite nonprofit organization
Where to sign up: https://www.giveproseeds.com

This one is a little different, as Proseeds doesn’t offer any products or services of its own, but rather eases the act of giving to charitable organizations through payment technology. The Omaha, Nebraska, company – cofounded by 2012 Creighton graduate Josh Kelley – has signed up a bevy of local merchants and a wide selection of nonprofits from which consumers can choose to support.

The idea is innovative and elegant: Consumers can support their favorite causes simply by visiting participating local merchants and paying with a credit or debit card that is linked to the Proseeds service. You select the nonprofit organization to support, and the merchant donates 5 percent of your purchase to that organization. It all happens seamlessly and automatically, behind the scenes of the point-of-sale.

Proseeds works because it’s a win-win-win – consumers support their favorite causes with ease and without spending an extra dime; causes generate revenue without asking for donations or selling anything; and merchants reap the benefit of sales while supporting their customers’ nonprofits of choice.

Creighton University
Finally, there’s Creighton itself. A donation to the University – which can be made in the name of a friend or loved one – supports students and graduates who go out and make a difference in the world. Your generosity fuels the Ignatian tradition, and by supporting the Jesuit, Catholic education of our students, your gift ultimately gives back to the community, both at home and beyond.

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Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.