It’s OK, we’ve all done it.
You’re out shopping for Christmas presents, you see something you like and you scoop it up for yourself.
It’s better to give than receive, but sometimes it’s nice to give and receive. Fortunately, there’s a way to continue the self-gifting tradition without feeling a lick of guilt.
Several companies, including one based right here in Buffalo, operate on a “get one, give one” business model. For every item you purchase, they will donate an exact or similar item to someone in need. You can find projects that donate shoes, clothing, blankets and lights, even eyeglasses and medical treatment. Here are some to try:
YouAndWho.com. This Buffalo-based company donates one T-shirt for every $42 T-shirt you buy. Shirts donated in Buffalo go to the homeless via local organizations such as the City Mission and Friends of Night People.
TOMS. This California shoe company helped start the “One for One Movement” by giving away a pair of free, new shoes for every pair it sells. Shoes have been donated to needy children in 40 countries including the United States, Haiti, Rwanda, Argentina and elsewhere.
For every pair of sunglasses it sells, it restores sight to one child through medical treatment, surgery or prescription eyeglasses. Recipients are in 13 countries including the United States. Visit TOMS.com for more details.
OneWorldFutbol.com. Buy one of these specially engineered soccer balls and another one will be donated to refugees or other deserving people in one of 160 countries. The balls don’t need a pump and are nearly indestructible, even if punctured. One ball is $39.50, or you can simply donate one for $25.
WearFigs.com. For every set of surgical scrubs bought, one pair is donated to a health care provider in Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, South Sudan or Kenya. Pieces range from $22 to $35 and shipping is free.
SaluteTheBrave.com. For every hat you buy ($24.99 to $29.99), one is sent in a care package to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed overseas.
Baby-Teresa.com. For every adorable little jumper (starting at $29.95) bought, another will go to a needy baby somewhere in the world. When you buy a hat or other accessory (starting at $8.95) the site donates baby formula.
RomaBoots.com. For every pair of rain boots sold, a pair is donated to a child in Eastern Europe. From $39.
MalaikaForLife.org. Buy a gorgeous, handcrafted bracelet for $15 to $18 and 10 people will receive a life-saving malaria treatment.
Happy Blankie. Buy one super soft, smiling blanket (from $12 to $96) and one will be donated to a child in a hospital or orphanage. Visit EverythingHappy.com.
WarbyParker.com. For every pair of eyeglasses purchased ($95), one pair is donated to a person in need. More than 500,000 pairs have gone out in 36 countries.