Speaking of "buying local," you actually give a gift to your community when you do so, as the "multiplier effect" means something like 46 cents of every dollar stays in your local community, as opposed to 16 cents or so when you buy at big box stores (here are the rest of the top ten reasons to support local businesses ). And it doesn't matter if the company is actually local to where you live, now that internet ordering makes it so easy to support local businesses everywhere. Farmer D Organics ships all over the U.S. every single day, through both his Williams Sonoma line and his own website. Here is his 2012 gift guide . All the wood products are handmade right here in the United States, right here in Atlanta. (Full disclosure--Farmer D Organics is a client of mine , but he's also been a friend for more than ten years, when he was simply a farmer, long before he had this business.)And if you want to read my book (or gift it to someone, especially a mom), it is structured month by month (starting with January) with stories, tips, recipes and more (and is especially timely again, in light of Hurricane Sandy), so now is a good time to get it. And a portion of proceeds always goes to help grow food for those in need. You can purchase it from Better World Books (which donates one-for-one for every book purchased, and you get free shipping) or help support a local bookseller like Powell's Books and order it here , plus there are three signed copies (last I checked) at Farmer D Organics (in-store only). It is also available on Amazon:
When you consider pure donations, please put these two at the top of your list: Heifer International and Imba! The fun part? Two people involved with telling the stories about these amazing organizations are friends of mine and of each other--Betty Londergan and Erin Levin (pictured during a walk we took this summer).
Betty is currently wrapping up a full year of traveling to 12 countries and telling the stories of individuals who have benefited from your previous donations of pigs and goats and bees (and even snails and guinea pigs). Your donation to Heifer truly matters (and Betty's outstanding blog, Heifer 12 x 12 , with links to donate to Heifer, is worth a good, long look).
Imba! (which means "sing" in Swahili), on the other hand, is an effort to raise money to tell a story worth telling--that of the African Children's Choir, which has been changing lives for almost thirty years now (which is more years than Erin has been alive). Erin met these children during her work travels and was so moved by them she literally dropped everything to make a film about them, and is already well over a year into it. This young woman is on a mission, with CNN International and Better World Books video production credits under her belt, a long list of supporters, and a fire in her belly. See the fundraising video for Imba! here:
Here are a few more holiday gift suggestions for you:
"It's a Beautiful Day. Have You Had Your Coffee? (Introducing the FoodShed Planet Gift Guide for Holidays and Other Beautiful Days)
Ten Ways to Turn Black Friday Green
US: Order here UK: Order here Germany: Order here France: Order here
Italy: Order here
Spain: Order here
If you've already read the book (thank you!) or are curious to see more, you may enjoy more than 40 bonus photos on the Food for My Daughters Pinterest board . See my recommendations for many more books here .
Want a very simple gift you can make? Use old albums and make this. Fill it with wrapped candy or coins. It's easy. Find out how here . Also, if you still have hot peppers (or thought to freeze a bunch), make this .
Want to inspire the next generation to think about what's really possible? Here's my choice: water-powered alarm clocks. (The Georgia Tech bookstore has these right now, or go here .) (Now, try wrapping your head around the fact that four African teenage girls just unveiled a urine-powered generator at an international competition. What is possible?!)
If the mere thought of the holidays has already worn you out, don't miss Helper Fish and Yellow Days (and, in fact, both those stories are in the book). These are just my little gifts to you right now.