Gifts that give hope (Part 3)

This stunning example of the Leakey Collection is made from sustainable materials by Masai villagers in Kenya

If you still have open slots on your Christmas list or have run out of creative ideas, here’s several other excellent eco-friendly choices that special someone on your list will appreciate.

The Leakey Collection offers a number of beautifully handcrafted pieces made from sustainable materials gathered and made by villagers from Kenya.

Founded in 2002 to help Masai villagers from Kenya’s Rift Valley create a livelihood for themselves after a devastating drought, the Leakey Collection creates a sustainable way of life for these nomadic people, while helping to preserve their cultural traditions.

This collection also helps protect the environment. In an area surrounded by wetlands that used to be burned for the tender grass that would feed their cattle, this first class jewelry and home decor accessories is produced via sustainable harvest of grass.

These versatile Zulugrass strands can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, choker or an armband

This fashionable jewelry is sold around the world. Five percent of the profits from each sale goes back to support the infrastructure in Kenya’s Rift Vally.These beautiful pieces are made from Zulugrass – grass beads dyed with textile dyes – fallen hardwoods, porcelain, ceramic, silver, gold and paper, mixed with hand blown Czech glass beads and Japanese glass beads and strung on elastic that was invented for the movie Spiderman.

You’ll find this beautiful jewelry at over 1,200 stores nationwide and online at

Another special opportunity to give something that gives back is Charity Checks.

100 percent of the funds of these "Giving Certificates" go the the charity they're given to

This non-profit provides Giving Certificates, available online, that let recipients select the charitable cause of their choice from the over 1.5 million non-profit agencies and help others in need.

Founded in 2000, Charity Checks was the first to let anyone “Give the Gift of Giving” to any 501(c)3 charity or cause and do so over the internet. There are no added fees for these certificates and 100% of the monies donated go to the charity chosen to receive it. The gift “giver” purchases whatever denomination they wish and receives a tax deduction for the total amount. Any charity can redeem them for cash. Excellent for both personal and business giving, these Giving Certificates can be used to purchase goods, to sponsor classrooms for kids, to fund literacy programs or a myriad of other causes.

Charity Checks are perfect as stocking stuffers or as “in the name of” donations. There’s no gift wrapping (saving waste from going to the landfill), you save gas (no having to drive somewhere to shop and you give back to the environment.

Even if your holiday shopping’s done, there’s always a little room left for something like Charity Checks. You can find out how to order Charity Checks at

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