For truly unique and memorable gifts that give in multiple ways, consider gifts made by local artists that support worthy causes and organizations. Here are a few of my favorite finds for making holiday shopping a joy and gift giving meaningful on many, many levels!
The Art Market – a project of Milestone (http://milestonecentersinc.org)
The Art Market features handmade craft products and customized t-shirts made by artists with disabilities. Their physical and online store allows you to purchase low-cost gifts with a large-scale impact! Proceeds from each purchase go towards paying the artists who made the products and to give some individuals a retail work-training opportunity in the shop. http://milestonecentersinc.org/art-market
Flight 93 Memorial – For the heros in our lives! Remembering and Honoring the lives of ordinary citizens whose extraordinary actions made a lasting impact on our nation and transformed them into heros who will never be forgotten. (http://www.honorflight93.org)
An Uncommon Field by Richard Snodgrass (a beautiful book of photographs and prose of the temporary memorial created by those who visited the crash site) (~$40) http://www.rsnodgrass.com Proceeds from the book and an exclusive collection of 10 framed photographs and accompanying prose ($1,000 each) support the Flight 93 memorial.
Book and exclusive photo collection available from The Sewickley Gallery and Frame Shop http://www.sewickleygallery.com
Books may also be ordered from: http://www.cmu.edu/universitypress/newtitles/snodgrass.html
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank – Feed the hungry in our communities this holiday season (and year round!) (http://www.pittsburghfoodbank.org)
The Giving Collection: http://friends.pittsburghfoodbank.org/site/PageNavigator/Giving_Collection
POWER – Helping women reclaim lives worth living! (http://www.power-recovery.com)
The POWER Collection: http://www.power-recovery.com/shop.html
Plates with a Purpose: http://www.plateswithpurpose.com/shop/index.php?cPath=26
Caesar’s Designs: http://caesarsdesigns.com
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts/Pittsburgh Filmmakers – Support artistic inspiration, local artists and art education through PCA and the Pittsburgh Filmmakers (http://pittsburgharts.org)
Pittsburgh Glass Center – Support local artists while also supporting this “cool” hot organization. Classes and make-it-now workshops are great gifts that offer unique experiences for anyone on your gift-giving list! (http://www.pittsburghglasscenter.org)
For more “gifts that give back” check out the Bayer Center for Non-Profit Management’s 2012 Holiday Gift Catalog that lists more than 70 local organizations to support with your holiday shopping! http://seventyfourpercent.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/2012-holiday-catalog-alphabetical3.pdf