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A New Way to Give
What if helping someone in need were as easy as going shopping? It is, if you shop with a growing number of retailers who offer a buy one, give one deal.
The premise is simple: You buy an item, and the company donates a similar item to a person in need, either in the United States or around the world. What you pay for your item covers the cost of the donation. And although you don’t get a tax deduction, you do get something nice for yourself.
One of the best-known buy one, give one companies is Toms, which sells shoes for adults and children online and in stores. If you buy a pair of Toms shoes, the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in one of 50 countries, including the United States. So far, the company has been able to donate more than 2 million pairs of shoes to kids.
In the model of Toms, several other shoe companies have adopted the buy one, give one model. For example, Roma Boots donates a pair of rain boots to a child in a cold or wet climate for every pair of rain boots sold.
Recently, Toms has branched out into sunglasses. Now, if you buy a pair of sunglasses from Toms, its partners provide medical treatment or prescription eyeglasses to a person who cannot see. Another eyeglass company, Warby Parker, provides a pair of glasses for a person in need for every pair of prescription glasses purchased on its website.
The list of buy one, give one companies is growing, and it has expanded to a wide range of products, such as blankets, clothing, flashlights and more. Some companies always follow a buy one, give one model, and other companies have special buy one, give one offers on specific items or for specific times.
The buy one, give one approach can provide a way to teach the children in your life the importance of giving. You can explain that when your child gets a pair of shoes or a pair of glasses or whatever you buy, a child somewhere else in the world is also getting that gift. Several sites allow you to choose where your gift will go. Going through the process with the child, including choosing where to send your gift, can help make the process more real.
And some items are particularly meaningful to children. For example, Everything Happy allows a child to choose a special snuggly blanket or toy. When you receive the item, the tag has a code that you can use to make a donation. You and the child choose where your donation will go, including hospitals and orphanages in the United States and around the world.