In 2014, the average American is expected to spend $851 on Christmas gifts. This year, consider buying something for your favorite climber (or non-climber) that will give back to support a great cause. There’s loads of website where you can buy products that support your favorite charities, but I went ahead and did some of the research for you and came up with my own top five:
Both numbers 1 and 3 support the Hera Foundation, an organization that provides grants for scientists researching ovarian cancer. Ovarian Cancer is the most deadly female gynecologic cancer. Nearly 22,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and over half will die from it within five years. So consider getting some gifts that help fund ovarian cancer research.
The Mad Rock Hera Pad sells for $149 and according to their website, has a “new 1-3-1 system which consist of 1″ closed cell, 3″ open cell, 1″ closed cell foam.” It’s folded size is 4′ x 3′ x 5″.
#3 is a BlueWater 10.2mm x 60M dynamic rope that sells for $171.95
Check it out for yourself at : http://www.herafoundation.org/sponsors/partners-in-action/hera-gear/
#2 is the Julianne Scarf made by Krochet Kids International. While it’s not necessarily rock climbing specific, I could definitely see myself using this to keep my hands toasty while climbing outside this winter (maybe even insert some hand warmers into those pockets)! Krocket Kids International is a non-profit organization that teaches women in poverty-stricken regions of Uganda and Peru to crochet, sells their handiwork online, and gives back the profits. They provide a steady income to women who work for them, educate the women, and provide mentorship. Their website displays some impressive statistics: women involved in the KKI program had an income 10X larger than pre-KKI, increased their savings 25X, their familes were 5X more likely to have access to healthcare and domestic violence decreased by 40%. Consider investing in one of their awesome hand-crocheted pieces; they have tons of products for both men and women!
#4 CAC climbing holds support John Ellison’s foundation: Climbers Against Cancer. All proceeds support cancer research institutes across the world. If you don’t have a home wall to put up this hold, consider some of CAC’s other products: t-shirts, hoodies, posters, calendars, and even boxers!
Lastly #5 is the mophie (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition juice pack air. This doubles as a case for you iPhone as well as an extra battery pack that can double the life of your phone. Again, not rock climbing specific, but it would definitely come in handy on extended camping trips when you can’t charge your phone. Red is committed to ending HIV/AIDS in Africa by providing anti-retroviral medication, which costs as little as 40 cents per day. According to Red, “Every day over 650 babies are born with HIV. Yet with access to antiretroviral treatment, we can prevent the transmission of the virus from moms to babies. Without it, 50% of babies will die before their second birthday.” Help to ends AIDS in Africa by donating or buying one of their many products, including home goods, tech (like iPods!), music, clothing, and even Belvedere vodka!
A couple other places to consider shopping:
Buy a product from the American Alpine Club, that helps to support access to climbing, conservation, and research. They have clothes, water bottles, a Patagonia pack, a super cute “climbing-inspired” tea infuser, and some awesome climbing jewelry.
Also, if you but gifts on Amazon, access their store through http://smile.amazon.com/. When you get to the site, you can choose your favorite charity and 0.5% of the cost eligible items will be donated. It’s not much, but if you’re going to buy from Amazon anyway, you might as well be donating at the same time.
Lastly, shop at http://www.elizabethashley.co/ for some amazingly cute and unique jewelry. The designer, Elizabeth, donates pieces to women being treated for cancer.