November 30, 2010; Source: | Want to bring smiles to your friends and family this Christmas, and also make a difference? This article from says this season you might “consider buying from companies that donate a portion of their proceeds to nonprofit organizations or help the needy in some other way.”

For instance, every time someone purchases a pair of TOMS shoes, the company donates a separate pair to a child in need. Some of the proceeds from cooking products sold by Rachel Ray benefit her nonprofit, Yum-O!, which promotes healthy cooking and eating. You can also purchase wines produced in partnership with superstars and athletes and the sales of benefit a range of charitable causes. Even shopping at big name retailer, Macy’s, can be a good thing to do. Its Shop for a Better World features baskets from Rwanda, traditional African jewelry, and wooden trays from Haiti. Craftspeople who sell their goods to Macy’s earn money to feed their families and send their children to school.

For those that prefer to do all their shopping online, and want to choose from a variety of retailers, check out, which donates a percentage of each purchase from more than 1,600 stores to any of 94,000 charities or schools of your choice. Think about it this way: Buying from socially minded companies is not only a good thing to do, but it can also take some of the pain out of your holiday shopping.—Bruce Trachtenberg