Holiday gifts that give back
Kathleen DiResta admits she had it easy. The Sea Cliff jewelry designer along with her husband and their 7-year-old son survived superstorm Sandy without much fuss.
They lost power for five days, but “it doesn’t compare to Long Beach and Rockaway,” she says. “We were lucky.”
She collected food and clothing at her gallery shop but wanted to do more. So she created a “Sun Circle” necklace, symbolizing a circle of friends and community, and will donate 20 percent of its sales to Island Harvest, L.I.’s largest hunger relief organization.
In Port Washington, designer Glenn Bradford felt a similar desire to make a difference. So now through Christmas, he is donating 5 percent of sales of jewelry in his shop to the Women’s Fund of Long Island for its Sandy relief efforts.
These are just two local artists who’ve found a way to make gift-giving this season have serious impact. Big corporations are getting in on the act, too.
Ikea has offered the American Red Cross $450,000 worth of donations, plus space in its Red Hook store for local shopkeepers to meet with FEMA officials to help get the neighborhood back in business. On Long Island, Ikea has donated batteries, pillows, footwear, coffee and more to local relief groups.
But it’s the lineup of plush, plucky soft toys on Ikea shelves that offers a subtle reminder — despite the blow suffered locally, there are also worthy causes serving communities outside Sandy’s reach, but just as much in need. Sales of Ikea soft toys, for instance, benefit UNICEF and Save the Children education programs in impoverished regions across the globe.
So how can you help? Check out these gifts that give back — to Long Island and beyond. -- Joseph V. Amodio, Special to Newsday
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