HOLIDAY GUIDE 2011: Sure they're perfect for your pals -- but these presents also give back to the community
Do you have a friend who has been dying for a "Brown and Proud" T-shirt ($24)? Perhaps they're jonesing for an organic tote with a picture of Assata Shakur ($16)? Liberation Ink, an all-volunteer, worker-owned apparel printing and design collective, believes in a sustainable movement for social justice that is funded from within. It prints revolutionary faces and sayings on shirts made organically and/or without the use of sweatshop labor. All profits go directly to support grassroots social justice organizations like the May 1st Alliance for Land, Work and Power, and the Deporten a la Migra Coalition. The brand's comfy, stylin' T-shirts will have your lucky giftee looking fly and spreading the word of social equality in one fell swoop.
COMMUNITY THRIFT STORE
A nonprofit secondhand store, Community Thrift relies entirely upon donations of clothes, knick-knacks, kitchen supplies, and furniture to keep its doors open. And they stay open, too: the Mission District shop is open to browsing and donations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Shopping here — and if your boyfriend's been searching for that perfect yet affordable leather bomber jacket or snazzy armchair, this should be your first stop — supports local non-profits like the San Francisco LGBT Center and the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, just two of almost 200 organizations that benefit from Community Thrift's largess.
623 Valencia, SF. (415) 861-4910, www.communitythriftsf.org
SAN FRANCISCO ZOO
Has the kid you nanny been yapping about adopting a Magellanic penguin? Maybe your friend has always admired Chilean flamingos? You can sponsor their love of the wild by donating $50 in their name to the Adopt-an-Animal program at the San Francisco Zoo. The donation will help to provide veterinary care for the furred and feathered, not to mention support educational programs for tomorrow's wildlife champions. Once you've dropped the dough your loved one will receive a certificate of adoption — very official! — as well as a fact sheet and photo of the critter they're sponsoring. Feeling flush? Your other option is the zoo's Guardian program, which for a minimum annual contribution of $1000 will help provide further support to the zoo. It supports high-quality animal care, and all kinds of incidentals that keep the family destination open to the public. Give the gift of Guardianship and your buddy will receive free admission, carousel rides, and free parking near their furry for an entire year.
San Francisco Zoo, 1 Zoo Road, SF. (415) 753-7080, www.sfzoo.org
THE BOOKMARK STORE
Sure, the money from your holiday purchase here will go to a good cause — but it's also the perfect place to browse and spend your lunch hour while you shop down your holiday list. The Bookmark is a non-profit that's run by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. It houses everything from science fiction to cooking to non-fiction, an inexpensive place where you don't have to scour shelves to find those hard-to-find, out-of-print books your favorite bibliophile will flip to receive. Plus, all proceeds from your sale will keep libraries in Oakland with their pages open to the public.
721 Washington, Oakl. (510) 444-0473, www.thebookmarkstore.org