Shop for a Cause

Shopping is a nearly inevitable element of the holiday season. With gifts and bags and boxes and bows, many of us stretch our wallets to the breaking point. What if we could get our gifts and give back a little while doing it? Consider shopping with the following organizations this season, or anytime, and revel in the knowledge that your money spent is benefitting a worthy cause.

Best Friends Pet Adoption
An all-foster network of volunteers comprises Best Friends Pet Adoption, a no-kill animal rescue organization based in Cary. BFPA provides medical care, foster homes and adoption services to dogs and cats seeking a safe, forever home. To raise money to support its operations, BFPA  maintains an online shop that carries apparel, baby items, hats and accessories emblazoned with the organization’s logo, and sporting slogans like “My heart belongs to a rescued cat” and “”Proud Owner of a Rescued Dog.”  |

As early as 10 years of age, Sophia Hyder nurtured a passion for international development by going to work with her father in Sri Lanka. As an adult, with a master’s of International Development Policy from Duke University, Hyder founded Evolvemint, a fashion brand with the aim to empower and educate women globally through entrepreneurship.

Evolvemint founder Sophia Hyder (Pictured right) displays 100 percent silk scarves made by artisans in Bangladesh

Evolvemint partners with artisans and business owners in Bangladesh to produce vibrant, block printed silk scarves and handmade clutches, with plans for adding clothing as well. Each purchase contributes to providing employment opportunities, economic growth and viable markets for fledgling enterprises in the Asian nation. Additionally, Evolvemint has partnered with the Pretty in Pink Foundation of North Carolina to donate 10 percent of the sales of a custom “Pretty in Pink” scarf to provide financial assistance for those fighting breast cancer.

Producers of body care products containing super herb neem, this Cary company was founded with a social mission at its heart — to empower the people of Mauritania, West Africa, with economic opportunities and increased quality of life. JustNeem’s founders travel frequently to Mauritania and have helped their partner community establish a thriving orchard and solar-powered water pump as well as educate the native people on the benefits and enterprises surrounding neem. Ten percent of company profits are reinvested into the Mauritanian community. JustNeem’s all-natural soaps, lotions, scrubs and more make great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.

Every purchase of JustNeem products contributes money to bolster the quality of life and economic opportunities in Mauritania

Guardian Angel Thrift
Fuquay-Varina’s landmark 26,000-square-foot thrift store could be a one-stop-shop for savvy shoppers who enjoy the hunt. Founded by Laura Gaddis in honor of her mother, profits from Guardian Angel Thrift are dedicated to funding Alzheimer’s research. More than $1.6 million has been donated so far, according to the organization’s website, and a second location recently opened in Apex. Find new and gently used clothing, linens, furniture, electronics, housewares and more at a great price point.
742 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina
710 Laura Duncan Road, Apex

Variety and value are easily found at both locations of Guardian Angel Thrift

Noonday Collection
Noonday Collection offers stylish, one-of-a-kind jewelry, accessories and gifts and provides employment for artisans in vulnerable communities worldwide. Shop online or at a home-based trunk show and support craftsmen from Vietnam to Guatemala, Uganda to Peru.
“Our pieces are fair trade and handmade, providing opportunity for people that otherwise have little hope of breaking the chains of poverty in their lives and the lives of their children,” said local Noonday Collection ambassador Brandi Mendenhall via Facebook. “Our hope at Noonday Collection is that by providing dignified job creation and a living wage that families will remain intact and fewer children will be relinquished as orphans.”

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