Gifts that give back
Aspire coffee works "Holiday Cheer" package. $21.95.
Updated: December 7, 2012 11:12AM
If you’re tired of shopping for the same old sweater or tie or gift card, consider giving a gift that gives back to a local, worthy cause. We’ve done the legwork on how to double the bang for your buck and bring some meaning to that wrapped gift under the tree.
Aspire of Illinois offers Aspire CoffeeWorks, craft-roasted coffees produced in partnership with artisan coffee roaster, Metropolis Coffee Company. Disabled clients hold jobs in various aspects of the business and 100 percent of proceeds help people with disabilities. Roast, bold, decaf and espresso coffees are sold in 1 pound bags and craft-roasted to order, Monday through Thursday. For more information or to place an order, visit www.aspirecoffeeworks.com.
Humane holiday cards
Unleash the “aww” factor when you send a Hinsdale Humane Society 2012 holiday card. This year’s cards feature shelter animals who are now adopted in their natural wiggly, snuggly moments. The cards are available at the shelter and at participating area veterinary offices and animal hospitals. The color holiday cards are packaged with 12 cards/envelopes for $12 and printed on premium glossy stock. All proceeds benefit HHS shelter animals. For a complete list of all card locations and to view this year’s card choices, visit www.hinsdalehumanesociety.org or call (630) 323-5630, ext. 17.
Sponsor an animal
For animal lovers with compasionate hearts, sponsor a homeless animal in their honor. The Hinsdale Humane Society offers Sponsor an Animal certificates. For a minimum donation of $50, you can sponsor a dog or cat as a gift in honor or memory of a friend or loved one. The gift recipient receives a personalized Hinsdale Humane Society Gift Sponsorship Certificate with a picture of the sponsored animal. The gift recipient’s name may be added to the HHS website next to the animal’s description. The certificates can be purchased at the shelter, 22 N. Elm St., Hinsdale, or online at www.hinsdalehumanesociety.org/help/sponsor.
‘Adopt’ a zoo friend
Have a zoo lover in the family? Brookfield Zoo is offering a Share the Care package featuring three animals—Sabu, a snow leopard; Valentino, a Humboldt penguin; and JoJo, a western lowland gorilla. Packages range in price from $35 to $78 and feature different benefits depending on the level. All packages include a framed 5 x 7-inch photo of the animal, a personalized certificate of adoption, a species fact sheet, a Share the Care Program decal, and an update on the selected animal in the fall. Additional options include a plush toy and a scarf. Visit www.brookfieldzoo.org/CZS/FeaturedCreature for more information.
Misericordia baked goods and holiday cards
Residents of Misericordia run the Hearts and Flour Bakery where adults with developmental disabilities bake, prepare and package or serve a variety of baked goods. The bakery features cookies, brownies, cookie cakes, quick breads and a wide variety of gift baskets and tins ranging from $6.95 to $79.95.
Misericordia also offers holiday cards designed by art program participant residents while residents in the production program package the cards and fulfill orders. The 5 x 7-inch holiday cards come in packages of 10 with envelopes and are $8.50.
All proceeds benefit the Misericordia Home in Chicago. Holiday and gift items can be ordered at www.misericordia.com/bakery or at www.misericordia.com/holidaycards. The Misericordia Home at 6300 N. Ridge in Chicago also has an extensive gift shop on site as well as a restaurant and bakery run by residents. For more information, call (773) 973-6300.
Give the gift of experiences
Make little girls’ ballet dreams come true with a performance of the classic Christmas ballet, ‘‘The Nutcracker.’’ Salt Creek Ballet, a nonprofit ballet company based in Westmont, will be performing The Nutcracker on Dec. 8 at The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park, and on Dec. 15 and 16 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets range from $15 to $39.50. For complete information or to purchase tickets, visit www.saltcreekballet.org. A full line of Nutcracker items, including ornaments, snow globes and nutcrackers will be available at every performance. Proceeds benefit Salt Creek Ballet.
Consider a zoo membership for a friend, family member or your own family. All proceeds benefit the Brookfield Zoo, which is open year round. There are varying levels of membership ranging from $58 to $115. All memberships include one-year admission, free parking and guest passes. Some levels include children’s zoo memberships, dolphin show tickets and additional guest admisisons. Visit www.brookfieldzoo.org/CZS/Membership or call (708) 688-8341.~.
Madeline theater tickets
Support the Children’s Theatre of Western Springs by taking in the classic story, Madeline’s Christmas. The show is geared to appeal to everyone, including those with fond memories of the books by Ludwig Bemelmans. Tickets are $15, $7 for 18 and younger and the performance runs through Dec. 9. The theatre is located at 4384 Hampton Ave., Western Springs. For reservations call (708) 246-3380 or visit theatreofwesternsprings.com.