July 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM ET
TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas shares buzzworthy buys that give back to communities .
Chew the right thing
While waiting for a flight at the airport, I decided to pick up a pack of gum. Little did I know that the tiny box I chose was so much more than just something sweet to chew on. Each flavor of Project 7 Gum makes a donation to a different cause. Peppermint Vanilla provides meals for the hungry, while Front Porch Lemonade supports schooling and so on. Oh, and the gum tastes delicious too! Try the Coconut Lime ($1.24/pack, project7.com).
Pass it forward
For all those extra beauty buys we inevitably end up with, I stumbled across a fun, philanthropic way to swap them out for new ones. Members of Sephora.com's message boards have created a phenomenon known as Traveling Beauty Boxes. Participants sign up for one of 25 spots on a list. The person listed in the first spot sends off a collection of unopened, unused items or samples to the person in the second pot, then the person in the second spot takes what they may need, replenishes the package with more items and then passes the parcel forward to the next person on the list. The last person on the list then donates the groups goods to a women's shelter or other charity. Voila, a great way to get free goodies and give to women in need. Props to the ladies of the Sephora message boards! I've been so inspired by your idea, I decided to start my own chain of charity boxes. Join me on Facebook to get involved.
Just in time for back-to-school shopping comes Yoobi, a cute collection of brightly colored accessories that makes me wish I was starting kindergarten again. But even better than the bold hues is the fact that for each item purchased, Yoobi donates one to a classroom here in the U.S., which is amazing considering that most teachers end up spending their own money on supplies. Yoobi also has items for your office, including notebooks, pens, thumbtacks and more that will brighten up your day in many ways ($1.49-$9.99, yoobi.com).
Donate his duds
Sometimes we have the best intentions when it comes to making a donation, but if a drop box or store isn't in your area, the idea can fall onto the back burner. Twillory.com, however, has come up with a helpful solution for busy guys on the go. When a dress shirt is purchased via their website, they include a pre-paid mailer bag in the shipment, so you can pop gently used garments back in the mail to them. They will launder the goods and bring them to CareerGear, a charity that helps impoverished men get back on their feet ($75, twillory.com).
Our resident Style Editor and author of The Power of Style, Bobbie Thomas shares the buzz about beauty, fashion, and more here on TODAY and at Bobbie.com. Consider her your go-to girlfriend, style MacGuyver, and wikipedia for women who you've seen in her underwear. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.