Nov. 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM ET
By Bobbie Thomas
While today marks the start of the year's busiest shopping season, it's more importantly also a time when we all pause to acknowledge what we're thankful for and share that thanks with others. So there is no time like the present to scoop up thoughtful gifts that give back for the holidays. Whether you've already hit some of Black Friday's sales or you plan to avoid the crowds in favor of Cyber Monday, TODAY Style Editor and Bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas shares stylish ideas that you'll feel good about giving.
The Beauty Book for Brain Cancer
Founded by photographer Darren Tieste in 2009 after losing a friend to brain cancer, and then produced in collaboration with "Pantera" Sarah Uphoff whose also lost her mother to the disease, The Beauty Book for Brain Cancer is a 312 page hardcover coffee table book featuring stunning images of many of the world's most famous celebrities, musicians and top models. A beautiful homage to those affected by brain cancer, all of the book's proceeds go directly to research via two charities: SNOG and HEADRUSH. ($39.99; TheBeautyBook.org)
Hunger is #1 on the list of the of the world's top 10 health risks and FEED is an organization started by acclaimed model and activist Lauren Bush along with Ellen Gustafson that aims to help provide food to the hungry both here in the U.S. and abroad. What stared with the design of the FEED 1 bag, a reversible burlap and cotton bag whose number "1" signifies that each bag sold feeds one child in school for one year, FEED has now sold over $6 million worth of products (from cute and cuddly teddy bears, to totes, to bracelets and beyond) and provided over 60 million meals ($15-100; FEEDprojects.com)
While e-commerce daily deal sites seem to be all the rage these days, Social Goodies is one that stands out as distinct in that it's goal is to raise money for charity while also providing good deals. Consumers will get up to 70% off fashion, beauty, lifestyle and home decor items and then be able to donate 20% of the gross purchase price to one of the site's sponsored charities. There is also an option to give "Goodie Bucks" which the receiver can then use to shop with and apply their 20% to the charity of their choosing. (SocialGoodies.com)