Monday, December 3, 2012

Gifts that benefit kids and adults with special needs

Who: The Special Olympics
What: The Champion Warmer by Scentsy; $8 of each sale supports Special Olympics and its programs. Use it to warm up one of Scenty's 80-plus fragrances.
Cost: $35; click here to find a local Scentsy consultant who can place your order.

Who: The Montclair Developmental Learning Center in New Jersey; it is the Special Education public school program for children ages three to five. Like many schools, it has been hit by serious budget cuts.
What: A cool 2013 Children's Wall Calendar created by Justin Canha, an artist with autism (you may have read about him in this New York Times article). Half of the proceeds go to the school, half to Justin.
Cost: $20; if you wish to purchase a calendar, email

Who: Easter Seals, which provides services, education, outreach and advocacy to kids and adults with disabilities.
What: $10 from each ProFlowers order placed at a dedicated link goes toward Easter Seals
Cost: Varies; this bouquet, 100 Blooms of Peruvian Lielies, is $19.99; click here to place an order that will benefit Easter Seals.

Who: Aspire CoffeeWorks, a company that's a partnership between Metropolis Coffee Company and Aspire, a non-profit in Chicago that helps children and adults with disabilities; all proceeds benefit Aspire's programs.
What: Coffee & Twisted Caramel gift basket, including handmade coffee-infused caramels and one pound of any Aspire CoffeeWorks blend.
Cost: $21.95; click here to buy; check out the other holiday gift baskets here.

Who: Four years ago, the Bissky Dziadyk family traveled in South East Asia with their son, Devin, and daughter, Kasenya, who has cerebral palsy. When they met parents of kids with disabilities at a hospital in Vietnam, Laverne writes, "many were moved to tears. Our interpreter explained that in Vietnam, it is considered shameful to have a child with cerebral palsy. By including Kasenya fully within our family, we had changed the parents' perspective. 'You brought them dignity as well as education,'" our interpreter told us."
What: The No Ordinary Journey cookbook, named after Laverne's blog. Filled with 14 recipes that recapture the cuisine they tried in South East Asia (including yummy ones like Lime Chicken), all proceeds benefit programs Laverne and her husband run for kids with disabilities in Vietnam.
Cost: $16; can be purchased in paper or as an e-book. You can buy it here.

Who: Chromosome Disorder Outreach (CDO), a non-profit that supplies support, information and advocacy to parents of children born with rare chromosome disorders
What: Any fudge order from The Mill Fudge Factory in Bristol, New Hampshire; 25 percent of all sales benefit the CDO.
Cost: Holiday gifts start at $7.95 per half pound; click here to order.

And other gifts that help kids 
and youth with special needs...

Handmade gifts by special needs moms that pay for their kids' therapies

Gifts by young entrepreneurs with disabilities, from Mary Mazzoni at Life After IEPs

And one no-cost thing you can do!

Every time you use GoodSearch (powered by Yahoo) to find something online, a penny gets donated to the cause of your choice. Gift shop and do good!


  1. Thanks for mentioning CDO. They have helped my friend's brother.

  2. Great gift ideas Ellen I particularly loved The No Ordinary Journey cookbook.

  3. Wonderful choices! I have a copy of the Montclair DLC calendar, and my kids love seeing the colorful and joyful images.

    Thank you for doing this!

  4. My son received numerous services at Aspire (and I used to work there). It's a great organization, and the coffee is really, really good. Plus, Aspire CoffeeWorks is teaming up with Chocolate Twist, a creative genius in all things chocolate and caramel.

  5. Thanks for the great gift ideas, Ellen!
    I appreciate you spreading the word about the innovative products young entrepreneurs with disabilities have to offer. Cheers!


Thanks for sharing!

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