Sure, you love unwrapping gifts as much as the next person — we do, too. But watching a loved one open the perfect present, courtesy you, ranks among the top warm-fuzzy winter feelings.
Kick that charity-inspired cheer up a notch with these gifts that give — and give again.
The Arboretum gift shop
The White Rock Lake area’s garden of Eden, the Dallas Arboretum, features more than 65 acres of sprawling outdoor botanical beauty, so it is easy to forget that inside the main entrance booth is the little Hoffman Family Store, a gift shop whose proceeds go to the arboretum, a nonprofit organization, and its research and education programs.
And oh, the gems you can find here.
Have a bird lover on the list? Get your owl jewelry boxes and bejeweled hummingbird tea holders here. Kids? Plush toys and colorful children’s clothing, accessories and miniature gardening tools abound. Bookworms? The boutique offers a selection of beautiful coffee table books and quirky titles such as Bill Adler Jr.’s “Outwitting Squirrels: 101 cunning strategies to reduce dramatically the egregious misappropriation of seed from your birdfeeder by squirrels.” Birdhouses, nature-inspired jewelry, garden tools, bird baths, hats, lawn chairs, picnic baskets — the list goes on, and new items arrive every day, staffers say.
On Thursdays, senior citizens receive a 20 percent discount at the store. Dallas Arboretum’s Terry Lendecker hopes shoppers might also consider giving an Arboretum membership, which includes a 10 percent discount at the shop.
Hoffman Family Store, 214.515.6576
An individual year-round Dallas Arboretum membership is $68 and includes admission for the member and a guest. More gift membership options are available at
dallasarboretum.org or 214.515.6547.
T. Hee Greetings & Gifts
If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, wander inside T. Hee Greetings & Gifts — the neighborhood boutique stuffed with stylish stationary; glass pigs; snuggly plush pets; blinged-out bags, baubles and bows; sports paraphernalia for the fan or host (check out the “Bad Call Bricks,” soft bricks to throw at your television when the ref irks you), yard art, table decorations and scores of things that smell crazy good (and that’s just at first blush). If you don’t have holiday party plans, it will make you want to throw one.
David Farris and Tony Doles constantly carry the store’s colorful character into the community, participating in all sorts of fundraisers and neighborhood events.
“Since opening our first store we have been dedicated to giving back to the community in any way possible,” Farris says. “While we do our share of check writing to Lake Highlands- and Lakewood-based organizations, we also always look for ways to use the resources we have available to do more for an organization beyond a mere cash donation.”
Every year near the holidays, T. Hee hosts shop nights for a couple of different neighborhood organizations. Those nights usually turn out to be a don’t-miss kind of party where shoppers stock up on holiday gifts.
“Shop nights always enjoy a robust attendance and are always a lot of fun,” Farris says. “At the end of the night, we cut a check for a percentage of the night’s receipts back to the charity.”
T. Hee Greetings & Gifts, 6465 E. Mockingbird, 972.996.2606
Remember the great snow and ice storm of 2011? You know, when schools were closed for a week and Super Bowl parties everywhere were sabotaged? A pair of Roma boots sure would have come in handy that week.
Roma hunter-style rain boots are warm, sturdy, protective to the knee, and dang stylish. And for each pair sold ($79 adult and $39 for kids), Roma for All donates a pair to a child living in poverty. Founder and Lakewood resident Samuel Bistrian was visiting his home country in Ukraine when he noticed little children sloshing through dirt and snow in either sandals, worn shoes or no shoes at all (he recalls being fortunate enough to have a pair of hand-me-down boots when he was a child living there).
“Providing proper footwear is just the first step to helping these children break out of the poverty cycle,” Bistrian says. “My broader plan is to empower them by getting them back into the education system. So wherever we do a boot drop, we’ll be able to connect these kids with a local educational organization and say, ‘Hey we did this for these kids, but these kids need more than just a pair of rain boots. They need an education.’ ”
Pick up a pair of Roma boots — so you and yours’ toes can be protected from this winter’s elements — at Ditto Boutique in Hillside Village or online at romaprovisions.com.
Ditto Boutique, 6465 Mockingbird, 214.370.4444
Second Chance Treasures
East Lake Veterinary Hospital and Pet Orphanage — a tangerine-colored edifice with a sprawling doggie playground out back — is the place where the city’s most fortunate orphaned animals end up. In the early 2000s, Dr. Karen Fling opened the no-kill shelter, even though it meant expenses she wasn’t quite sure how to handle.
“We want to make a difference in the community,” Fling has said. “If the animal is fixable, we’ll do whatever it takes to treat them without regard to cost.”
After operating for years under a significant deficit that nearly thwarted operations at the orphanage, Fling and volunteers opened the resale store Second Chance Treasures, on Garland Road at Peavy, where 100 percent of the profits go to East Lake’s orphanage.
The boutique is the same bright hue as the orphanage and is chock full of handpicked, and in some cases valuable, estate-sale items.
9034 Garland, 214.660.9696
Vickery Place Cookbook
Vickery Place residents Kathy Harris and Shelia Huffman put together a cookbook to honor their neighborhood’s centennial celebration this year.
Amid recipes for pomegranate margaritas and mango-avocado salsa are more classic dishes.
There is Eva Potter Morgan’s recipe for baked beans, handed down from her mother. Morgan’s father started Potter Art Metal Studios in their backyard on Vickery. And there are Grace’s buttermilk biscuits (the thin crispy kind) from Jamesene Temple Wallace. Her mom and dad, Jim and Grace Temple, moved to Goodwin in 1940.
“It’s a history book as well as a cookbook,” Harris says.
The 112-page book, “Recipes and Recollections: Vickery Place Cooking Since 1911,” features historical photos of the neighborhood, as well as snippets about the neighborhood and cooking from old Dallas Morning News articles and ads. There are new recipes, old recipes, neighborhood potluck favorites and 15 recipes from neighborhood restaurants.
The books sell for $11 at Downing Hill, Jimmy’s Food Store, Fish City Grill on Henderson, and on the Vickery Place website.
Proceeds from the book go to the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association and the Senior Pet Assistance Network.
“This wasn’t intended to be a big fundraiser, but it was our way of giving back to the neighborhood in the form of a keepsake,” Harris says.
Millions from One
Matt Delzell of the M Streets needs to sell 1 billion bracelets.
That’s how many Yield Clothing Co. bracelets it will take to reach his goal of drilling 1 million water wells through the nonprofit he founded in 2009, Millions from One.
We take it for granted that water is unlimited and cheap.
“For a large part of the world, that’s a foreign concept,” Delzell says.
Millions from One has drilled 10 wells in developing countries, including India, Peru, Liberia, Uganda and Sierra Leone. The leather bracelets cost $10, and for every one sold, $5 goes toward drilling a well. It takes about 1,000 bracelets to drill one well.
Delzell is a group account coordinator for the Marketing Arm, and he negotiates celebrity endorsement deals for a living. So he has connections. Joel McHale of “The Soup” and “Community,” Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin and former NBA star Scottie Pippen have worn the bracelets.
“It’s easy and inexpensive to save people’s lives,” Delzell says. “When people realize they can spend $10 on this bracelet, and their money goes so far, it’s an easy sell.”
Buy a Millions from One bracelet at millionsfromone.com.
• Caren Original’s lip balm, lotion, soaps and other products are made in the United States, and a portion of their profits are donated to Breast Cancer Alliance and other good causes. Prices range from $2.50-$18.50. Walton’s Garden Center, 8652 Garland Road, 214.321.2387.
• Sir Elton John’s Holiday Candle by Nest smells like evergreen and citrus. It costs $40, and a portion of the proceeds to go Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. Tallulah Belle, 2011 Abrams, 214.821.1927.
• These adorable horse ornaments cost $6, and a portion of the proceeds goes to Return to Freedom, a wild horse sanctuary in California. The T Shop, 1911 Abrams Parkway, Suite 109, 214.821.8314.
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