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Gifts that give back

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Ho ho ho! Halloween is gone so it's time to make that list and check it twice... but what to get for those hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives this holiday season? I just recently re-discovered Capturing Couture, an Orange County-based, "mom-founded" company with gifts under $50 that are "made in the USA". They also recently launched a charity program they are calling "Gifts That Give Back", where they donate a portion of their profits to one of 10 carefully chosen charities.

So what do they sell? Beautiful, unique, stylish, one-of-a-kind camera straps, guitar straps, and key chains. As an amateur photographer who loves taking hundreds of pictures of my kids each week, I was thrilled to find so many choices in an SLR camera strap. Not only are there a variety of fashionable straps that range from frilly organza to bohemian chic, but you can help others while doing your Christmas shopping. Capturing Couture has chosen 10 popular straps and paired them up with charities near and dear to them. For every purchase, they will donate a percentage of their profits to the affiliated charity. What can be better this holiday season than buying a "gift that gives back"?

Below are the names of the camera straps and the affiliated charity. Be sure to click on the links below to find out more about these causes.

Hot Pink Organza: Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Susan G. Komen is the boldest community fueling cutting-edge science and making the biggest impact in the fight against breast cancer in more than 50 countries. As a female-led company, Capturing Couture is out to help "save the ta-tas".

Cream Organza: Jessie Rees Foundation
“Please encourage every kid fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up!” – Jessie Rees
Each day, 46 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer and it remains the number one disease killer of children. Let's help these kids win the fight and Never Ever Give Up!

Purple Organza: Laura's House
One in four women in the United States are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. On average, three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. Laura's House continues to be the only state-approved comprehensive domestic violence agency in South Orange County.

Turquoise Organza: Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)
Capturing Couture's co-founder Lisa had an infant daughter who spent countless weeks at CHOC Hospital, and received the highest care and compassion during an unbelievably difficult time in her family's life. Lisa and her family will be forever grateful to the staff at CHOC for their efforts.

Harmony Guitar and Camera Straps: Little Kids Rock
Budget cuts have forced many school music programs to close, especially in schools serving low-income communities. Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit that revitalizes music education in disadvantaged public schools.

Orange Organza: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere, founded in 1866 with a mission "to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

Cobalt Blue Organza: Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation
Capturing Couture's co-founder Erika is inspired by her uncle Albert who was born with cerebral palsy and told he wouldn't live past the age of 9. Cerebral palsy affects muscle control and coordination, so even simple movements — like standing still — are difficult. Albert is now 41 years old and the author of a book soon to be published on Amazon.com.

Posh Plaid Organza: Dress for Success
Dress for Success promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing not only professional attire but more also a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Red Organza: Stand Up 2 Cancer
With a prediction of 1.7 million new cancer cases in the U.S. this year, Stand Up 2 Cancer's focus is on groundbreaking cancer research that is high-risk but has the potential to significantly affect patient care and save lives.

Black Organza: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Save the whales by supporting Operation Ferocious Isles. Sea Shepherd intervenes in "the grind" to prevent the loss of marine wildlife.

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