In the weeks since Sept. 11, Americans have donated nearly a billion dollars to relief efforts - a spirit of giving now further amplified by the arrival of the holiday season. Aware of the public's desire to lend a hand while hoping to draw customers, many stores and manufacturers have set up programs that give a portion of proceeds from certain sales to funds created for victims of the terrorist attacks and their families.
Here are some of the ideas for holiday gifts that give:
Old glory all over
Baltimore-based Gage Menswear offers five pieces of red, white and blue clothing with a portion of the sale prices going toward the American Red Cross
' relief efforts:
Flag-printed suspenders ($24.75)
Flag-printed silk ties ($28.75; hurry, these are going fast)
Flag-embroidered polo shirts ($70)
Flag-stamped cufflinks ($12.50)
Flag-printed T-shirts ($10).
Two locations: 200 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, 410-727-0763, and 9616 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills, 410-581-5351.
A bracelet, an embrace
Catalog and Internet retailer Eziba carries a selection of handmade goods this year that give to various charities, but 40 percent of proceeds from the Stars & Stripes Safety Pin Bracelet ($35) will go toward the Rudy Giuliani-established Twin Towers Fund. The money will benefit families of uniformed-services members killed or injured at the World Trade Center. Order online at www.eziba.com, or receive a catalog by calling 888-404-5108.
Keds Corporation, an 85-year-old American company, created AmeriKeds, a patriotic version of the ubiquitous white canvas sneaker. The slip-on shoe has a red, white and blue remembrance ribbon embroidered on its heel and sells for $17 to $25 on keds.com and in major department stores; a percentage of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. Infant, girls' and women's sizes are available.
Casual Corner clothiers feature a silk georgette American flag scarf ($10) with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the United Way's Sept. 11 Fund. Buy it online at www.casualcornergroup.com or at Casual Corner and Petite Sophisticate stores.
Stand for something
Kenneth Cole does everything his way, including giving to disaster relief. The designer has set up the KC Emergency Relief Fund, his own Sept. 11 charity, and printed an American flag T-shirt to earn money for it. Emblazoned with a quote from Cole ("What you stand for is more important than what you stand in") and an American flag, the white shirt sells for $25 at Kenneth Cole stores (there's one in Arundel Mills, 410-799-2027) and online at www.kennethcole.com.