Gifts that pay off? These Last Minute New Orleans Finds Are Great Ideas That Do You Good | Entertainment / Life

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but let’s be honest. The past few months have been tough for everyone, including the city’s culture bearers whose livelihoods have been threatened by the pandemic and residents of the Bayou region hit hard by Hurricane Ida. The coast is suffering and the homeless are hungry. We are still in shock.

But here’s a chance for a happy ending to this Christmas story. We can help those in need most while embracing the holiday spirit, with locally made gifts that give back. We’ve listed several options that benefit New Orleans-based charities and regional relief efforts. There’s something for just about everyone on your list – and a little something for those who aren’t.

Don’t stop the music

ReStrung creates jewelry made from recycled guitar strings sent from all over the world, as well as semi-precious stones; then donates part of their profits to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. The organization provides medical care and social services to musicians and performing artists, regardless of their insurance or financial situation. ReStrung’s extensive jewelry collection includes delicate bracelets, hoops, and pendants – and most cost less than $ 60. Available at

Meanwhile, accessory brand BENE, local designer Alexa Pulitzer and Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall have collaborated on a luxurious collection of handbags that supports the Preservation Hall Foundation’s mission to support the city’s rich music scene. .

“’Keep your head up’ has been our hopeful mantra for the past few years,” Jaffe said. “Collaborating with Alexa Pulitzer and BENE allows our message to be spread in new and exciting ways, and allows us to raise funds for the important work the Foundation does every day in our community and beyond, through the music education, support for older musicians, archival preservation, and more.

Each BENE Italian leather handbag, $ 325- $ 350, features Alexa Pulitzer’s “King Gator” – hand carved and dipped in gold – as a closure, and a nylon lining featuring the score manuscript of “Keep Your Head Up, of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band,” which was written by Jaffe. Handbags are available at

Keep the community in mind

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Upholstered in colorful designs that pay homage to Southeast Louisiana, Bonfolk socks and towels will delight anyone on your list. Bonfolk realized that socks are the most in-demand, but least-donated, item of clothing in shelters. So, for every pair of socks purchased (they range from $ 11.99 to $ 19.99, depending on size), Bonfolk is donating a pair of comfy black socks – with moisture wicking – to people at across the country.

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The same concept applies to Bonfolk towels, which cost $ 54.99 each. The company donates it to Animal Rescue New Orleans and other foundations. Socks and towels are available at and at local retailers like Fleurty Girl, Dirty Coast, and the New Orleans Museum of Art gift shop.

The pre-sale of Happy Raptor Distillery’s popular 504King Cake rum, $ 39, is running until January 5 – and 5% of proceeds from each bottle go to Grow Dat Youth Farm. This organization operates a sustainable two-acre farm in City Park and encourages future community leaders by teaching them how to grow food.

“It was a no-brainer to support Grow Dat Youth Farm,” said Meagen Moreland-Taliancich, co-founder of Happy Raptor Distillery. “Fair and sustainable practices in local food production – literally from garden to glass – have a huge impact on the quality of our rum and the strength of our community. Grow Dat’s educational programs play an important role in preserving New Orleans’ culinary culture, and that’s exactly what we hope to honor with the thoughtful and real ingredients of 504King Cake. “

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Each batch of 504King Cake begins as a hearty Caribbean-style white rum distilled from Louisiana molasses. The rum is infused with pecans and chunks of orange peel, along with spices such as cinnamon and vanilla, and then it’s filtered, ultimately capturing the essence of a delicious carnival treat. True to the tradition of the cake of kings, the 504King Cake is available for pickup in the tasting room of the distillery (1512 rue Carondelet) on January 6 – Epiphany (or the day of the Three Kings).

Animals and the environment

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Written by beloved author of children’s books, Johnette Downing, “Little Stone and the Floating Marsh,” $ 16.99, benefits the Audubon Nature Institute’s wetland education programs. The entertaining and informative story, which follows a pelican and his wetland friends, was born out of a partnership between Audubon and the New Orleans Pelicans. It is available in Audubon’s gift shops and online store, as well as on and Barnes & Noble. In addition to “Little Stone and the Floating Marsh”, Audubon’s gift shops are full of books suitable for children. and toys that benefit the institution and its mission of caring for animals.

Recovery from hurricane Ida

Half of the proceeds from Fleurty Girl’s “Must Do the Good Bayou” green t-shirt, $ 30, go directly to Bless Your Heart, a non-profit organization that helps families in the Bayou region. Since Hurricane Ida arrived, Bless Your Heart has helped residents get new school uniforms, mattresses, Thanksgiving treats, and Christmas trees.

It’s perfect

As a philanthropy and environmental driven business, The Good Shop in the Lower Garden District sells eco-friendly products and sets aside a portion of the profits for a wide range of causes – from coastal dining to cultural preservation.

“One giveaway from The Good Shop benefits so many people,” said owner Tippy Tippens, noting that the shop represents 39 local businesses. “It’s made and designed by someone locally, donates to a partner group, and often comes from regional materials. “

Bayou Aid + Cleanup Bar soap, $ 14, benefits the Bayou Fund, which puts money directly into the hands of those whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Ida. Vegan and all-natural, the soaps are made with olive and coconut oils, rhassoul clay, black assam tea, green mica mineral powder and essential oils; then wrapped in recycled paper.

Candle darling

The Cherish Candle, $ 38, supports the Backstreet Cultural Museum,

Their Cherish candle, $ 38, supports the Backstreet Cultural Museum, which supports New Orleans cultural traditions, including funerals of Mardi Gras and Jazz Indians, among others. Filling the air with the scent of oakmoss and sandalwood, this 12-ounce candle is hand-poured into a recycled glass jar and is made with local beeswax and eco-friendly soy grown in the states. -United.

The Good Shop’s beeswax food wrap, $ 25, helps World Central Kitchen, which provides nutritious meals for disaster survivors. The products are an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic wrap. Their antifungal and antiviral properties keep food fresher, longer. Plus, they come in cute patterns. A set of three includes sizes small to large, plus instructions on how to use and wash them (for reuse).

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