After Thanksgiving, the Christmas shopping frenzy kicks off (or for some, picks up) with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. This time of year can leave shoppers stressed and wondering about the true value of a gift. In 2012 New York’s 92nd Street Y partnered with the United Nations Foundation to create Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving back. At Ker & Downey, we’re committed to giving back at home and abroad to the communities in which we travel. You can read more about our efforts on our Philanthropy page. In the meantime, we’ve rounded up some gift ideas that give back to make your holiday gift buying a little easier this year.

J.Crew and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The David Sheldrick Wildlife trust was founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E in honor of her late husband David, founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park. The trust’s main conservation activity is the Orphan’s Project, an elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program aimed at combating the threat of poaching and loss of habitat in Kenya. To date, the trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and reintegrated orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo. J.Crew teamed up with Brooklyn-based illustrator Hugo Guinness to create limited edition t-shirts and sweatshirts. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the sale of these select garments will be donated to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

jcrew david sheldrick sweatshirt and tshirt

Sweatshirt | Boys T-Shirt | All available items

TOMS One for One

These days almost everyone has heard about the TOMS One for One® campaign and the classic original style TOMS can be found on feet almost everywhere you look. And with each pair of shoes purchased, a new pair of shoes if given to a child in need, so it’s hard not to spring for a pair or two. But their One for One® business model reaches beyond shoes. Their line includes eyewear and coffee as well. With each pair of eyewear purchased, TOMS help give sight to those in need through sight-saving surgeries, prescription glasses, or medical treatment. Likewise, with every bag of coffee purchased, TOMS and Water for People will give a week of clean water, a basic human need, to a person who otherwise would not have clean water. Be sure to look for an interview with TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie in our upcoming issue of Quest Magazine!

toms shoes

Marco Tortoise Sunglasses | Wool Classics | Leather Chukka Boots | Rwanda Coffee

LSTN Headphones and the Starkey Hearing Foundation

In our upcoming issue of Quest Magazine, we highlight the charitable work of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver and avid Ker & Downey traveler Larry Fitzgerald. He regularly travels oversees to assist with fitting people for hearing aids with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. LSTN Headphones and the Starkey Hearing Foundation have teamed up to provide hearing aids for people all over the world. With each pair of headphones sold, a portion is used to help restore hearing through the Starkey Hearing Foundation. In just two years, they’ve helped give the gift of hearing to over 15,000 people in the Unites States, Peru, Kenya, and Uganda.

lstn headphones and earbuds

Ebony on Ear Headphones | Zebra Wood Bowerys with Mic

Nets for Africa

Each July, Ker & Downey President David Marek and his wife Gana travel to Uganda to distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets to rural communities to help protect the people from malaria. This past year warehouse space in Mbale was secured to store nets so that, with the help of our friends on the ground, nets could be distributed throughout the year. One net covers four people and only costs $7.00. On this past year’s trip, we also assisted with providing seven surgeries for people who desperately needed them: one to remove a uterus and six to repair hernias. The cost for the seven surgeries totaled just $1,200, so this year, we are asking people to consider donating $8.00 instead of $7.00 to help cover costs for future surgeries. You can read more about last year’s trip and the growth of the Nets for Africa program here.

nets for africa
For more information about Ker & Downey’s Philanthropy efforts, head to the Philanthropy page on our website. Visit us online at and stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.