Think global, shop local

Obviously, buying stuff isn't the best or only way to give back-- but if you're going to shop anyway, it's nice to do it as conscientiously as possible. And SF's businesses have really stepped up to the plate to provide lots of cool ways to do just that.

Last week after work I stopped into Shotwell, a locally-owned clothing boutique downtown. Turns out they were holding a one-night sale with really great discounts, and sending all profits to a Port-au-Prince orphanage that was destroyed in the earthquake. I picked up two tops and helped pitch in a bit for the earthquake victims. Easy peasy.

Then on Saturday, True Sake, the gorgeous sake shop in Hayes Valley, held a tasting to benefit the Haiti relief effort. I got to be one of the first people in the US to sample this year's batch of nama-sake and donated a bit to a larger cause. Win-win.

Buying locally is a good cause in itself, so supporting the Haiti relief effort at the same time feels especially rewarding. There are still lots of similar local events slated for the days ahead-- EaterSF and SFWeekly both have great lists of upcoming Haiti fundraisers and specials in San Francisco.

We all want to do whatever we can to help the earthquake recovery effort. We all know about George Clooney's telethon, the $10 donation text messages, and the option to give money to the Red Cross at the Walgreen's checkout. But it's also worth taking a look at all the local ways to chip in.

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