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Newsday, December 11, 2005

When the joy is truly in the giving

"Americans will put their hard-earned money to work this holiday season by giving to charitable causes," says Pat Conroy of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, which just issued its 20th annual Holiday Mood Survey on spending trends. (Spurred by disasters like Hurricane Katrina, direct charitable donations ranked fourth in spending categories.)

Now holiday shoppers can buy presents that give all or part of the price tag to charity. Some gifts that keep on giving:

Hurricane relief

Here's to the ladies who launch (, a lifestyles company that gathers creative businesswomen for networking events, including fashion shows by new designers. This month, a percentage of event revenue goes to the Southern Women's Action Network. Marc by Marc Jacobs designed a limited-edition T-shirt for Bloomingdale's, $30; all proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Il Divo is an international pop opera sensation. Their new CD, "Il Divo - The Christmas Collection," is at Bloomingdale's, $14.98; $5 from each CD benefits the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Effort. Wolfgang's Vault (, a rock memorabilia source, pledges 10 percent of revenue this month to Katrina relief efforts. Items include an original Johnny Cash photo ($600-$800) and a Grateful Dead retro T-shirt ($38).

By Laurie Squire

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