Charitable gift giving for the holidays

December 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
With so many in need during this bad economy, why not donate to a worthy cause in someone's name?

The Smart now Big Hearted Giving Store is a central resource for gifts that give back -- all proceeds go to charities benefitting women, children and the troops. Most gifts are under $30. Julie's organization will donate $2,000 to the charity that gets the most votes on smartnow.com

For more information on the gifts seen on the show or the Smart Now Big Hearted Giving Store go to www.smartnow.com

International:
From Bead for Life: Recycled paper necklaces ($20) and bracelets ($15) Benefits women and children in Uganda From Madre: Handmade cards: 4/$24, hand made bookmarks, 5/$25; ornaments, $8, benefits women and families in developing countries such Sudan, Iraq and Columbia From World of Good: Hand-knitted penguin ornaments ($12). Benefits local craftsmen and women in developing nations From Vital Voices: Kenya Beaded nesting baskets ($28), benefits women across developing nations From Women Thrive: Beautiful Scarves, under $30, benefits women across developing nations From Global Goods: A reuseable shopping bag ($26), benefits women and families in developing nations

For our soldiers:
From Peace Tags: 2 Peace Tags (prices start at $30-130), benefits veterans From Move America Forward: Oreo cookies, jelly bellies and coffee, send a care package to a soldier for $30

Local:
From Marin Land Trust: Notecards ($20) and an organic t-shirts for the youngsters ($15) , helps preserve open land in Marin From Drawbridge: Holiday cards ($21), benefits art programs for homeless children locally (SF and Marin) Also, donate to Taylor Family Foundation: for children in Northern California with life-threatening and chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities and youth at-risk through unique therapeutic experiences and support And donate to Brighthaven, a local, no-kill animal shelter

About Julie Wainwright:
Julie started her career at the Clorox Company in brand management. After three years of rigorous consumer marketing training, she joined Software Publishing, one of the first personal computer software companies. She had a blast in this explosive industry and moved overseas for three years to establish their international sales and marketing. She returned to the U.S. to join a spinoff company, PowerUp Software, as VP of Sales and Marketing. She built the company's retail business and then moved overseas once again to establish their international business.

Returning to the States, she soon joined Berkeley Systems as Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. Within one year, she was promoted to President and then CEO. Under her guidance, the company restructured, a professional management team was hired and the company launched "You Don't Know Jack", the company's first entrance into the gaming market, which sold millions and made millions (and is still funny). After the company was sold, Julie joined Reel.com, the first online ecommerce site to sell movies online, as CEO. Julie built the management team, raised venture capital and helped sell the company.

She then founded Pets.com and launched the business with the endearing and enduring Pets.com puppet. Within a two-year timeframe, the Pets.com brand was one of the top brands in the U.S. beating out established competitors. It was a great company, but the timing wasn't. So she recommended to the board that the company be shut down and money returned to shareholders. Since then, Julie has been an executive in residence at a super duper venture capitalist firm, joined another company as CEO , then general manager at a large automotive lead-generation company and finally decided it was time to start SmartNow.com.

In between all of the above, Julie divorced and lost her mojo for a bit. She beat her doldrums by getting involved in the arts and her community, sharing her life with two stinky dogs and taking care of herself.

She is a bona-fide product junky, finds great inspiration in the strength of those around her, cherishes the beauty in daily life and loves to laugh. She strives each day to embrace life and change. Some days are better than ever. Julie founded SmartNow after trying and failing to find the information she needed and wanted on the Internet. She commissioned a survey that showed that her suspicions were true - she wasn't alone. More than 90 percent of the hundreds of women that answered the survey said that while they visited many sites a day, none met their needs. She is dedicated to making SmartNow the best place for information, referrals, inspiration and community for women over 35. And, she hopes you will be inspired to join her in the adventure.


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