Boutique turns shoppers into philanthropists


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Going to a black-tie benefit can make you feel good and bad. Money spent on your ticket goes to charity, but with the unemployment rate in California at 11.2 percent, it can be tough to justify spending money on a new dress for the party.

"There's a lot of people out there that really could use some help and should I be spending money on extravagant things?" says Corinne Lenehan, a Philanthropist Boutique shopper.

A new boutique in San Francisco solves that problem. Philanthropist takes the guilt out of shopping.

"We give 100 percent of our profits to charity," says Jessica Moment, Co-Owner of the Philanthropist Boutique.

The idea for the boutique actually came from a trip to the grocery store. She saw the Paul Newman Italian dressing and thought well what a great way to combine fashion and philanthropy.

"It's pretty unique. There aren't a lot of models out there to base this on," says Moment.

The owners pay the operating costs and give the rest of the money to rotating charities. About $58,000 has gone to San Francisco's Raphael House -- a non-profit that provides housing for homeless families. Case workers say the timing couldn't be better since calls for help have gone up about 20 percent.

"So many people have been foreclosed on some people with four year degrees have lost housing, haven't been able to pay for their mortgage or even their rent," says Ashley Walheim from the Raphael House.

The Raphael House black-tie benefit on Thursday night was full of ladies wearing gowns they bought at the Philanthropist Boutique; giving the night that win-win feeling.

"It just makes you feel a little bit better about spending money when times are tough," says Lenehan.

Philanthropist carries designer names you read about in magazines. The clothes are all brand new, current, and many say guilt free.

Philanthropist is currently contributing to the Edgewood Center for Children and Families.

To learn more about the store: click here

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