Charity traditionally is a part of the holiday season. Today, it’s easier than ever to put charity first by giving a gift that keeps giving back all the way through the new year.

12 gifts that keep on giving ...

By Nancy A. Ruhling

Chic Cashmere

(modeled by Karen LeFrak and Gillian Miniter)

Steven Stolman’s Central Park Conservatory Scottish cashmere sweaters, $800, keep the cherry blossoms blooming.

The custom-made Queen of Cashmere sweaters, available in black cashmere with grey and white branches and in white with beige and tan branches, are ideal for a walk in the park. To order, call 212-310-6675 or

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Dressed to a T.

The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s red cotton T-shirt decorated with 100 Swarovksi cystals, $125, is a true holiday star. The money raised will be used to decorate the center for the holidays. Call 212-639-7975 or e-mail

Another fund-raiser, The Yankees Universe T-shirt (above), makes everyone a good sport. These shirts, available in blue, grey and pink in adult and youth sizes, are $20, plus shipping.

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Book Art.

Alpha Workshops’ Dachshund hand-cast plaster bookends, $77 including shipping, brighten up the library long after the holiday ends, and proceeds go toward the group’s vocational training programs for artists who have HIV/AIDS. To order, call Ruth at 212-594-7320; for more information, visit

Coming Full Circle.

L’Oreal Paris’ Color of Hope Bracelet is a serious sparkler: Sales raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.  The bracelet, available in sterling silver and cubic zirconias, $24.95, and in 14K white gold and diamonds, $795, is a must-have accessory whose circle represents life, endurance, love and, of course, O for OCRF.

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It’s All in the Cards.

A Little Star turns the artwork of children 5 to 12 in programs at The Children’s Aid Society into holiday greeting cards that capture all the wonderment of the season. Profits from the cards, $14.95, plus shipping, for a set of 18, go to The Children’s Aid Society, which helps low-income children and families.

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… And a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Two turtle doves aren’t on the list of, but other living gifts -- sheep, rabbits, chicks, ducks, water buffaloes and even heifers – may be sent to needy families around the world for as little as $10 to $25.

A single heifer, for instance, supplies four gallons of milk a day, and that’s no hay!

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Food for Thought.

By design, The United Nations World Food Program’s FEED bag feeds one child one meal a day for one school year.

Designed by honorary spokesperson Lauren Bush, it is $50.

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Sweets and Treats.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, God’s Love We Deliver has added three holiday items – anniversary blend coffee, $15; mini-pound cakes, $24; and Chuck’s Crumbles, $12 – to its sinfully delicious catalog.

Of course, it does without saying that the signature brownies and chocolate chip cookies also are to die for and that the proceeds go toward alleviating hunger and malnutrition among the seriously ill.

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Show Stopper.

From “Avenue Q” to “Wicked,” the 2006 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS ornament, $20, is a real trooper.

It is among 10 other items, including a snow globe, $60, and chic tote bag, $30, in the charity’s signature collection of the theatre world’s AIDS fund-raising organization.

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For the Pet-icular Shopper.

The Humane Society of the United States’ Peeking Pussycat mug and Peek-A-Pup mug, $24 each, turn the traditional coffee cup bottom’s up. If these 12-ounce mugs aren’t your cup of tea, the society has a variety of holiday ornaments and tree toppers that are pet-perfect.

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Waving the Wrist Flag.

Baghdad beaded bracelets, which are made by Iraqi women, are a colorful reminder to remember the troops.  The jewelry, $20, comes in a variety of hues, everything from the patriotic red, white and blue to purple or yellow, and the proceeds support Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which helps families of assassinated military personnel.

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A Historic Home for the Holidays.

The Junior League of New York’s hand-crafted commemorative ornament, $45 plus $5 shipping, pays tribute to the organization’s headquarters newly renovated headquarters. The piece, designed by Mia Kaplan of Ornaments by Mia, is a replica of the historic Astor House at 130 E. 80th St. and marks the recent reopening of the home.

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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/