Hope Diamond Collector Barbie, $89.95
This week, we're going to use our allowance for good instead of evil like we usually do. When you buy this Barbie (for me), you're not only making (my) dreams come true, you're also supporting The Smithsonian. So they can publish more books about animal shaped jewelry, even though I'm pretty sure fairies are not technically "animals." Related: having never seen Titanic, I thought the Hope Diamond was the same as the "My Heart Will Go On" diamond, or whatever it's called. I was not very far off!
Donate to Your Alma Mater's Scholarship Fund
I know, I know: they will never leave you alone if you do this. But remember when you were applying for all those scholarships and you were like "Who are these people who want to pay for me to learn how to do logical proofs?" You! You are those people now.
Join a CSA
CSA stands for "community supported agriculture," and though it's not grammatically clear how that is a thing you can "join," it's basically like subscribing to a farmers market, without the market part. Most of them allow you to choose how much produce you'd like and how often, and then all summer you go pick up mystery baskets of fresh local produce from wherever they tell you. (The last one I joined had us picking up at the front desk of a nearby university's chemistry department???) It's like Chopped, but there's no time limit.
"Shop and put together little noodly items" for Marriage Equality
Volunteers need bullhorns, tables, flashlights, markers, pens, duct tape (?), first aid kits (!), and more.
Living Lounge Bowl from MoMA, $89.95 (was $130)
This is one of those objects that you admire on other people's coffee tables but you'd never buy one for yourself. Change your attitude and give to a dope museum at the same time! Or, buy it as a wedding present for someone who has a boring registry.
Host a Bake Sale for Your Favorite Charity
Share Our Strength, or "The Charity With The Best Spokesperson Imagineable", and The American Cancer Society makes this easy but you can probably hook it up for whoever you want. How adorable is a bake sale? I mean, really. Just make sure not to put any poison in the cookies — people are not into buying poisoned cookies.
WNYC Tote Bag, $60 donation
WNYC gives us Radiolab and Radio Rookies, their youth radio project. And what do we give them in return? Our attention? Who do we think we are? Oh and also, this tote is a good conversation starter at the grocery store, if you catch my drift laaadiiieees.
Give As You Go Tour by Journeys Within, $5,000-ish
Do you have that much? Are you saving it for a rainy day? There are tons of those in Southeast Asia! Stay at what seems to be a pretty lovely little boutique hotel in Cambodia and then do some voluntourism in neighboring countries. They take you sailing on the Mekong river.