It is nice to give and get fab gifts during the holidays but it is even nicer when the smile on a recipient’s face is outweighed by the greater good a gift does.

Below are four gifts that give back to consider.

New-In-Box Gifts from the ReStore

Thanks to many wonderful donors, including major big-box retailers, Coastal Habitat for Humanity’s resale store, the ReStore, has hundreds of brand new gifts for anyone on your list – in addition to beautiful lightly-used vintage items of all types and sizes.

Just last week, Oprah’s Nate Berkus said a set of vintage wine glasses, “wrapped beautifully makes a stylish, unique and affordable gift.”  And if Nate says it, it’s gospel.

As of presstime, new ReStore items included new furniture from Hudson Goods, Waterford wine glasses, Lenox vases, holiday decorations, Thomas O’Brien dishware, a Polo Ralph Lauren Nativity set and sterling jewelry.

Proceeds from the ReStore fund various projects including Brush With Kindness (rehabilitation of existing home’s exterior) and the construction of four homes in Asbury Park over the next two years.

Donors Choose: an Asbury Park classroom

Log on to this website and buy a much-needed supply for an Asbury Park classroom.  One first-grade class of 23 students is requesting a carpet to play on.

“This carpet will serve as a gateway to a special place for learning,” said Mrs P, the teacher. “The learning time spent on the carpet will be very special and magical.  Morning meeting will come to life and going to the carpet with a book will truly be special.”

Log on to and search “Asbury Park, NJ” for all the gift options. 

Heroes of Asbury Park 2011 Calendar

If you have not heard already, Asbury Park firefighters, police and lifeguards have joined together to create a dynamic, fun and sexy calendar benefitting ArtsCAP – the Arts Coalition of Asbury Park – and other local charities.

Photographed by Alan Barnett at iconic locations around the city, each hero is beautiful inside and out.  Forget the Blackberry and go old school with a fab calendar.  $15 at and local stores.  Read the Coaster and TheBPlot’s exclusive article about the calendar – click here.  Read last Sunday’s Star-Ledger’s Monmouth County edition cover story about the calendar here.

Found My Animal Leash

There is no better quality, versatile or durable leash – that looks good doing it all – around.  Found My Animal leashes are handmade in the USA by professional New England rope-makers.  Each rope is hand-spliced and the ends of the leash are “whipped” (an old nautical term) for additional durability.

The adjustable solid brass o-rings and solid brass clips, marine-grade hardware, on the leash allow it to be used in three ways: as a standard hand-held leash of variable lengths, around your waist freeing up your hands or over your shoulder and across your chest.

The individually-numbered, stamped brass tags on each Found My Animal leash allows the women-owned small business to keep track of the number of animals helped to-date.

Twenty-five percent of all Found My Animal’s profits benefit the Louis Animal Foundation.  TheBPlot’s review of the leash last week, click here.  $56 at