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IN THE BAG

Shopping news: Give a goat for Christmas

Your donation to a relief fund could help people in crisis

Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 10:53 am

It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't give the International Rescue Committee a plug. The IRC goes to crisis zones in more than 40 countries and 22 cities to help people survive and rebuild their lives.

You can purchase gifts from their online catalog ranging from a goat ($129) to a flock of chickens ($30) to a shower station ($249) to mosquito nets ($18) — and more — for people in crisis. You can give these gifts in someone's name — the perfect gift for the person on your list who has everything.

Give a gift before Dec. 31, and it will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $1.7 million.

According to the IRC, 92 percent of its money goes to programs, 3 percent to fundraising and 5 percent to administration. It meets all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance's accountability standards.

To learn more or to donate, go to www.rescue.org and click on "shop rescue gifts."

Oh, and by the way — it looks as if your “purchases” through the gift catalog aren't literal purchases. The website states “Symbolic Gifts. Real Rescue.”

So your money may not actually buy a flock of chickens — but it will still go toward a good cause.

Other similar charities include World Vision, www.worldvision.org, and Heifer International, www.heifer.org (both accredited by the BBB).

Greens on sale at Neuhouser

If you have more decorating to do, Neuhouser Garden and Gifts, 4605 W. Jefferson Blvd., is now selling its fresh and artificial wreaths, garland, picks, swags and mantel pieces for 30 percent off. All their plush items are 30 percent off, too. Hours: 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Spa opens in Lutheran Hospital

The Woodhouse Day Spa has opened a spa room inside the Hope Boutique at Lutheran Hospital to benefit the Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House, a nonprofit hospitality house that provides shelter, meals, laundry facilities and a peaceful refuge for families with children who are critically ill or injured.

The Woodhouse Day Spa, a full-service luxury day spa located at 6388 W. Jefferson Blvd., has joined with the Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House to create a specialized menu of massage services to be offered inside the Hope Boutique with 15 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Hope House. The massage services will be offered to the Lutheran Hospital staff and to patients' families, who are spending many hours at the hospital.

In addition, the spa and Hope House will recognize the mothers who sit by their child's' bedside in a special way. Each month, the spa will draw a name to treat a mom to a complimentary 50-minute Swedish massage.

To schedule a reservation at the Hope Boutique Spa, call the Woodhouse Day Spa at 459-6249 and mention that you are scheduling at the Hope Boutique Spa location. Or go to the spa's website at www.fortwayne.woodhousespas.com.

Know of a store opening, closing or remodeling? Find a good deal? Call Cindy Larson at 461-8284, fax 461-8817, e-mail clarson@news-sentinel.com or write to: In the Bag, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46801. To read other columns, go to http://news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=COL.