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This Michael Kors oversized chronograph watch with its
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This Michael Kors oversized chronograph watch with its bold turquoise face does a lot more than keep good time. Purchase of the piece provides 100 meals for children in need through the United Nations World Food Programme; $295 at select Michael Kors stores or michaelkors.com.(Credit: Handout)

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Holiday gifts that give back

For Kenneth Cole, it's human rights. For Marni, it's education. For Michael Kors and Kiehl's, hunger.

These days, designers and brands of all prices are making their concerns for the world known, and asking consumers to help them fight the good fight. At a time when we find ourselves compelled to buy gifts for friends and loved ones -- even though, let's face it, many of us don't need any more STUFF -- it's nice to know that our dollar goes further than just from wallet to cash register. It reaches doctors and scientists fighting pancreatic cancer (thanks to Ippolita) and those helping to plant trees (Clarins) or rebuild schools destroyed by natural disasters (Clinique).

So as you do your holiday shopping this month, remember that the best gifts of all are the ones that give back. -- Joseph V. Amodio