Downtown holiday shopping

Detail from the Christmas tree in the window of The Perfect Pantry at 21 East Congress St. in downtown Tucson, AZ. Photo taken Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

This story was created by #ThisIsTucson and underwritten by the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit Coalition, helping you give local, keep local with your Arizona Tax Credit. Thank you for supporting the local organizations that support us!

Gift giving in itself is a fulfilling act. But, giving a gift that helps others is even sweeter. 

Tucson has so many wonderful organizations and non-profits that help make our community healthier, smarter, safer and more vibrant. Here are three ways you can give a gift that keeps giving. 

Bonus: You don't have to leave home to purchase these and no gift wrap is required. And that means these can be last-minute gifts that won't feel like it.

Make a straight donation 

Four out of five young children in Tucson do not have access to high-quality early education.

You can make a donation to any number of local organizations in honor of anybody on your list based on what your gift recipient is passionate about. 

Buy a gift from a local non-profit's gift shop

Most Tucson non-profits have gift shops connected to their locations where they sell goods associated with their mission and proceeds from sales are reinvested back into the organization's programs and services. The recipient of your gift can feel good about the fact that the item you're giving them will help support the Tucson community, instead of some corporation's bank account. Here are a few places to check out. 

Ben's Bells ornaments are available at its Shop KIND retail shop downtown. 


The Ben's Bells retail store at 40 W. Broadway is full of hand-made goodies from necklaces and coffee mugs to kindness coins and ornaments. When you buy something from the shop, you're helping the organization fund kindness education and further its mission of intentional kindness. Click here for more information and store hours. 

The West

This volunteer-run retail store at 5615 E. River Road specializes in gifts, toys, cards and needlework supplies and classes. Proceeds benefit women and children's charities in Tucson. Go here to learn more about The West. 

Western National Parks Store

Shopping here supports national parks on this side of the country. This store, at 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive, is all about the Southwest with its desert-inspired cookbooks, history books, cactus plushies and Native American art and jewelry. Go here for more information and store hours. 

Tucson Botanical Gardens

You'll find lots of odds and ends for both your garden and your home at the Gardens Gift Shop, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Plus, art, books and toys — much of it sourced from local artists and vendors. Go here for more information. 

MOCA Tucson

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson. 265 S. Church Ave. has a gift shop with funky souvenirs highlighting recent exhibitions and artsy jewelry, cards and even beauty products by local makers and artists. Go here to see some of the shop's inventory and for more information. 

Tickets to a fundraiser

You can feel great about going out when your ticket supports a local organization. Here are a couple coming up in January that would make a fun day or night out with a friend. 

Cookies and Cocktails at Playground Bar and Lounge.

Cookies & Cocktails - This event supports the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona's Social Impact programs which serve girls in foster care, girls with incarcerated mothers and girls who are refugees. You'll get to taste desserts made with Girl Scout Cookies made by local chefs, sip cookie-inspired cocktails and craft beers and more. The event happens on Jan. 29 and more info can be found here

Strut For Success - This fashion show benefits the Interfaith Community Services Single Mom Scholars Program, which provides scholarship and skill-building opportunities to single mothers. The show's models are the scholars themselves and their children and their stories will be shared during their runway walk. The fashion show is on Jan. 26 and more info can be found here

Yes, it's true — you can direct your tax dollars and help your favorite charity!

In Arizona, you choose where your money goes!

1. Visit — choose one or more charities and follow the link to make a one-time donation or set up recurring donations.

2. Claim your credit when you file your taxes.

3. Feel GOOD!

Find information on dozens of Qualified Charitable Organizations at:

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson