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We’ve given you our Gift Guides here, here, here and here, but what if you would rather give a gift to someone in need this holiday season? No worries! heymama member, Hitha Palepu has got you covered. Hitha is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Bridge2Act, a writer and advocate for girls seeking an education and becoming leaders. Inspired by the overwhelming response to her “no gifts please” request at her son’s first birthday, she launched No.Gifts, a website dedicated to helping people #gogiftless and create custom donation pages for causes they are passionate about. This, we have time for.

Hitha, can you tell us more about your No.Gifts website and #gogiftless campaign?

NO.GIFTS is an offshoot of Bridge2Act, a company that I co-founded in 2014 to enable people to take action the moment they feel compelled. We developed a best-in-class donation platform, where you can make a donation in as little as 5 seconds and 100% of the donation is transferred to the charity in real-time.

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People give when they’re directly asked. There is also a movement towards having less stuff and leaving more of an impact. Through NO.GIFTS, we can build you a custom donation page to share with your loved ones on your birthday, your child’s birthday, or a wedding. We also launched a “gift impact” feature this holiday season, which allows you to gift a donation to a loved one. You can send them a beautiful digital card or print one out and give to them in person, informing them of the impact made in their name.

What inspired you to create this site?

My son’s first birthday was actually the inspiration! Our loved ones kept asking what they could get him as a gift, and we kept replying “no gifts!” Eventually I created a Bridge2Act donation link and shared it with our family and friends. We raised over $2000 from that link for 3 amazing children’s charities – and the rest is history!

How do you identify the charities that you work with?

Right now, we use the Bridge2Act platform (the parent company) to host the donation pages and process donations. We thoroughly vet every charity that applies and approve organizations that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Has a 3+ rating on Charity Navigator

  • Meets all 20 Give.org standards

  • Has been accredited by GiveWell

  • Has been accredited by a 3rd party nonprofit vetting organization (Global Citizen, Show Of Force, Gucci’s Chime For Change, or Guidestar)

What is currently your favorite charity?

At this moment, it’s the Karam Foundation. They’ve been providing aid to Syrians (mainly children) through in-country and refugee camp programs since 2007. Given the heartbreaking tragedy in Aleppo, I’ve been donating to Karam this month – for myself and for gifting impact to my loved ones.

Congratulations on creating such a meaningful company! If you had one wish this holiday season, what would it be?

As cheesy as it sounds, I wish for peace – around the world, certainly, but also here at home. And peace inside my own brain would be nice.


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