From the monthly archives:

March 2011

15 Group Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation

by inlu blog patrol on March 30, 2011

Spring is here (almost?) and summer vacation is just around the muddy corner. As the bulbs burst and the buds open, it’s about time to start thinking teacher appreciation gifts. We know teachers are unique and wonderful, so, in lieu of mugs and apple covered stationary, why not collect as a group and give something she or he will totally enjoy. Here are some great ideas:

1. Curriculum-Related Gift: Select a topic your child’s class studied (a culture, a species, etc). Create an Inlu to support a non-profit organization relating to that topic (education support in that culture, etc) and find a nice ‘coffee table’ book also relating that the teacher can choose to either have at home, or use if future years in class.

2. Park Bench: For about $200 you can buy a nice park bench at places like Lowe’s, and for about $20 or less have a small plaque inscribed with a dedication message. Teachers (with permission from the school) can keep their bench in the playground or even in their classroom. How to do this, you ask? Simply create a GIFT Inlu. Direct the funds to go to a parent who is willing to purchase the bench in advance to make sure there is one in stock! You can also add a charity and set a GIFT CAP to ensure that only the amount needed for the bench and plaque is collected.

3. Summer Barbecue Package: Specialty meat shops (like The Shelburne Meat Market, in Shelburne, VT) offer amazing – but rather pricey barbecue deliciousness. A group gift certificate can give your favorite teacher and his/her family a wonderful summertime treat! This of course can be a limitless GIFT collection. Or you can set a GIFT CAP and add a charity too.

4. Car Detailing: Do you live in a snowy climate? A good spring/summer car cleaning is such a treat! It generally costs at least $100 for a through detail. Add a charity – perhaps one that helps those in need get the transportation they need to get to work. (Check out the Good News Garage as an example)

5. Gardner’s Delight Package: A gift certificate to a gardening shop is perfect for summer! (Check out Gardener’s Supply)

6. Local Farmer’s Market: Many local Farmer’s Markets sell gift certificates that can be used through out the summer – yum! A great way to support local farmers and crafts people. And hey, your kid’s may run into their teachers there. (Yes teachers do grocery shop too!)

7. Farm Share: Its not cheap to buy a summer share from a farm crop – but if you divide the cost among students families, voila! Plus, it’s delicious.

8. Local Theater Gift Certificate: Whether its for a year’s worth of movies, or a theatrical performance, the gift of art is always appreciated.

9. Dinner at an Upscale Restaurant: Fancy, specialty restaurants can be quite pricey. Pitching in together allows your child’s teacher to have room for dessert (and wine perhaps, but we’ll never know:).

10. Books for Teacher & Community: A gift certificate to a bookstore (either online or a local shop) for teacher + a donation to a book related non-profit to help children around the world is very special. Check out Reading.Org

11. Spa Day!!! Enough said. (Aaaahhhhh)

12. Personal Trainer: The gift of health & wellness can go a long way.

13. Health Club Boost: If you know that your child’s teacher goes to a certain gym, tennis club, golf club, yoga studio, look into buying a gift certificate they can either use to supplement their membership or use in the gift shop, for a day with a pro, or the snack bar. Keeping our teachers healthy helps us all!

14. Day of Shopping: Support a local business with a gift certificate to a favorite clothing boutique.

15. Credit Gift Card to do whatever they want! Credit gift cards can be used for home improvements, travel expenses, you name it! Check out to make a personalized Visa/Mastercard.

Inlu makes it easy to group gift something special for your child’s teacher. Oh, and did we mention how easy it is for the parents to pitch in? It’s super easy. Try it!

(We’re here to help if you have questions, comments or thoughts.) See exactly why Inlu LOVES schools, here.


Cool! Celebs Give Back “In Lieu of Gifts”

by inlu blog patrol on March 23, 2011

Photo via Ecorazzi

Hooray for the rising trend that says,  IN LIEU OF GIFTS, GIVE BACK! (BTW, we kinda saw this coming…wink, wink.) Check it out – Justin Bieber, Jessica Biel, Adam Lambert, and Prince William and Kate are just a few of the celebs making our planet happier by giving back for their celebrations.

We LOVE, LOVE this stuff! And happily, we help our users participate in this same kind of feel-good giving experience. You don’t have to be a youtube star or a hollywood hero or part of the royal family to make a difference. Every Inlu user can feel fabulous about giving to a charity on any occasion: birthday, wedding, thank you, etc. Inlu makes it simple for you to get a gift AND give back (in lieu of wrapping paper, multiple gifts, cards, etc) OR simply skip the “stuff” and all the contributions are pooled into one sum and sent on behalf of the honoree. Little efforts add up to a lot of good, including:

  • reduced waste on wrapping, cards etc.
  • less driving and shipping
  • supporting a cause
  • simplified gift giving
  • shopping local
  • giving local
  • giving meaningful gifts, skipping the rest
  • social collaborations

Plus, with each Inlu, users generate points that represent roughly how many tons of CO2 emissions were reduced by group gifting with Inlu. For every 10k points, Inlu donates to plant trees. :) (Read about Inlu’s Planet Points)

Other celebrity “in lieu of” efforts: Rachel Zoe, Will and Jada Smith, and Eat Pray Love‘s Elizabeth Gilbert (in her book, she asks “in lieu of gifts” for her friends to pitch in and purchase a house for her friend in Bali).

This year, you can make a difference (while getting something sweet!) by using


Inlu User Shout Out! 25 Ways Wendy Rocks

by inlu blog patrol on March 6, 2011

Dear Wendy,

You’ve simplified giving for guests, friends and family by using You’ve coordinated FUNdraisers, parties and charitable donations. You’ve pitched-in to save cheetahs, breast cancer and helped 17 total charities. You’ve racked up over 2762 Planet Points, which loosely relates to how much CO2 you’ve curbed by donating or pitching in for group gifts “in lieu of” buying giftwrap, etc. By all accounts, Wendy, you rock!

So, as a tip o the hat, here are 25 ways Wendy Rocks.

  1. She’s beautiful & fully styled.
  2. She creates amazing jewelry at Sweet Flower Designs.
  3. She’s got enviable purple garage doors.
  4. Her kids are adorable, polite and very caring.
  5. She’s lucky to have a husband who can, and will, serenade her in front of everyone.
  6. She’s a dedicated boot camp student who enjoys getting herself in shape.
  7. She’s an awesome boot camp teacher  who works to get everyone else in shape!
  8. She’s a pioneer – one of our first Inlu users!
  9. She’s a socially responsible go-getter.
  10. She regularly shows incredible appreciation for her kids teachers.
  11. She’ll plant that lawn sign in a key strategic location.
  12. She has a huge, super cool dog – no, like really big.
  13. She has a beautiful mother who she cherishes.
  14. She sure loves a good party.
  15. She sports some sweet purple glasses.
  16. She rides rides a Vespa!
  17. She is funny and friendly.
  18. She makes mothering look easy.
  19. She’ll offer help when you need it.
  20. She’ll remind you to find your bliss!
  21. Her home is warm and sunny.
  22. She helps her kids support children’s cancer organizations for their birthdays.
  23. She cares about local causes.
  24. She’s a participant of the global community.
  25. She’s been to surf camp.
  26. BONUS: She makes the planet happier.

As a THANK YOU for participating in 25 Inlus, we’re making a contribution in your honor to have another 25 trees planted. Namaste.