By Michelle Graff

I have blogged before about the importance of giving in tough times, and I stick by my belief that donating to charitable causes becomes even more important in a bad economy.

I signed up here at work today to take part in "Skip Lunch Fight Hunger," an initiative of New York food bank City Harvest.

Basically, I'll be donating what I would normally spend on lunch in a day to City Harvest so they, in turn, can make sure people don’t go hungry.

On that note, if this blog has you feeling charitable, here are a few ways to give back that have popped up lately:

The Legacy Group. This is a new organization involving three extraordinary women that launched on Tuesday here in New York.

Headed by jewelry industry veteran Ralph Destino Sr., the organization has partnered with eighth-generation Vanderbilt Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin; Kick Kennedy, granddaughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and daughter of environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; and Sara Delano Roosevelt, great-granddaughter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

What these women want to do is put their legendary family names to good use.

They are seeking to partner with manufacturers and retailers to develop and endorse consumer products, including jewelry, and then donate the proceeds to their respective charities.

Costin’s supports the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (she sadly lost her mother to the disease), while Kennedy backs the Waterkeeper Alliance, and Roosevelt is an advocate of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

For more information, visit the group’s Web site.

Heart U Back. This is a really cute collection of fine fashion jewelry from family-owned manufacturer IBB International created in conjunction with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

The pieces are for both pets and people, are relatively inexpensive and, best of all, a portion of the proceeds go to the ASPCA.  

For more information about the jewelry, visit To learn more about the ASPCA’s mission, visit its Web site.

Diamonds for a Cure. This one got lost in the sea of paperwork on my desk, but is no less worthy.

Renowned jewelry designer and breast cancer survivor Neda Behnam has created four lines of diamond jewelry—“Hope,” “Faith,” “Charity,” and “Love”—to benefit Stand Up to Cancer.

Flipping through the photos, the collection, which has a Web site, looks like it has a little something for everyone.

I hope you find something you like.

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