‘Tis better to give than to receive, so why not go the extra mile to find a gift for your loved ones that works overtime, paying it forward to an important charity?
From kid-friendly accessories to alcohol to stock the holiday bar, there are a wide variety of covetable gifts that will do more than delight your recipient: they’ll give back to those less fortunate, too. Here are some of our favorite picks, many of which are from companies who aren’t simply donating money during the holiday season, but supporting worthy initiatives year-round.
Making fashionable and functional leather bags and accessories, FEED is renowned for their commitment to donating nutritious school lunches to children around the world. With each purchase of their chic, buttery soft Viola clutch FEED donates 50 school meals to malnourished kids in need. The brand also works with local artisans and cooperatives to help provide sustainable livelihoods in small communities.
For the rugged guy who considers himself a bit of a maverick, consider an Original Grain timepiece. As part of their “Barrel Collection,” the brand has released two lines of handcrafted wooden watches using repurposed wood from American Oak bourbon barrels, as well as sustainably sourced materials. Thanks to a partnership with non-profit Trees for the Future, a tree is planted in Senegal for each hardwood-and-stainless-steel watch sold.
The beloved skincare brand has partnered for the ninth year with the House that Walt Built for a holiday season Hydration Essentials Gift Set, featuring some of the brand’s greatest moisturizing hits: Creme de Corps, Ultra Facial Cleanser, Ultra Facial Cream, Ultimate Strength Hand Salve and Lip Balm #1. For each kit purchased, 212 meals are donated to Feeding America.
Whether it's writing down your to-do list or gratitude journaling, a beautiful notebook makes daily writings that much more enjoyable. Enter Public Supply, who has partnered with artists such as Edward Granger, Tim Coppens and Ty Williams to create gorgeous covers for their elegant, but practical, velvet and leather-bound notebooks with gilded edges. The company creates writing implements to support the arts in public schools, and 25 percent of the profits from each sale funds teachers in high-need classrooms who use the money for a project that drives creativity.
Get your kids in on the tracker trend while also teaching them the important lesson of giving back with the UNICEF Kid Power Band, an activity tracker specifically designed for the littles. Every step gives kids a point reward, with can be used to make nutritious donations — funded by Star Wars: Force for Change and Target — to malnourished children around the world. Bands are available in different kid-friendly colors, as well as three limited-edition Star Wars bands. More than 8.2 million Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food packets — enough to save 52,000 malnourished children — have been donated to-date.
Give your holiday celebrations even more cheer by drinking for a cause. Every bottle of Simple Vodka purchased provides 20 meals — or roughly one meal per drink — donated through partnerships with hunger relief programs. The single-distilled vodka is gluten- and sugar-free, made from locally sourced, farm-to-table Russet potatoes, and won a Double Gold medal at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Just the convincing you needed to enjoy another round!
You may have seen some of your favorite celebs sporting these necklaces — actresses like Brooke Shields and Cynthia Nixon wear the delicate chains. There’s a lot to love about these lariat necklaces. They are available in a variety of styles, including 14K yellow gold plated silver, rose gold plated silver and 925 sterling silver, and feature inspirational words like Love, Hope, Woke, Boss, Soul and XO. Best yet, the company donates 10 percent of sales to a different women-centric charity each month.
Founded by two former UN emergency relief workers, Alice + Whittles produces handmade (and Vogue magazine-approved) rainboots from locally-sourced rubber in Sri Lanka. Throughout the entire production process, A+W gives back — building long-term relationships and paying a premium on rubber that’s placed into a fund, with the community voting on how to use the money. The boots themselves are chic and minimalist, and are a firm international-fashion-girl favorite for braving the elements in style.
Nowadays, most people have particular causes near and dear to their hearts. Help your friends contribute to their favorite organization with a Charity on Top gift card, featuring more than 1.8 million charities to choose from. Whether you want to give $20 or $200, you select the denomination and then your recipient selects their charity of choice. Cards can be personalized for free with a photo and delivered via mail or email.
Price: Ornaments $15; Animal donations $20-$500
On a mission to end poverty and hunger while giving back to the Earth, Heifer International allows you to donate a variety of animals to families in need and also offers hand-embroidered holiday ornaments to place on the tree as reminder of the importance of charity. Donate a flock of chickens, honeybees or even a llama to a family and then wrap up a physical representation of the gift by choosing an ornament stitched by women members of a self-help group in India.
Founded by firefighters (who know a thing or two about the importance of caffeine!), Fire Dept. Coffee offers a variety of roasts and blends for java lovers. In addition to a special Christmas Blend, the company also offers spirit blends, like Bourbon-Infused Coffee and Rum-Infused Coffee, and a percentage of each order supports firefighter and military charities to give back to hardworking servicemen.
Made from recycled glass (and absolutely no plastic), these BPA-free water bottles from Love Bottle are designed by glass experts and feature uplifting messages and fun artwork. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but 5 percent of each purchase goes towards Global Water to help deliver clean water to those in need. All bottles are made in the USA, supporting small family businesses, and the company works with design artists from around the country.
A Napa wine company founded with the goal of encouraging people to give back while imbibing, OneHope has donated more than $2 million to-date, including providing 2,600 clinical trials to cancer patients, 13,000 homes to shelter animals and 33,000 vaccines. Their festive Rainbow Glitter Edition Brut Sparkling Wine is a light, delicious bubbly perfect for holiday celebrations, and also provides 15 meals to a child in need with each purchase.
Made in India by women who have escaped human trafficking, Sudara’s Charan Punjammies are lightweight men’s flannel pajama pants perfect for cozily lounging by a roasting fire. (They have lounge wear for everyone else in the family as well.) As a company, Sudara’s mission is to empower women through living-wage jobs, education and skills training to help them work toward freedom, independence and dignity. Their non-profit, Sudara Freedom Fund, provides women with microloans, helps fund safe housing, provides equipment for sewing centers, and facilitates back-to-school programs.