Welcome to the 3rd annual Gifts that Give Back Holiday Gift Guide! This curated list has become one of my favorite posts of the year. Why? Because gift giving is fun, and giving a gift that gives twice is even better!
So let’s get right to it. Shall we? Here it is, the 2014 list of gifts that give back:
At Gift of Happiness, a portion of your purchase gives back to charity. You can search the site by item, category, or by charity. The site also has an entirely eco-social selection of items for sale. You can even search items that are made in the USA by state! One of my very favorite gifts is this wine bottle caddy ($91.99) shaped like an Indy race car. It is made in the USA of recycled materials, and 5% of the proceeds go to Shelter for the Homeless. Another one of my favorites are these gorgeous handmade in the USA wooden clipboards ($38.95). Any of the styles would make a unique, stylish gift! This item also benefits Shelter for the Homeless.
If you are headed to a party this holiday season and need a housewarming type of gift, be sure to check out this box sign tray which benefits St. Jude Children’ Research Hospital. At just $18, you can bring this on its own or filled with your favorite treats, and 100% of the proceeds will go towards St. Jude.
Socks with fun patterns and designs are so hot right now, especially for men. I love this pack of 3 pair of organic socks from PACT that comes in a few different styles ($24.99-$29.99). PACT carries “socks with soul, altruistic underwear and other everyday essentials ethically manufactured with fabrics that feel good and go easy on the environment.”
When you join Mighty Nest, you will automatically receive a 15% donation for your school with any order. All of the products on the site are free from known toxic ingredients such as: BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, melamine, formaldehyde, flame retardants, parabens and more. They have a great selection of wooden toys for kids, but the one item I am eyeing the most is this set of two Endurance Stainless Steel Wine Glasses ($26.95). You can serve red or white wine in them, and they keep white wine chilled longer than glass or crystal. This sampler set of organic teas ($34.95) would make a terrific gift too.
Did you know that you can buy gifts that give from Pottery Barn? The tween or teen in your life will love this fur-friendly take on the traditional bomber hat ($39), which comes in Snow Leopard, Grey Cheetah, Cheetah, Grey Ombre, and Jaguar. If you like this gift, hurry up and place an order! While supplies last, Pottery Barn will donate $10.00 for every Fur Hat sold directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. St. Jude supports research and treatment for pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases.
As you may already know, subscription boxes are all the rage, and this one is a fabulous gift for kids. At GreenCraftsforKids.com, kits are designed by experts to help kids build confidence while using their creativity. Each box has a different theme. Subscriptions can be purchased according to various price points. All materials and instructions come with the box, along with some fun extras. They use only safe, sustainable materials and have been certified carbon neutral and Green America Approved. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Green Kid Crafts has also committed to donate at least 1% of sales to environmental non-profits.
For someone deserving of lots of love, consider this Open Hearts necklace from Studio Jewel ($72). $20 from the sale of each necklace will go directly to my friend Amanda Henson and her family. Amanda is a fellow blogger, dedicated employee, wife, and most importantly, a mama to two precious girls. Though you may not know Amanda, you likely know someone like her, a vivacious young woman who is battling breast cancer. This beautiful necklace was created in support of a beautiful woman.
One of my favorite inexpensive finds this year is this zig zag gold beaded bracelet ($13) from Handcrafting Justice. It was made in Mexico from traditional Huichoil beading techniques. It comes in black, or royal blue too. HandCrafting Justice provides access to Fair Trade markets for unique, handmade goods created by enterprising women in the developing world working to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Here’s more for the teen or jewelry collector. At Bravelets, from each purchase will be donated to different organizations, like these, from which $10 goes towards the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Proceeds from the sale of Pura Vida bracelets help to provide jobs for artisans in Costa Rica. In addition, they developed a Charity Collection created to give back to charities all over the world. Pure Vida is also a 1% for the Planet Member, giving back to non-profit partners through their Enviro-Causes Charity Collection. At 31bits, you can find beaded jewelry made from recycled paper, handmade in Uganda. I’ve had my eye on this Glacier necklace ($58) for quite a while now, and it is definitely going on my holiday wish list.
Is there an animal lover on your list? Saving wildlife is at the heart of… the World Wildlife Fund’s mission. When you make a $250 donation, they will send you a limited-edition print, photographed by renowned environmental photographer Morten Koldby. (My personal favorite is the snow leapord.) All frames are made of FSC-certified wood, measure 16″ x 20″, and use acrylic to protect the print.
Another item that benefits the World Wildlife Fund is are these soft tees, made of 70% organic bamboo and 30% organic cotton, featuring graphic wildlife designs. Choose… a socially responsible T-shirt as a thank-you for making a $55 donation.
You may have heard the story about NFL player Devon Still, whose daughter Leah is battling cancer. Proceeds from his Cincinnati Bengals NFL jersey ($69.95-$99.95) are being donated to the Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati. Still is also an alumni of Penn State University. The Family Clothesline is showing support for Devon Still and his daughter with the sale of T-shirts with his college football jersey number (71) on the front and back. The shirts are available in blue or white. They are considerably less expensive than the NFL jersey at $19.99, giving you another option for showing support. On the front are a Penn State logo and a #SackCancer slogan. On the back is Still’s name. Proceeds will go towards the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Leah is undergoing treatment. I wore mine last weekend, in fact!
For the football player on your list, you might also want to consider a Salute to Service jersey, hoodie, hat, or shirt. With a camouflage-theme NFL item, you can honoring those serving your country and your favorite team at the same time. You can also head over to http://www.nflauction.nfl.com/ to bid on game used items. 100% of the NFL’s proceeds from Salute to Service products are donated to three non-profit organizations – USO, Pat Tillman Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.
Noonday Collection is on a mission to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable. They partner with artisans in the developing world, empowering them to grow sustainable businesses that allow them to support their families. They also offer scholarship programs and emergency assistance. Through their trunk show opportunities, women across the United States are given a way to make a lasting difference in the fight against poverty. They have a lovely variety of items to choose from. One on my absolute loves from the collection is this Angelica Infinity Scarf ($58), which is hand woven in Guatamala.
Twillory has a wonderful way to give back when you purchase their fabulously handsome men’s dress shirts. A pre-paid mailer bag is included with each purchase. Simply replace the items you’ve purchased with gently used garments from the back of your closet. Seal the bag and leave it for your mail carrier. They will inspect, launder and repackage your donated goods for distribution to those in need. Your re-purposed clothing will then help those in need both at home and abroad.
Need a gift for an entertainment or Broadway show enthusiast? This fantastic set of six ornaments are shaped like the cover of Broadway show playbills. Broadway Cares and Playbill® introduced their first set of collectable ornaments in 2012 featuring Playbill® covers from the longest-running musicals in Broadway history. Volume I includes The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Les Misérables, Chicago, The Lion King and A Chorus Line. There are three different sets to choose from. Each ornament measures 2 3/8” x 3 ½” and comes in a decorative box set of six for $40. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations, providing more than 450 grants to AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.
With every purchase of any men’s or women’s Flex Watch, the brand makes a donation to a worthy cause. Their motto is, “Look good, feel better.” I’m kind of crazy about the DJ Collection, which has a mixing table inspired graphic. It features an interchangeable silicone band that allows total customization. This particular collection helps provide meals for children in need. It has an interchangeable watch face which can be paired up with another Flex Watch band for a different look at any time.
Last but certainly not least, is an item from one of my favorite organizations, Connected in Hope. They already sell some of the softest, prettiest scarves you will ever see. Just this week they launched a new line of super soft leather distressed Ethiopian leather purses. Each bag is hand crafted by Connected in Hope artisans who receive fair wages for their work, and 100% of the profits are re-invested back into programs that benefit the artisans, their families and the community. The Naomi purse ($135) is the perfect carry-all to tote around all your everyday needs. Oh wait, this is gift shopping, isn’t it? I meant your recipient’s every day needs. Though if you choose to get one for yourself instead, we won’t judge.
And there you have it. Gifts that give back for 2014. Which item is your favorite?