The Gift Of Giving: Gifts That Give Back

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy December! It's here. I always see it coming, yet I still feel like it sneaked up on me a bit. How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Ours was really, really nice. My neighbor was kind enough to allow me the use of his oven while he went to families for the day and I can tell you it was hands down the easiest and best Thanksgiving meal I have prepared and served yet. The rest of the weekend was perfectly relaxing. We decided to go for a weekend of over-eating instead of over-spending and spent a long quiet weekend at home snacking on leftovers and milling about.

But on to the present. It's that time of year again where my humanitarian side, blogging side, and love of "things" side get to live in perfect harmony for a little bit. The Gift of Giving series has to be my favorite series that I have here on the blog and I look forward to this time each year to share my new findings with you.

I love Christmas, I love buying things, I love gift giving, and I'll admit I love getting them too. But. Like most people there have been many times throughout my life when I, or my family have struggled, and before I did what I do now I worked in social services, providing services to families in need. So come the holidays, no matter where I am personally, I try to give back as I am able to (many non-profits depend on the funds/donations they get through the holiday season to run all year long). One way, for those who may not be able to afford out-right cash donations, is to buy gifts where part of the proceeds go to a charitable donation. This is something I hope to incorporate into my own business someday. And with that said I am always on the lookout for companies who do this, not just for my own inspiration, but as a really great way to give to during a season of giving in more ways than just one. Here are a few of my picks . . . (and as you can see you can give gifts that give at all price points!)

1. The Naked Hippie t-shirt: TNH "invests 100% of it's profits into micro loans that help people in developing countries support themselves and their families by starting or growing small shops, stands and sidewalk businesses.

2. Kite Pencils: For every pencil pack purchased, Kite gives one to a child in need. "Kite partners with organizations and schools committed to eliminating the barriers of education both domestically and internationally, where kids in attendance are living below the poverty line. 

3. Raven and Lily Yami Everyday Tote: "Raven + Lily currently helps employ marginalized women in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan, and the USA at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education, and a real chance to to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

4. Apolis Cypress Fig Travel Candle: Apolis partners with communities to co-create products, investing in the production and introducing the finished products to a global marketplace. 

5. LSTN Headphones: Working with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, LSTN helps to restore hearing to a person in need for every pair sold. 

6. Nomi Network Child's Elephant Tee: Nomi Network is a non-profit that creates economic opportunities for women and survivors at risk of human trafficking. 

7. fashionABLE The Able scarf: fashionABLE works with women to help them start small business cooperatives, and we partner with and require manufacturers to also employ women with fair wages and fair hiring practices.  

8. LUSH New Charity PotWith every purchase of Charity Pot, LUSH donates 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small, grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.

9. Out of Print Banned Books Notebook: For each product sold, one book is donated to a community in need through our partner Books For Africa

If you have any suggestions of your favorite charities please let me know in the comments!


  1. Hellooooo...! I missed you! I'm so glad you had a nice holiday. I think over eating was a perfect choice. Good call! I love these lists you do. Just love them. I'm already eye-balling some things. I'm stumped on my nephew, any ideas for elementary aged boys? (Although I might do those pencils.) He's in first grade. You probably don't have any connection to that age group. ;)

  2. Oh, yay, I was just thinking about this series over the weekend and wondering what you'd include this year. It's so good to highlight gifts like these, gifts that do good without any extra effort on the gift giver's part. Not saying that's my m.o., but generally speaking (I've learned this from being on our office's philanthropy committee all these years) people are lazy about charity. Sad but true! But you've proven how simple it is to donate to a bunch of good causes without doing anything but shopping. Love love love this series. xo

  3. I'll definitely be donating this Xmas season... most likely to something horse-related, which I haven't done before and am really looking forward to. Oh yes, and Santa, I would like a double oven for Xmas

  4. Now that's the kind of gift guide I'm really into. Love your selection here, Christine, especially the Nomi Network tee, the candle (I want one of those!) and the scarf.

  5. for thanksgiving we always overindulge in food and refuse to go shopping in huge retail stores too. it's not fun shopping when you have to fight the crowds.

    i love how all of these would make phenomenal presents, and also benefit communities across the globe. you're always so thoughtful christine.

  6. Oh how lovely. The holiday onset of consumerism gives me the heebie jeebies. So there was a whole lotta not shopping and relaxing (as much as a spazz like me can). I love that you curated the give back collection of gifts. Really nice.Will share it too. Excellent to have you post even if it is this and the other.
    Merry Christmas early.

  7. gifts that "give"! double whammy! i love the items you've curated, but the inspiration is especially lovely. i know at least a couple of family memebers/friends that would love something from one these businesses. thanks for putting them all here in one place, sure makes shopping easier! xo

  8. Lve the sound of that candle, and also the scarf and notebook, what great ideas, thanks for sharing!


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