Gifts that Give Back

‘Tis the season for gift giving. It can be nice to consider the wants and needs of our loved ones when shopping for a gift. I know that many of us perused Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the hopes of getting more bang for our buck. But our gifts can go far beyond the boundaries of our homes.

Gifts Ideas:

Looking for something you can wrap up and give to a loved one? Check out these awesome gift ideas from companies that will use your dollar to benefit others.

  • Bloom and Give: 50% of Bloom and Give’s profits go towards educating girls in India where girls often face obstacles. They sell beautiful handmade scarves, kitchen textiles, and bags in a variety of materials.
  • Cuddle and Kind Dolls: This company makes seriously adorable dolls (they are pretty big, too). With every doll sold, they give 10 meals to kids in need.
  • WeWood Watches: These gorgeous wood watches are impeccably made and for every one they sell, they plant a tree.
  • Conscious Step Socks: This company sells organic cotton and fair trade socks in a variety of really cute patterns. Each pack benefits a different cause, such as fighting hunger or planting trees.
  • Story Shares: With every book that is bought from Story Shares, they get one to a school or teacher working with struggling readers.

Donation Gifts:

Why limit gift giving to those you know? These charities are working hard to get supplies and homemade works of love and comfort to people and animals in need. Spread the cheer!

  • 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge: This project is all about getting homemade pillowcases to people (adults and kids) in hospitals, hospice care, shelters, nursing homes, and deployed military. The idea is to brighten up their days with bright colors and fun patterns as well as to give them some unique and fun love. The website has a free pattern as well as more information. You can choose a specific charity here.
  • Project LinusThis charity donates handmade blankets to kids who are ill, have experienced trauma, or are otherwise in need of love. They accept blankets of all sizes as long as they are washable and easy to care for. Once your blanket is made, you can drop it off to your local chapter (you can find that here) and they will get it to a kid in need of love and security.
  • Snuggles ProjectThe snuggles project helps to get homemade blankets to dogs and cats that are waiting to be adopted from shelters. A warm and snuggly blanket can help to make a homeless animal feel safer and more comfortable while waiting at a shelter. You can check out which shelters accept them here, but if you don’t see the “Snuggles” icon next to your local shelter, you can always ask about donating blankets in case they do not know about the project. Also, nearly every shelter and vet accepts donations of towels.
  • Coats for Cubs: Many people, including myself, inherited a grandparent’s fur coats. I’m a very anti-fur, but I found that these coats could be used to benefit animals. By sending your old fur coats and clothing to Coats for Cubs, they are used for comforting wild animals during rehabilitation.

Monetary Donations:

There are many charities and organizations that do incredible and important work to benefit people, animals, and the environment. But money is required for them to continue doing what they do best. Spread the holiday spirit by donating your dollars. Donations can also be made in someone else’s name for a meaningful gift.

  • Defenders of Wildlife: This is an organization that I’ve always really admired. They are all about nature and wildlife conservation and habitat protection. They work with policy makers, develop programs, spread awareness, and defend protections in place.
  • Earthworks: Earthworks is working to help protect the environment by working towards sustainability and alternatives to harmful energy development.
  • Rainforest Alliance: This group is another working towards biodiversity, sustainability, and the restoration of habitats.
  • Animal Welfare Institute: There is still a long way to go for animals. This organization is working on ending suffering for animals in labs and factories as well as to promote the protection of wildlife.
  • The Trevor Project: This group provides services for preventing suicide and giving support to youths in the LGBTQ community.
  • Amnesty International: This human rights organization works with a broad range of issues all around the world.
  • Your local animal shelter! By providing much needed money to your local animal shelter, you are helping to keep animals fed, warm, and alive!

Happy Holidays!

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