Holiday Gift Guide: Best Gifts That Give Back

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With Hanukkah a little over 2 weeks away and Christmas 5.5 weeks away, it’s time to start holiday shopping if you haven’t already! But what’s better than the perfect Christmas present or Hanukkah present? When that gift also helps other people! With that mind, I’ve pulled together a list of the best gifts that give back. There are so many great gifts in this post if I do say so myself, and I know you can find the perfect gift here.

As always, sign up for Ebates before doing your online shopping! It’s a browser add-on that gives you the opportunity to earn cash back when you’re doing your shopping. The percentage of available cash back depends on the store. And every couple of months, I get some money in my PayPal account! (You can also opt for a physical check.) I’ve earned over $80 through Ebates since I signed up. Sign up here.

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Get the perfect gift AND help a good cause at the same time with this holiday gift guide.

Tips for Shopping for Gifts That Give Back

Check the quality of a charity with Charity NavigatorCharity Navigator is a great way to figure out whether the charity you’re looking to support actually does a good job. Their website says, “In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 9,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities” (x). You want to make sure that you’re supporting a charity that is actually known to use their funds correctly and for good. So if you’re unsure about a charity’s reputation, use Charity Navigator.

Shop Amazon with Amazon Smile – Buying gifts from Amazon? Use Amazon Smile! Buy shopping that way, “Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice” (x). You choose a charity, and they get some money through your purchase.

Gifts That Give Back: Shoes & Accessories

This holiday season, why not buy some gifts that can help other people? These shoes, bags, and sunglasses all help causes.

Toms Classic Canvas Slip-Ons ($47) | STATE Mini Hart Convertible Nylon Backpack ($95) | Warby Parker Hunt Wide Sunglasses (starts at $95) | Toms Deconstructed Alpargata Slip-On ($59-98) | STATE Downtown Mini Kane Metallic Backpack ($55) | Warby Parker Cleo Sunglasses (starts at $145)

Toms are known for being the one pair bought, one pair given company. They work to deliver Toms shoes, glasses, water, safe births, and bullying prevention to people in need.

Warby Parker are another company known for giving people a pair of glasses for every pair sold.

I had never heard of STATE before, but I love the concept! Their website says, “For every STATE bag purchased, STATE hand-delivers a backpack – packed with essential tools for success – to a local child in need” (x).

Bird + Stone is a jewelry company that does a variety of things. Not only do they donate a portion of their profit to causes like women in politics and stopping sexual violence, but they also make their jewelry ethically, which includes paying a living wage and ensuring that their factory meets high environmental standards (x). You can shop by cause here. (The following pictures are from their website.)

The Future Is Female cuff ($35)

African Sun necklace ($32)

Who Run The World cuff set ($68)

Everlane has a line called 100% Human, and “$5 from the purchase of each product will go to the American Civil Liberties Union” (x). This shirt is $22 and comes in black and white, but there are shirts and sweatshirts in varying styles. (The following picture is from their website.)

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Gifts That Give Back: Beauty

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Thistles Farm Exfoliating Body Scrub ($19) | Thistles Farms Soy Candle ($30) | Thistles Farms Jet Set Pack ($25)| philosophy purity made simple cleanser ($24) | philosophy hope in a jar ($39) | Thistles Farm Body Lotion ($20)

Thistle Farms – I’m partial to This Farms because its residential program is based in Nashville and in college I knew people who volunteer there. Its “mission is to HEAL, EMPOWER, AND EMPLOY women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. We do this by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners” (x). The women in the program make the items sold on their site, mostly beauty products.

philosophy – Through their hope & grace initiative, “every product sold helps us support community-based mental health efforts with financial grants focused on empowering women through the prevention and treatment of related issues” (x).

Not pictured: Sephora Stands FEARLESS Rouge Cream Lipstick – This is a really pretty red lipstick sold by Sephora. “For every lipstick sold, [they’ll] give $10 to Sephora Stands—a program dedicated to empowering women and positively impacting our communities” (x).

Gifts That Give Back: Other

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Sprout Plantable Colored Pencils ($16) | S’well Water Bottle ($25) | s’well Hogwarts Water Bottle ($20) | Yoobi Gel Pens Set ($15)

Yoobi – They make super cute stationary materials and help classrooms! For every product sold, they donate a school supply item to a classroom in need (x).

Sprout Pencils – These are pencils that, once you’ve finished, you can plant! They turn into flowers or herbs, depending on the pencils. Here is a set of regular pencils (not colored).

S’well – They make wonderful water bottles, and their work with Unicef! On their website, they say, “S’well® is a proud partner of UNICEF USA, committing $800,000 since 2015 to help provide clean and safe water to the world’s most vulnerable communities” (x).

Not pictured:

Bark Box – You’ve probably heard about it, but did you know that 10% of all proceeds are donated to animal shelters? And if you haven’t heard about it, it’s the subscription service for your dog. Boxes start at $22/box, and “Every BarkBox has at least 2 innovative toys, 2 all-natural bags of treats, and a chew, curated from each month’s unique themed collection” (x).

BetterWorldBooks – This is a site through which you can buy books and support other’s literacy. As their website says, “We believe in the power of knowledge. So our goal is to help those who supply it and share it with those who crave it. Which is why every action we take, and every book purchase you make helps fund it” (x). For every book you purchase, they donate a book.

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