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Gifts That Give Back

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Tuesday, 26 November 2019 05:30

The holidays are fast approaching, and that probably means you’re being flooded with present ideas. You could buy yet another gift card, or you could make an impression—and make a difference. Our annual look at gifts that give back has a little bit of everything, from great options for teenage girls to lotions and potions to the ideal gift for the man in your life. 

Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $35

Perfect for the VSCO Girl in your family, this S’well water bottle gives a portion of its sales to UNICEF to aid in providing clean drinking water to kids all over the world. 

Lush body lotion, Starting from $7.95

Lush’s Charity Pot makes our list again for three reasons: 1) It’s spectacularly creamy, shooing away even the scaliest of winter skin; 2) Its ingredients are sourced from Lush’s “Sustainable Lush Fund projects that support regenerative agriculture around the world;” and 3) 100% of the price of Charity Pot is donated “to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of human rights, animal protection and environmental justice.”

Pura Vida Bracelets, Starting from $6

Pura Vida’s handcrafted bracelets are so chic you’ll want to keep a few for yourself. And, you’ll feel great about buying them knowing that each sale supports the creation of full-time jobs for artisans all over the world and provides funds for important charities. The company has partnered with more than “170 charities and donated over $1.5 million,” according to My Modern Met.

WEWOOD Kappa Watch, $159.95

This stylish man’s watch even made Oprah’s list of great gifts that give back! The watch with the unique, natural walnut case comes in black and two shades of brown (We love “Nut!”), with sales supporting the planting of trees. In fact, the company has already planted more than 600,000 trees, with a goal of reaching one million next year.

Jewel Garden, $35

Perhaps your giftee wants some greenery in their own home. This hand-planted succulent garden is both attractive and easy to care for, and is also affordably priced. Better yet, each garden provides funds to organizations like, who are committed to providing access to safe water.

Chocolate That Changes Live, Starting from $3.99

You can never go wrong with the gift of chocolate, and this particular hand-crafted confection from ME to WE also has a charitable component. “ME to WE Chocolate That Changes Lives is made from Ecuador’s most prized cacao bean, Fino de Aroma, making it melt-in-your-mouth delicious,” they said. “We even have the awards to prove it—from the prestigious International Chocolate Awards with the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting to the Ecuador Chocolate Awards, each decadent flavor is award-winning. But what makes our chocolate truly irresistible? With every bar you empower the cacao farmers who made it to earn a fair wage and ensure children in Ecuador’s local communities have access to education. Doing good has never been more delicious!”

Hand in Hand Bar Soap, $6

These scented bar soaps make lovely hostess gifts, especially if social causes are meaningful to them. Choose from Lavender, Sea Salt, Cactus Blossom, Citrus Grove, or Unscented—or mix it up with a four pack. Each of the soaps is also vegan, and for every purchase, the company donates a bar of soap and a month of clean water to a child in need.

Beelove, From $5

These honey-based products from Sweet Beginnings will go over big. Whether you gift the raw natural honey or the restore polish & glow honey & brown sugar scrub, you’ll love the company’s worthy cause. “Our natural, high quality products are produced by men and women returning from incarceration,” they said. “At Sweet Beginnings, these talented men and women develop a stable work history, learn marketable skills and gain the confidence they need to re-enter the workforce.”

Fire Dept. Coffee, $11.99

This medium-roast bag is a blend of Central and South American coffees, is available in ground and whole bean, and is sourced from environmentally-friendly farms. Even better—a portion of every sale goes to assistance programs for firefighters or veterans.

No Kid Hungry Tools for Change Silicone Spatula, $11.96

This is another repeat from last year. This time around, the spatulas were designed by Al Roker, Guy Fieri, Gwen Stefani, and Laila Ali, among others. Not only do you get to gift a loved one with a piece of celebrity art, but you can “help fight childhood hunger at the same time,” said Williams-Sonoma. 

Alpaca, $150

You can give everything from a flock of chicks to a goat to a water buffalo to a family in need through Heifer International. Our favorite animal—to play with and to give—an alpaca. For $150, you can purchase one of these cuddly friends and give a family “a hand up, increasing access to medicine, school, food and a sustainable livelihood,” they said. “The gift of an alpaca means a child will finally get a chance at an education, thanks to the money earned from selling the wool. Donating an alpaca also means a family will have an opportunity to provide and care for themselves — one step closer to lifting themselves out of poverty.” The monetary gift also includes training and education so the family knows how to care for the alpaca.

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