The holidays, if you do them right, are just as much about giving than receiving, if not more. Want to pick a few gifts for loved ones that keep on giving? This list of 10 gifts that give back this year are a good place to start looking if you want to "do good" while shopping for your friends and family.
More and more businesses are focused on philanthropy and charity then ever. Perhaps it's because millennials are the prime consumers right now and that's what we're always focused on (no we aren't always focused on ourselves, thank you very much). We love to support businesses that believe in causes we also believe in and who also give back to their communities with their profits they make. And if they're also small businesses? Talk about a score. This list is comprised of all sorts of companies, big and small. And I can guarantee that even if you're not feeling the holiday spirit this year and are the grinchiest of the Grinches, if you purchase one of these gifts for someone, your heart will grow three sizes with all the good you're doing for others. And on the plus side, these gifts are pretty rad on their own.
1. TOMS Shoes
Originally starting out with a "buy a pair of shoes, give a pair of shoes to a kid in need" campaign, TOMS has expanded to give people jobs, health checkups, vaccines and other medicines: Proceeds from eyewear go toward helping to provide people with sight-saving surgery; their roasting company helps support water systems in seven countries; and bags help provide training for "skilled birth attendants" and "vital materials needed to help a woman give birth safely," according to the TOMS website. Additionally, if you purchase a TOMS backpack, proceeds will go toward "training school staff and counselors to help prevent and respond to instances of bullying."
2. Cuddle + Kind Hand-Knitted Dolls
This company was started by a family of five who wanted to give back in an important way — by providing children nutrition, according to the Cuddle + Kind website. The purchase of one doll supplies 10 meals to children in need. The dolls are made to look like deer, dogs, cats, bears, lambs, unicorns, bunnies, fawn, fox, penguins, flamingoes, mermaids, and people — something for every kid's interest. The automated ticker at the top of their website says they've provided 5,073,949 meals to kids in need as of this writing.
3. Isabelle Grace Jewelry
Tragically, breast cancer affects so many people on a daily basis. Isabelle Grace is honoring those who have been affected (and potentially helping those who have not yet been affected) by donating a portion of the proceeds of certain items to the American Cancer Society.
The color pink and breast cancer recognition go hand in hand. That's when you purchase a gorgeous pink piece like this gemstone bar necklace, Isabelle Grace will donate a portion of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. A thoughtful gift to honor someone you love.
4. Grabease Utensils
Whether it's a gift for your friend who has a baby that's about to start trying to feed herself, or it's going in your own kid's stocking, Grabease brand utensils are not only a great practical gift that keeps on giving at home, but they also donate a set to kids in need if you order them in the color white.
These utensils are ideal for babies learning how to feed themselves, and they will give them the confidence they need for baby-led weaning. Highly recommended by occupational therapists for finger strength development in children, according to the Grabease website, the size and proportions are perfect for little hands. There's even a choking shield, since we all know how much they love to shove things really far into their mouths. Carrying pouch included. Free of BPA, non-toxic plastic, and Phthalates.
5. Love Your Melon Hats
Love Your Melon not only has a clever and adorable name for their company, they also sell some pretty amazingly cool hats to keep your melon warm. And even better? 50 percent of the net profit from the sale of any of their products — whether it's a beanie, a cap, or accessories — are given to the Love Your Melon Fund, which supports the company's nonprofit partners in helping to create therapeutic experiences and fund charitable programming initiatives for children and families battling cancer, according to the website.
6. Zulily Books For Kids
Zulily is teaming up with Penguin Random House and nonprofit First Book to give the gift of literacy this holiday season through their "Buy 1 Give 1" initiative. For each book purchased on the Random House website that has the special "Buy 1 Give 1" badge, a child will receive a free children's book as a gift. Additionally, "each time a shopper likes, shares or comments on a Books for Kids social media post, a book donation will be triggered," according to the press release. First Book provides new books "and other essentials" to children in need nationwide.
7. Bombas Sesame Street Socks
Who doesn't love Sesame Street? Heathens. That's who. These 50th anniversary Sesame Street socks by Bombas are amazing on their own, but add in the fact that each pair of socks purchased buys a homeless person a pair of socks? These socks are the perfect gift.
Choose from Elmo, Cookie, Oscar, Bert, Grover, Count, or Ernie to accessorize your toddlers feet with their favorite Sesame Street characters while helping those in need get some much needed socks. Thankfully, they come in adult sizes, too, because let's be real — these awesome socks aren't just for kids. These whimsical socks are $14 for adults, $8 for kids, and $30 for a holiday gift box for your toddler.
8. Pintrill Pins
This exclusive Pintrill toy pin via eBay for Charity is not only cute and guaranteed to give you all of the nostalgia feels, but 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Baby2Baby. There's an amazing Care Bears pin, a Game Boy pin, and even an Etch-A-Sketch pin, bringing you back to your childhood one pin at a time.
Baby2Baby is a nonprofit organization that provides diapers, clothing and other basic necessities to children, from infants to 12 years old. Thanks to their efforts, 50,000,000 donations have been distributed to children.
All proceeds of this rad Game Boy pin will be donated to Baby2Baby, a nonprofit which helps provide diapers, clothing and other essentials to children in need aged 12 years and under. Feel even better about your purchase as you pin it to your denim jacket, knowing you helped a kid out.
9. How Do You See The World? Game
This game was created to "stimulate thoughtful conversation," which is so, so important these days, right? As a press release explained, the "How Do You See The World?" card game "encourages people to go beyond their comfort zone while truly hearing and understanding how others view the world through important question asking. The essence of this game is that every interaction is an opportunity." Sounds like the makings of a cool evening, plus a portion of the proceeds from this game and any other Authentic Agility Games will support educational and entrepreneurial organizations that are changing the world.
This game will inspire you and the other players to ask the really deep, important questions about everyone's thoughts and points of view. There is one die with five categories: Reflections, Relationships, Aspirations, Beliefs, and Life Purpose; players pull a card that matches the category they rolled to kick off a Q&A.
10. Calm Mind Kit
Everyone needs a little zen these days, and Rose & Rex believes children do, too. Their "Calm Mind Kit" for kids teaches mindfulness and meditation. And to give you even more zen and good karma, the company will donate eight toys to children in need through Second Chance Toys with each Calm Mind Kit purchased.
This kit comes with hand-crafted mindfulness activity cards that highlight how to use the toys to calm and relax through meditation and breathing exercises. Specifically made to support a child in growing their emotional and social skills, this set will benefit the fidgety from age 3 to 103.
Season 2 of Doula Diaries shares the stories of fearless doulas helping their clients take control of their births and make tough choices that feel right to them. Watch the first episode of the new season Monday, November 26th.