The holidays are here, and you are probably getting stressed about your “to buy” list. Maybe this year you’re hoping for something different. We’ve all been through a lot, haven’t we? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is short and you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Of course, it would be easy to order the latest toys or gadgets and have them shipped to your door. Or going the no-brainer route and getting a gift card would probably make everyone happy. But what if the money you spent to buy gifts for your loved ones went toward helping others?
This holiday season, consider purchasing gifts that support great causes. Below are seven, but there are plenty out there that make a difference around the world. Now that’s the true spirit of giving.
1. Clothing and Accessories from Voice of the Vanishing
What do you get for the environmentally conscious, fashion-forward person in your life? Voice of the Vanishing combines fashion with conservation to offer “Earth-first” streetwear as a way to help end wildlife extinction.
Through their Ark 15 initiative, Voice of the Vanishing is focused on saving 15 critically endangered species around the globe, including: Blue-Throated Macaw, Malayan Tiger, Black Rhino, Forest Elephant, Cross-River Gorilla, Brown Spider Monkey, Bornean Orangutan, Hawksbill Turtle, Kakapo, North Atlantic Right Whale, Northern White-Cheeked Gibbon, Panama Golden Frog, Philippines Eagle, Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth, and the Sunda Pangolin. With every purchase, 51 percent of the profits go to a trusted wildlife organization to support the species of your choice.
2. Shave with a Purpose from Pacific Shaving Company
Getting shaving cream for Christmas doesn’t sound very exciting, unless it’s for more than just getting a smooth shave. Pacific Shaving Company helps people #shavewithpurpose with different products in their shaving cream line.
Each color correlates to a specific health or social cause, with 10 percent of proceeds going to the corresponding organizations: green is mental health awareness, yellow is suicide prevention, blue is prostate cancer research, pink is breast cancer research, purple is LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion, and red is ALS research. Pacific Shaving Company’s products are never tested on animals and are made in the U.S.
3. Clothing and Jewelry from Pura Vida
Pura Vida got its start after the creators saw firsthand several artisans in Costa Rica making beautiful bracelets, but without a big customer base, they lived in poverty. They brought home hundreds of bracelets and sold out immediately. Soon after, they started a business so the world could easily purchase beautiful bracelets and other jewelry from people who could be greatly impacted. According to Pura Vide, every purchase helps to provide sustainable employment to artisan communities in Costa Rica, India, El Salvador, and China.
The company also partners with hundreds of charities to donate a portion of sales to help these causes. Right now, they offer clothing and jewelry to benefit the environment, humanitarian causes, animals, cancer research, and mental health.
4. Navajo Rugs, Jewelry, Baskets, and Crafts from Adopt-a-Native-Elder
Beautiful hand-crafted Navajo pieces make amazing one-of-a-kind gifts. Made by members of the Navajo Nation, rugs are available in several different colors and patterns that pay homage to the Earth, pictorial or ceremonial theme rugs that tell stories, and rugs made from hand-spun and hand-died wood. According to the Adopt-a-Native-Elder organization, rug purchases held the Elders buy feed for their livestock, firewood to heat their homes, and groceries to feed their families.
The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program in the Salt Lake City area exists to create a bridge of hope between Native Americans and other cultures as well as reduce hardship facing traditional Elders living on the Navajo Reservation. The Program delivers g food, medical supplies, firewood and other forms of Elder support.
5. Hand-Knitted Beanies from XOXO Hats for Strength
This Millcreek, Utah, organization is a collaboration of knitters, motorcyclists, super car drivers, and families going through cancer. Volunteers knit and crochet XOXO hats for those with cancer, offering strength and hope through their hands. Volunteer motorcyclists and super car drivers personally deliver the hats to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
With each sale of a handcrafted beanie, another one is donated to a cancer patient. XOXO is stitched into every hat, which represents “holding each other together,” according to the organization.
XOXO also offers a variety of t-shirts, as well as hand-knitted hearts along with a personalized note to send to a loved one—an especially thoughtful gift for those you can’t personally hug this holiday season.
6. Stuffed Animals from The Elephant Project
A stuffed animal is a classic gift for a child, but these are even better! With every purchase of the Kiki or Tembo elephant, 100 percent of the net proceeds goes toward caring for sick, abused, or orphaned elephants as well as fighting against the poaching crisis. And with every purchase of the lion, Oba, the proceeds go toward ending the poaching crisis and to support big cat sanctuaries around the world.
7. BOBS Keepsakes Ice Angel Slippers
These slippers by BOBS from Sketchers will not only keep your feet cozy but will warm your heart as well! Made with slip-on clog style, knit sweater upper, faux fur, and luxurious memory foam, these are a great gift for anyone who likes to be comfortable. And for every BOBS purchase, Sketchers makes a donation to animals in need.
This Christmas, make the gifts you give more meaningful by purchasing items that will benefit not just a company, but a cause. Any of the charities on this list, as well as countless others, will greatly appreciate your support. And no doubt, your loved one will be thankful for your thoughtfulness. Who knows? Maybe they’ll pay it forward by giving through a charity, too.
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