Gifts that Give Back
For my last gift guide, I want to focus on gifts that give back. We all have a lot of stuff. During my travels, especially this time last year when I went to North Africa, it became apparent that I, and nearly everyone I know, is incredibly fortunate. At this time of year, we are in the giving spirit, so here are five gifts that give back. Of course, if there is a charity near to your heart, please give to them, but here are a few ideas.
Heifer International provides support to impoverished families living across the world in the form of livestock and life skills. Something that I love about Heifer is that they are in the business of “teaching a man to fish”. You donate a cow, duck, honeybees…there are many options, to a family, and they are trained how to care for and use that gift to help pull themselves out of poverty. Then, they give the first offspring of their gifted animal to another family in the community, becoming donors themselves. I prefer Heifer because they are working to have communities help themselves, rather than having an outsider try to dictate to them how they need to change.
Cuddle and Kind
If you’re shopping for a small child, or a new parent, I recommend Cuddle and Kind. You will get a physical object…either a handknit doll or an inspirational art print. They are made in the USA and are fantastic. They’re high quality and are the kind of thing you can hang on to for generations. When you buy anything from their site, they donate meals to the World Food Program to provide Nutrition Pak boxes and school lunches to children in need around the world, including Africa, South America, Asia, the Middle East, and right here in the USA. As a teacher, one of the biggest differences in kids learning is whether they are hungry or not. With 66 million kids going to school hungry every day, something has to change. This helps fix that, and you get a cuddly doll for a kid in your life. Each doll donates 10 meals, and each print donates 5.
National Public Radio
In my house, I grew up listening to A Prairie Home Companion in the kitchen with my mom. I love their mission of providing good-quality news and programming all over the US. Keeping that in mind, they definitely aren’t makin any money and need some support. What I like about NPR is that their shop, which directly upports their operating budget, filled with gorgeous gifts. For the crafty person, or teenager, how about this make your own ukulele kit? There are gifts to fit any budget, and they will give back on your radio every day.
Socks for guys are so big right now. Patterned socks, fancy cashmere socks…you name it. It’s certainly in vogue, and feels like it will be for some time. For the sartorial man, revamp his sock drawer with three pairs of socks. This box will provide two school books and 18 months of clean water to a family in need. More or less pairs of socks are also available on their website in a ton of fashion-forward patterns and colors.
Colourpop is one of my favorite affordable beauty brands. Their quality is amazing, and at a budget-friendly price. They have recently teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society. NKLA is their effort to turn all of Los Angeles into a No-Kill Shelter zone. So far their efforts have been working, with a 66% decrease in euthanasia in LA animal shelters since 2012. All proceeds from the sales of Colourpop Supershock Eye Shadow colors Puppy Love and Cat Nap will go straight to NKLA. Budget-friendly, and something that we can all get behind.
Those are my picks for some conscious gifting options. Again, please give to acause close to your heart and keep the giving spirit going.