Giving during the holidays can bring you comfort and joy. Purchasing a thoughtful gift that gives directly back through charitable organizations and actions can take joy to a new level. Whether you’re shopping for someone with a big heart or you want to know your money is going to an ethical company, there are plenty of places to support. From Indigenous businesses to supporting the Seattle Public Library, here are 17 gifts that give back with every purchase.
While you can’t go wrong with any of the beautiful hand-knit creations from Cuddle + Kind, we think Everest the Penguin is always a winner. Handmade in Peru using sustainable, fair trade practices, he’s crafted from 100% cotton yarn and available in either 13-inch or 20-inch sizes. He’s nontoxic and hypoallergenic, not to mention soft as can be, but that’s not even the best part. For every doll purchase, Cuddle + Kind partners with a charity to donate 10 meals to end child hunger. It has established partnerships with several humanitarian agencies to distribute the meals, including Children’s Hunger Fund and World Food Program USA School Meals Program. The dolls are safety certified for ages newborn and older.
Inspired by a child with autism who disliked taking baths, and his mother, who used the technology of Glo Pals to help him overcome his fear, these floating, colorful, light-up cubes are full of personality, with adorable faces. Characters have bendable arms, light up and come with two corresponding light-up cubes. Choose from five colors, all of which correspond to a character: Sammy (red), Lumi (purple), Blair (blue), Pippa (green) and Alex (yellow). Every purchase supports Children’s of Mississippi (formerly Batson Children’s Hospital), in Jackson, Mississippi, which treats 150,000 children every year for everything from common illnesses to serious traumas and chronic illnesses. For ages 3 and older.
This beautiful unicorn paint-by-number kit will result in a colorful 8-inch by 10-inch masterpiece that a kid would be proud to hang on the wall. The kit includes 16 colors of paint, two brushes, an instruction manual and a pullout tray that acts as a workstation. Five percent of proceeds from Bright Stripes’ iHeart Art line, which supports Art Feeds’ international programming, a nonprofit that supplies art lessons, training and art materials to kids in need. Best for children ages 8 and older.
You’ll find Splash the Orca hand puppet, designed by Chris Kewistep of the Bella Bella Nation, in the online shop for the Squamish Líḻ’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC), which is located in Whistler, British Columbia. Every purchase supports this cultural center and museum, which works to share “two distinct cultures as a means to foster greater understanding of Indigenous peoples around the world.” No age is specified, but generally, plush hand puppets are suitable for ages 3 and older.
Jiggly butts, avocado butts — there’s ever so many butts in the alphabet! And who better to illustrate and celebrate butts than Huggies, the diaper company? This collaboration between Sourcebooks and Huggies focuses on diversity and inclusivity, showcasing a silly and sweet array of alphabutts. Not only is it a charming little book that is sure to elicit giggles, but a portion of the proceeds from each book goes to the National Diaper Bank Network. Ages newborn to 4 years.
For every purchase of this soft, adorable Highland cow plushie, Follow Your Legend will make a donation to The Gentle Barn, an organization dedicated to the rescue and protection of barnyard animals. Best for children ages 3 and up, Henry stands 7 inches tall and is made of spandex and recycled polyester, and the box he’s delivered in is made from 100% recycled materials. Best for ages 3 and older.
An adorable mermaid image is engraved, along with your child’s name, on an acrylic night light that sits in a solid beechwood base. The base has a USB plug-in, a USB wall adapter and an on/off switch. You can customize with a child’s name and color preference: Choose between the multicolor option (red, green, dark blue, yellow, light blue, pink and white) or pure warm light. Lily & Spruce has partnered with Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest, donating 5 percent of its online sales in support of Girls Inc.’s mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.
You may already be a fan of the knit hats from Love Your Melon, known for their removable, swappable pom-poms. New to the collection is this Snoopy-inspired baby beanie, complete with floppy ears. Love Your Melon donates 50 percent of the net profit from every sale to a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer.
This tea, hand-selected by Grace Farms tea master Frank Kwei, is not your average Darjeeling. According to Grace Farms, the limited-edition tea was “picked under the Strawberry Full Moon during the second budding of tea leaves before monsoon season,” giving it a velvety quality. It also has unique notes of honey, fruit and a certain something we can’t quite place but assume is probably magical moonbeams. Grace Farms is a certified B Corporation that sources coffee and teas from fair-trade, women-owned farms. It gives back 100 percent of profits to end forced labor worldwide.
These 100-percent cotton preshrunk shirts are exclusive to the Wing Luke Museum, a Seattle-based art and history museum that focuses on Asian Americans, native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The shirts feature a black-and-white photo of Bruce Lee on the front, with the back displaying his quote “Under the sky, under the heavens, there is but one family.” The T-shirt makes a perfect gift for a member of your chosen or biological family, with purchases benefiting the nonprofit Wing Luke Museum and its many outreach programs. Unisex adult sizing.
The Three Trees candle has a refreshingly natural holiday scent and comes with a message: Love heals. Each item includes a note about a woman who has benefited from the Thistle Farms program and helped pack your order. Based in Nashville, this business has operated for more than 25 years with a compassionate business model of helping women who are survivors of prostitution, sex trafficking and addiction. This is done by not only providing these women with a safe place to live but also offering them job training with purpose and lifelong support.
SallyRose has an array of jewelry, charms and accessories featuring your favorite iconic Disney, Star Wars and Hello Kitty characters, among others. These delicate earrings in the shape of Minnie Mouse can be customized by choosing your child’s birth month. Through the Jewelers for Children organization, SallyRose has donated directly to programs, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, that helps kids affected by illness, abuse and neglect.
Not only does Bellevue’s Bellden Cafe serve delicious coffee and food, but it also contributes a portion of every sale to the Bellden Community Fund, which partners with local foundations to help protect the people and places Pacific Northwest families love. This includes homelessness prevention and outreach, art, trails, children’s services and more. The cafe’s community subscription box arrives monthly and includes one bag of Cascara Girls Coava coffee beans, roasted just for Bellden Cafe; one bag of PorchLight granola, lovingly made in-house by Bellden’s staff of refugees; one hand-poured Charity candle; and a monthly book that focuses on a social cause, along with an engaging book club.
A beautiful wool blanket by Diné (Navajo) artist Jared Yazzie melds traditional woven Navajo rug designs with a special feature characteristic of Navajo chief blankets and Yazzie’s own unique contemporary style. The blanket is produced by Eighth Generation, a Native-owned company that is a leader in the Decolonizing Partnership Model, described by Eighth Generation as “the gold standard for how companies collaborate with Indigenous cultural artists and entrepreneurs.” Thanks to Eighth Generation, Starbucks became the first global business to join it in a decolonizing partnership. Eighth Generation founder and CEO Louie Gong (Nooksack) says, “Meeting these progressive standards required Starbucks to flex or change fundamental components of their processes for product development.” The company is making a change that will last and that allows for fair wages and Indigenous artist representation across the board, so you can feel good knowing that your purchase is ethically sourced and held to this gold standard.
The Friends of the Seattle Public Library (FOSPL) pay tribute to the catalog cards of yesteryear with this colorful take, a great addition to any book nook or tween bedroom. Proceeds go to the FOSPL, whose mission is to elevate and celebrate reading in the community, and to help fund books and programming at the beloved Seattle Public Library. Suitable for any age.
These beautiful hand-painted wooden nesting dolls range in size from 4 inches to 1.5 inches, and there are two sets of animals to choose from: tiger/snow leopard/red panda/sloth/ladybug or elephant/panda/polar bear/tiger/penguin. The nesting dolls are “free with a $75 donation,” which goes directly to the World Wildlife Fund’s conservation programming, which directs 83 percent of spending directly to these activities. Best for ages 3 and older.
ColorPop Books strives to empower young readers by offering books that center on BIPOC characters and foster empathy and confidence in kids. Every purchase at ColorPop Books helps fund books to historically underfunded public schools across the country via DonorsChoose. Bundles include navigating tough topics, such as grief; featuring Indigenous, Latinx and neurodivergent main characters; and more. Bundles include three books, an activity kit, a collectible card and access to the ColorPop parent community.
More ideas for giving and giving back
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