Giving gifts that give back

Karima Lanfranco

Karima Lanfranco

It’s no accident that holiday shopping season coincides with the charitable giving season — and you can do both simultaneously this year by shopping for gifts that give back!

Some companies have already gone “mainstream” with their social consciousness, such as Tom’s Shoes, well-known for their “buy one, give one away” model, and there are literally thousands more doing equally awesome, impactful things. Among them you can find something for everyone on your list.

Looking for jewelry for that special girl? FashionABLE sells necklaces made by women in Nashville, Tennessee, who have overcome challenges like homelessness and addiction.

FashionABLE sells necklaces made by women in Nashville, Tennessee, who have overcome challenges like homelessness and addiction. Courtesy Photo

FashionABLE sells necklaces made by women in Nashville, Tennessee, who have overcome challenges like homelessness and addiction. Courtesy Photo

Shopping for the techie in your life? LSTN makes mini Bluetooth speakers and also helps provide hearing aids to persons in need.

Need something for the fashionista? Sudara Clothing, best known for its Punjammies loungewear, educates and trains Indian women escaping from the sex trade, helping them toward healthy, productive and free lives. (My best friend gifted me a pair of these loungepants and they’re incredible.)

Have a kiddo that needs a new toy? Bears for Humanity makes organic plush teddy bears, and for each one sold, the buyer can choose a charity where another bear will go, like Toys for Tots or Save the Children Foundation.

And as for Fido or Spot, you can snag a Hooray for the Underdog greeting card, which donates to animal welfare groups and shelters.

Last year for the holidays, I received a Taaluma Tote from Giancarlo’s sister. Taaluma Totes are travel bags — made by adults with disabilities — using traditional fabrics from all over the world. Taaluma then gives back 20 percent of their profits to the country where the tote was made. (My bag is from Mali, but Peru, Guatemala, Indonesia and Thailand are all on the list.)

And she doesn’t know it yet, but this year, my brother’s wife is getting a pair of Sseko sandals. This line of footwear is handmade by women in Uganda, and the proceeds of sales goes to funding their university educations. (I also love their postcards that read: “Say yes to adventure,” “Practice radical generosity” and “Surround yourself with people that believe in the best you.” All good reminders.)

Many companies out there offer gifts that promote what the season is really all about: helping others. So this year, give a gift that has a positive social, economic or environmental impact. The joy of giving it will certainly match your loved ones’ joy of receiving it.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.