This year, consider giving the gift of gratitude by wrapping up packages that are so much more than a plaything. From handmade goods made by local artisans to backpacks that donate to causes of all kinds, scroll down for 23 ideas on where to score feel-good gifts that give back to a worldwide community.
Aid to Ukraine
Learning Resources, Educational Insights and hand2mind are all sending educational worksheets to Ukrainian children translated into Ukrainian so that the kids can continue to learn during this time. These companies are also working to send toys to displaced families in the region. By purchasing toys from these companies, you can help with these goals.
When you buy home goods from KAZI, you're not only outfitting your home is style, you're creating employment for 3,600 artisans in Rwanda, Uganda and Ghana! The online artisan brand brings handcrafted products in diverse color palettes for everyone room of the home, but more importantly, brings empowerment for a better life for its creators.
Available at kazi.com.
Giving STATE of Mind
STATE Bags' lineup features backpacks for kids and adults, in addition to other bags like fanny packs! This season, the company has partnered with "Change to Mind,” an organization founded by Glenn Close. The organization's goal is to bring awareness to, and end discrimination, of mental illness.
Available at STATE Bags.
When you purchase a beautiful, handmade good from Hiptipico you are supporting fair wages, non-factory working conditions and are empowering artisans in Guatemala. The company's goal is to provide personal financing to its artisans, schooling fees and emergency funding for medical bills, all in hopes of ending the cycle of poverty. The social-impact company makes all its' products perfect for your VSCO girl.
Shop gorgeous products like camera straps, bags, pom poms and pouches at Hiptipico.
Help from the Inside Out
Started in 2006, To Write Love On Her Arms is dedicated to helping people with depression, self-injury, suicidal ideation and substance abuse. Every purchase from the TWLOHA store goes directly back to assist people into recovery and treatment, with over $2.1million received so far.
You can shop men and women's clothing and accessories at To Write Love On Her Arms.
MYTAGALONGS "Because I am a Girl" initiative is paying it forward in a big way. With a mission to remove barriers to girls and giving them the same potential as anyone else, the collection is made up of the company's best-selling items and gives 50 percent back towards the initiative. Great for kids or adults, you can shop items like tumblers, cosmetic bags, lunch bags and backpacks.
Shop the entire collection at MYTAGALONGS.
There's no stopping your kids from growing, which means you're buying and going through shoes like hot cakes, especially during those intense growth spurts. Give back and score some cool kicks in the process thanks to PLAE. With the brand's PLAE-It-Forward campaign, you can designate 10% of any purchase price to any of PLAE's designated community partners. The cool part is that any organization with a 501(c)(3) can apply to be a PLAE-it-forward ambassador.
New in 2019 is a collaboration between artist POW! WOW!'s Jasper Wong and PLAE (check out the limited-edition Art of PLAE collection here. The Wong-designed shoes go on sale at the end of February 2019). As part of the collab, customers can designate that 10% of their purchase go to POW! WOW!, who is currently conducting a project in Nepal to support an underserved school.
All kids and adults shoes available at Plae.co
Back to the Roots + Ayesha Curry Kitchen Herb Garden
Back to the Roots and Ayesha Curry have joined forces to create an eco-friendly and sustainable feel-good gift. With the mission of "turning every kitchen windowsill in America into an organic garden," this all-in-one-kit comes with organic mint and basil seeds, plant-based soil and some of Ayesha's go-to recipes. For each kit purchased, Back to the Roots charitable Grow One, Give One will donate grow kits to elementary schools across the U.S.
Available at Back to the Roots, $24.99.
Build to Give with LEGO
As part of the Build to Give Campaign, LEGO wants to give away sets to kids this holiday season! Until Dec. 13th, kids can build an ornament at home, or at any LEGO store across the country. They leave it to be displayed in the store, or snap a picture and upload to the LEGO life app or share on social media via #buildtogive and the company will donate a set of bricks to a kid in need.
Clothes for Kids
Kidbox helps create a capsule wardrobe season after season with no commitment or styling fee. Just fill out a brief style questionnaire and Kidbox takes it from there, dressing your child(ren) from the toddler through pre-teen years. Five times a year you'll receive a box containing six to seven high-quality pieces from brands like 7 For All Mankind, Lucky, DKNY, Penguin, and more. Try on the items and decide what to keep within seven days. Plus, Kidbox keeps kids top of mind. For every complete Kidbox purchased, the company will donate clothes through their partnership with Delivering Good, a non-profit dedicated to collecting and distributing new clothing to children in need throughout the U.S. They recently just announced that they've donated over 12 million dollars in new clothing value to children in need ahead of the holiday season.
Available at Kidbox, up to $98.
It’s all about the Power of Play. Purchase one of the durable soccer balls from One World Play Project for your dribbling darling and a second one gets donated to impoverished communities all over the world. One million balls have been donated so far, making it easier for kids everywhere to do what they do best … play!
Available at Amazon, $48.
Art for All
They’ve got the blank canvas; all you need to do is provide the tools for inspiration. This colorful chalk holder from Yoobi is perfect for hours spent outside. By setting up your budding Thiebaud with everything she needs to create a masterpiece, you’ll be providing much-needed art supplies to children’s hospitals all over the country—with every item purchased, Yoobi donates one to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Available at Yoobi, $11.99.
Fair Trade with Fuschia
This start-up makes super comfy, sustainable flats that genuinely benefit the artisans in Asia who handmake them. Made in a remote town in Pakistan, each shoe is constructed with locally sourced leather and other raw materials that benefit the local community. The result is an incredible shoe, whose source you can trace to the beginning. The artisans receive a fair wage, which furthers their ability to provide food, clean water and education for their families.
Available at Fuschia, $65 & up.
Cactus for a Cause
When you buy something from WildFang, you'll help them donate to charities like Black Girls Code, the ACLU and more. They've donated over 650K since they started! There are tons of fun items to choose from, like this cactus bottle opener, cozy socks, beanies, sweaters and more.
See everything over at WildFang.
Bags and Books
What better place to store lunch money than her very own Very Hungry Caterpillar tote? It’s durable and adorned with the bright illustrations she loved as a kid; you'll love the fact that when you purchase an item from Out of Print Clothing, the company donates a book to a community in need.
Available at Amazon, $16+.
Bears for a Cause
Made with organic cotton and by at-risk women in the California welfare-to-work program, these Bears for Humanity Organic Puppy Animal Pals Plush Toy are lovable and huggable. All stuffing is hypoallergenic and made from recycled plastic bottles. The best part? For every bear you buy, one will be donated to a child in need through a variety of charities. You can even send a personalized note to accompany the donated bear.
Available on Amazon, $17.64.
Cuddle + Kind Friends
With every one of these adorable hand-knit dolls purchased, 10 meals are donated to hungry children in need. Cuddle + Kind partners with World Food Program USA and Children’s Hunger Fund, and to date have given away over 5 million meals. Now, that’s in the spirit of giving.
Available at Cuddle + Kind, $59+ for one doll and 10 meals.
Boot-Kick Poverty to the Curb
Purchase a pair of puddle-stomping-worthy rain boots from Roma boots and another pair will be donated to a child living in poverty. Inspired by, and following in the footsteps (pun intended!) of TOMS, the fun and colorful boot comes in a traditional design or a more modern streamlined version decked out with funky Pop Art style illustrations.
Available at Amazon, starting at $19.99+.
Think of this as a checkup for the soul. MoonBox curates gift collections based on the lunar cycle, so you'll receive goodies like crystal jewels, vegan beauty supplies, star charts, oils and more. Choose between the monthly moon box, the Glow & Glow box or the Ultimate R&R box. And, for every box purchased, MoonBox donates a tree via Trees for the Future, an organization that teaches communities how to use the Forest Garden system to spread more sustainable farming practices.
Available at MoonBox, $45 for a box.
The Gift of Water
When you purchase a copy of Zen Pig: Where You'll Find Love, you aren't just buying a sweet tale on love and kindness. Each copy sold means you've purchased enough water for someone for an ENTIRE year. We can't deny the story of Zen Pig helping a sad chick find love in even the most common ways is worth the purchase alone, but potentially saving a life with water? Priceless.
Purchase on Amazon, $9.95
Blocks that Build Jobs
Get your kids out from behind their electronic devices and get back to basics with a toy like Tegu's Pocket Pouch Magnetic Wooden Block Set. Named after the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras which happens to be one of the poorest in the world, these locally constructed blocks are made from Huesito wood. Even better? When you purchase a Tegu product, you help create stable jobs and therefore improve the livelihoods of the company's current 200 employees at the factory in Honduras.
Find on Amazon, $25.00.
Tee Off for a Cause
Outfitting your budding Michelle Wie in a new set of duds from Wynnr (the junior golf apparel company donates 50% of all its proceeds!) means you'll be helping organizations like The First Tee, a non-profit that funds youth-focused programs at golf courses, elementary schools and other education centers.
Available at Wynnr, $24.99+.
— Taylor Clifton, Gabby Cullen & Karly Wood
Editor’s Note: At the time of publication all items were available for purchase.