On Thanksgiving, we have a tradition of going around the table and saying what we are thankful for. During this time of reflection, you can really see how incredibly blessed we are to have the things and people we have in our lives. The season of thankfulness and gratitude doesn’t have to end in November. As December is just starting, most people are starting to think about the upcoming season of giving; Christmas. This is the time where most of the advertising is about what we can get and less about what we can give. Why not do both? While getting gifts for our loved ones, why not choose gifts that give back to those who need it even more than we do?
I have chosen gifts this year that are both gifts anyone would love to receive and be thankful for, but also would be amazing gifts to wonderful charitable organizations doing remarkable work for those in need.
ME to WE
Each ME to WE product gives back to families and communities in one of five ways—helping provide education, clean water, health care, food security, and financial opportunity. When you give a ME to WE gift, you’re part of something so much bigger than a simple gesture. You’re part of a sustainable cycle of good. What is truly unique about this organization, is that through their Track Your Impact promise, you get to see where and how you changed lives, with stories about the people and places behind every purchase. To understand more about how this works, read about ME to WE here.
ME to WE has so many gifts on their site that give back to the communities they support (you can browse them all here). My favorite of the year is their 3-pack Coffee. This Coffee is Fairtrade, a guarantee that they support sustainable farming and that the coffee farmers they partner with in Latin America and Kenya earn a fair wage. What is especially cool about this gift is that they double the impact by giving the proceeds back to the same countries, empowering women with financial opportunities like business workshops and financial literacy training. You can purchase this gift online here.
Hand in Hand
In 2012, Hand in Hand took their first soap donation trip to Haiti. After that trip, they decided they wanted to do more for the children they had met there. In 2013, they expanded into more products and launched their clean water program with the opening of their first well that serves 240 families every day.
There is a gift set that you should definitely put on your Christmas list: their 4-pack assorted bar soap set. It is crafted with organic shea + cocoa butter and they don’t use palm oil, so your skin is left super soft and it’s good for the environment. The four scents are cactus blossom, citrus grove, sea salt, and my favorite: lavender! Their mission is “Buy a Bar. Give a Bar.” So, for every bar of soap you purchase, they will donate one bar of soap + one month of clean water to a child in need – amazing! You can purchase it on their website here.
Every Tatcha purchase helps fund girls’ education and after four years, purchases made through Tatcha have funded 3 million days of school for girls in Asia and Africa in partnership with Room to Read. Each day of school is more than just books and classrooms, it enables a brighter future for each girl through life skills coaching and mentorship. Contributions made through Tatcha improve the daily lives of the girls and also will help lift future generations out of poverty.
Tatcha has a few gift sets that are wonderful, and each order comes with 3 free samples which is a nice bonus! Their Starter Ritual Set for Sensitive Skin is great because it is recommended for people with eczema and known for its Anti-aging benefits. It is a two-week process to help calm and restore skin’s resiliency with 4 steps: purify, polish, soften, soothe, and you know with your purchase you are helping Tatcha make world change possible through children’s education! This gift set is available on their website here.
Cuddle + Kind
For every doll purchased, 10 meals are provided to children in need around the world through Cuddle + Kind’s giving partners. They’ve established partnerships with several humanitarian agencies to distribute the meals provided. Their partners’ programs and on-the-ground knowledge ensure that every purchase made through Cuddle + Kind will directly benefit children in need.
Cuddle + Kind has some adorable holiday gifts on their site. If you have a little one to shop for, you cannot pass up the Sweethearts Bundle. It has two beautifully handmade dolls, Lucy the Lamb and Violet the Fawn, each with incredible hand-knit details. Your purchase will provide 30 meals through Cuddle + Kind’s giving partnerships to children in need around the world. You can see this bundle and all the other hand-knit gifts on their website here.
Sackcloth & Ashes
I love how this company gives to local communities. Sackcloth & Ashes started a campaign last year called Blanket the United States, with a goal to give one million blankets to homeless shelters by 2024. For every blanket purchased, Sackcloth & Ashes gives a blanket to your local homeless shelter and they do this via zip code on their website. How incredible is it that you get to give to your local community while giving a gift to a loved-one at the same time? You can learn more about the founder and his story on the website here.
Sackcloth & Ashes have some really lovely blankets on their site, but my favorite for this season is the Darling Grey Blanket. It has some beautiful texture on the blanket, it is 100% cotton, and is even machine washable. Don’t forget to gift wrap your blanket – that option is available! You can find this on their website here.
Thorn builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse. Through my philanthropic endeavors with my husband and as the President of the Jonathon D. Fischer Foundation, we support Thorn and believe they are doing remarkable things. They join forces with the sharpest minds from tech, non-profit, government, and law enforcement to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material and stand up to child traffickers. Their latest campaign seeks to increase awareness about sextortion, destigmatize the issue, and encourage individuals to reach out for help and support their friends. Read more about Thorn here or their latest campaign here.
Their sweatshirts are perfect for the winter weather, and the positive messages are also appropriate for Christmas! Wearing this, you are telling the world that you are a force for good, since all the profits go directly to Thorn and their amazing work, they are doing to make the internet safer for kids. You can purchase this sweatshirt online here. But hurry, only a couple of days and their campaign ends!
World Wildlife Fund
For more than 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature and are the world’s leading conservation organization. WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. All donations provide general support to the World Wildlife Fund, where 84 percent of their spending is directed to worldwide conservation activities.
The have the most amazing gift for the young animal lover on their site. You can build your own bucket full of FSC-certified wild animals! A pail (or bag) filled with adorable plush animals to serve as a reminder of a commitment to safeguarding species around the globe. This is such a great thank you item to support global conservation efforts. You can build your own bucket here.
It truly is the “most wonderful time of the year” and I hope you experience all the joy and happiness that the Christmas season brings.
“Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving.”-B.C. Forbes