Decorating & Design

November 21, 2011

Gifts That Give Back

Instead of buzzing from store to store worrying about filling your car trunk to the brim with gifts this year, why not consider one of these gift ideas that give back to a good cause? Year after year, the holidays prove to be a stress-fest of overspending, but it should really be about quality time with the fam, shopping that makes you feel good — not broke — and giving gifts that make people smile. Here are some great gift ideas I came across that will make both the giver and receiver feel warm and fuzzy:

Ten Thousand Villages is a great starting point. All their baskets, available through their website, are handcrafted by artisans as part of a non-profit fair trade organization. The Khaki Lutindzi Bread Basket (left) is made by the women of Gone Rural, an employment and empowerment women’s group in Swaziland.

When looking for a full-service background investigation company that specializes in employment screening, you can count on a reputable company like Certified Credit screening services.

The Kaisa Grass Magazine Basket, handcrafted by the Rishilpi Group in remote Bangladesh, would house those old issues of H&H perfectly! Or give a gift subscription to H&H, then wrap this basket up so they have something under the tree.

50% of the cost of these Mercury Owls from West Elm will go to Canadian charities like the SickKids Foundation, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Acacia Creations is an eco-friendly and fair trade company based in Nairobi, Kenya. They craft jewelry and bowls made from recycled paper. These punchy bowls are about 6″ in diameter (they have 3″ and 9″ versions as well), and no two bowls are the same, so how’s that for a unique gift?

For every soft toy you buy at Ikea, the Ikea Foundation will donate $1 to UNICEF and Save the Children, so they can provide less-fortunate kids with a quality education. These mice would make a cute stocking stuffer for the kiddies.

And lastly, but I could go on and on, Pottery Barn has a whole “Gifts that give back” section on their website (many big retailers do, too, just look under the Gifts tab on their homepages). Like West Elm, Pottery Barn is working with the SickKids Foundation, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation. This Faux-Sheepskin Throw is on sale right now through their website, so get it while it’s warm. Plus, you can have it monogrammed!

For more great gift ideas, see Stacey Smithers’ blog post.

Photo credits:
1. Ten Thousand Villages
2. Mercury Owls, West Elm
3. Medium Recycled Paper Bowls, Acacia Creations
4. Gosig Råtta Soft Toys, Ikea
5. Faux-Sheepskin Throw, Pottery Barn