The warm snuggly feeling you get when you give someone a gift is one of the best parts of the holiday season. But imagine how much warmer and more snuggly you’ll feel when the gifts you give are gifts that give back, too?
Charity is an important part of the holiday season, in my opinion. When I was in high school, I was part of a peer counseling group that participated in various volunteer efforts, including a big project around the holidays. The school provided us with the information of a dozen or so low-income families in our town, and we helped collect toys and other gifts to be delivered to them the week before Christmas. We never got to see their faces, but just the thought of those kids opening their gifts was enough to plaster a smile on my face.
The gift of giving is a powerful thing, whether you are affecting those in your own town, or people across the world. Most of the gifts on this list help organizations empower women, and take care of children. While it might seem like buying just one gift for somebody is trivial, realize that every gift and donation counts.
This clay bracelet from Simbi is handmade by a local artisan living in the mountains of Haiti. Not only do the bracelets and Simbi's other products provide jobs and income for Haitians, but a portion of the proceeds go to funding clean water projects to ensure that the country has proper infiltration systems.
2. Body Lotion
LUSH products are undeniably awesome, and now it has a product that helps share the love. A hundred percent of this charity pot's purchase price is donated to grassroots organizations aimed at environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights.
3. Pillow Sham
I like the Far & Wide Collective's items, because the company tells you the name of the real life person or small business who makes each product. The company helps provide artisans with exposure, production, and guidance so that each individual or business has the tools to flourish in a global market.
Not only is this blanket made from super soft alpaca wool, but for every one purchased, one will be donated to a homeless shelter in your area. The initiative was inspired by Sackcloth & Ashes own mother, who found herself homeless in 2013.
It's getting colder, so these arm warmer gloves will definitely be appreciated. They're made in Peru and the company focuses on deep impact through female empowerment, such as lowering the domestic violence rate and increasing gender equality.
I'm obsessed with Moleskine notebooks, and they always make for an easy and attractive gift. The purchase of this specific notebook helps provide up to three days' worth of life-saving medication through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.
8. Tulsi Tea
Tulsi is considered to be a sacred herb throughout India, and these Tulsi wellness teas are the real deal. Organic India works directly with the tea farmers to provide them with education and healthcare, as well as promote gender equality.
A small community of women on the island of Java in Indonesia make these beaded bracelets in order to support themselves and their children. World Vision will allocate proceeds to where it will have the most impact on the artisans — be it clean water, disaster relief, education, and more.
Another useful product, these stackable breadbaskets are hand-woven in Rwanda, and sold through Macy's. Artisans receive half of the wholesale price of each item, and you're guaranteed that this gift is truly unique.
Can you believe that this gorgeous necklace is handmade from recycled magazines? What a great statement piece, and you're helping to empower female artisans in Swaziland by buying it.
This mug is perfect for the holidays, and everyday you need a reminder of the power of love. Made by Thistle Farms, a community of women survivors of addiction, prostitution, and trafficking in Nashville, Tennessee, it helps provide jobs and funding for residence and training programs.
TOMS has had a reputation for doing good for a long time, and it's not about to stop. For every pair of shoes purchased, including these cozy slippers, the company will donate a brand new pair of shoes to a child in need. Rad, right?
14. Tote Bag
Made from waxed canvas, this tote bag is great for the grocery store, the beach, or just everyday. Stone & Cloth partners with the Knock Foundation to help provide scholarships so that children — especially girls — in developing nations can go to school.
15. Computer Sleeve
First of all, how gorgeous is that color? This computer sleeve is made from recycled materials and constructed in Cambodia, where proceeds help provide sustainable incomes and fund community empowerment programs.
No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you — these socks are mismatched, and they're mismatched on purpose. SWAP Socks works with the Seva Foundation to provide eye care services in order to help fight against preventable blindness in developing countries.
I know a water pitcher isn't the sexiest holiday gift — but it's definitely useful, and you'll be contributing to a good cause. For every pitcher sold, $15 will be donated to charity: water to help fund its clean water projects in Bangladesh.
These luxurious soaps are made from sustainable resources, and will leave your skin (and the environment) feeling refreshed and happy. And for every bar of soap purchased, Hand in Hand donates a bar, as well as a month's worth of clean water, to a child in a developing country.
20. Flower Headband
This adorable headband is made in Uganda, and will do a lot more than just make you look cute at next year's Coachella.
21. Charity Card
Not sure which charity your conscious friend wants to support? Let them pick one themselves. This gift card will give them access to charities and organizations in dozens of countries and dozens of interests, so they can support whatever their heart desires.