Latest News

Awesome Holiday Gifts That Give Back

The holidays are a time for giving -- and receiving, which is just as fun. But it's also a time of giving and receiving gifts we don't really need. And when so many people are truly in need -- of water, food, shelter, clothing -- the holidays should also be a time for remembering, not forgetting. Donating money straight to charity is fantastic, of course, but sometimes you really want to give a tangible present as well. That's why these companies and organizations are so noteworthy. Each offers stylish, creative, and usable products for sale, with all proceeds going to benefit those in need.

TOMS Shoes

TOMS Shoes are totally groundbreaking, in both a fashion sense, and a making-a-genuine-difference sense. They're comfy as heck (I have a pair), super cute on both guys and girls, and there are dozens of available choices. Best of all, for every pair of TOMS Shoes you buy, the company will bring a pair to a kid in need.

Falling Whistles
I absolutely adore the whistle necklaces from Falling Whistles, which come in silver, gunmetal, brushed metal and gold. The whistles represent the only weapons given to many children sent to the front lines of the Congolese war -- and to remind its wearer to be a whistleblower for peace. 100% of Falling Whistle's proceeds are used to rehabilitate war-affected children in the Congo and advocate for their freedom.


(RED)'s online shop has tons of fun and well-designed products, from high-quality headphones to Converse shoes to the awesome set of Penguin classics pictured at right. All proceeds are dedicated to (RED)'s mission to help stop the spread of AIDS.

FEED Project

The FEED Project sells (really cute) burlap grocery bags, totes, t-shirts, teddy bears and more with built-in donations that help feed the world through the United Nations World Food Programme. The 100% organic cotton tote bag pictured provides three meals and three local language schoolbooks for kids in need. FEED products are also available at Whole Foods and Barnes & Noble stores.

Greater Good Network

The Greater Good Network's expansive online stores let you choose which charity the proceeds from your purchases benefit: the rainforest, the hungry, literacy (yay books!), child health, breast cancer, or animal rescue. You've be amazed at the selection -- books, clothes, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, home decor, calendars, and tons more. You can even sponsor real, live animals -- like an orphaned bear cub, or a spunky orphaned moose like the one pictured.

826 Valencia
Based in San Francisco, author Dave Eggers's 826 Valencia now helps kids read and write in several locations across the United States. The landmark organization's SF Pirate Supply store sells gifts for your scurviest pals, while 826 Los Angeles's Federation for the Advancement of Time to offers a set of stellar posters like the ones pictured. All proceeds from both stores benefit the kids.

If there's one thing everyone in the world can agree upon, it's that drinking water is an absolute necessity. Actor Matt Damon's charitable organization sells a series of beautiful, limited-edition, BPA-free water bottles, with 100% of proceeds going toward helping the billion people (!!!) without access to clean drinking water.

Are there any awesome & charitable holiday gifts that we missed? Let everyone know in the comments!
Kirsten Hubbard

Kirsten is the author of Like Mandarin, Wanderlove, and the middle grade novel Watch the Sky.

Posts by Kirsten

website twitter instagram goodreads tumblr

  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments


  1. We're on the same page today. I LOVE gifts that make a difference. Great post. I'm gonna get one of those whistles necklaces :)

  2. I'm so glad you did this post. There are so many ways to give back. Thanks! :)

  3. These are great gifts. Last year hubby & kids gave me $75 dollars to spend at a site where you can choose your chairtable project--educational, water-related, war-torn protection, name it. It was a great gift.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  4. Great post! My family loves TOMS, we have at least 8 pair. They are so comfy! Thx for all the other suggestions...I'll check them out!


  5. Do you know how we call TOMS in Latin America? Alpargatas. They come from the Egyptian sandal, and were used by almost everyone here, from the time indians lived freely in the American continent to when countries were beginning to form. The oldest pair was found in Argentina, my country :)

  6. Cool post, Kir. Definitely checking out the Greater Good network.

  7. Threadless is having a $9 t-shirt sale today only, and I found this BEAUTIFUL shift that supports project (RED)!

    Ella, that's so interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  8. These are awesome, Kirsten!! I love those shoes. I'm totally buying a pair for my step-sister.

    Also, have you heard of Heifer International? It lets you purchase some kind of livestock for a third world family in need. You can give a cow or a chicken in the name of someone you love. Pretty awesome.

  9. I LOVE Heifer International! such a fantastically innovative charity.

  10. OOOHHHHH and don't forget Jedidiah USA!


Comments are moderated on posts two weeks old or more -- please send us a tweet if yours needs approval!

Item Reviewed: Awesome Holiday Gifts That Give Back Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kirsten Hubbard