The holiday season is up and running, which means shiny gift giving after lots of retail shopping. But this year, choosing a gift can take on additional meaning and appreciation.
Retailers like Threads and Warby Parker give customers the opportunity to help those less fortunate while buying for friends and family. According to The Christian Science Monitor, these buy one, give one programs come at no extra cost and will not only satisfy your desire to give back this season, but will truly help those who do not have the luxury of compiling a wish list or putting gifts under a tree.
This charitable organization's mission is to replace dangerous, polluting kerosene lamps with safe, rechargeable solar lights around the world. While you can donate a light, you can also participate in the buy one, give one program with the purchase of an Energizer Solar Rechargeable Spotlight. This $60 gift uses white LEDs that provide 24 lumens for 3.5 hours based on five hours of charging in the sun.
What's cuter than one baby in new clothes? Two babies in new clothes! Baby Teresa sells 100% organic cotton baby clothing and accessories but the company also gives tons of its stuff away. For every all-in-one baby outfit purchased, Baby Teresa donates another outfit to a precious little one in need somewhere in the world. You can even specify where your clothing donation goes. Prices start at $29.95.
This company's mission is to keep people warm, selling a large variety of sheets, blankets, comforters, and more. For each Blanket America product bought this season, one will go to an American in need. In addition, Blanket America has offered continuous disaster relief to people in Haiti via their Choose Haiti product line.
When David Holdridge was only 7 years old, he created a mash up of a blanket and a stuffed animal: the first Happy Blankie. Soon David's creation became a reality that is changing lives around the globe. Everything Happy Products have been sent to orphanages, hospitals, and poverty-stricken communities through "One to Love, One to Give." David, together with his family, distributes his products to children all over the world.
This company, founded in 2013 by Samuel Bistrian, is an effort to help the poor children of his own country, Romania. These bright, sassy boots start at $39 a pair and are a fun way to know that you are giving a child the opportunity to laugh and splash in puddles, perhaps at the same exact moment you are doing so.
"Carry an education." Backpacks and totes made by Stone + Cloth are crafted in a unique style that fits all environments. They start at $25 and proceeds from each sale help Tanzanian kids get an education through the Knock Foundation, a non-profit near Mount Kilimanjaro.
Toms, founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, is based in Santa Monica, California. The company designs and sells shoes based on the Argentine alpargata design. When Toms sells a pair of shoes a pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child. However, most people don't know that Toms also sells eyewear and, when they do, part of the profit is used to save or restore the eyesight for people in developing countries.
If you purchase a Wonderbag Portable Slow Cooker with Knorr Recipe Cookbook ($50), the company will donate one to a needy family in Africa. Using heat retention technologies, the slow cooker stays unplugged after a quick simmer and uses no additional heat source. Families in developing countries who use Wonderbags will save up to 30% of their income usually spent on fuel for wood stoves.
As you shop for loved ones this season, consider reaching out to those less fortunate - and gifts that give back are a heartwarming way to do so at no extra cost.
image via: YouTube