Pampered for Good: Black Friday Gifts That Give Back

This post was contributed by Sarah Hirshorn, intern at the Case Foundation.

With the endless barrage of advertising, sales, and deals, Black Friday can leave you feeling pressured to partake in the buying frenzy that begins after Thanksgiving. Many of us often end up overwhelmed with finding the perfect present for loved ones or ourselves. But hidden among the flat screen TVs and doorbusters, we know the best gifts are not only thoughtful and generous, but also give something back to the causes we care about the most.

To help you direct your holiday shopping needs, we’ve compiled a list of great gift options that also make a positive impact on you and the world. (And, you can order all of these online, so no standing in any lines at midnight, waiting for stores to open!) Whether you are looking to jump start your holiday shopping or treat yourself, we hope these diverse products help you become the toast of all your friends and family!

Don’t forget to share your favorite gifts that give back with us on Twitter or Facebook by using the hashtag #Gifts4Good.

NPR Listening Kit Party: This season, give the gift of listening. The Case Foundation has teamed up with NPR Generation Listen to launch the first ever NPR Listening Party Kit. Inspired by #GivingTuesday, this inaugural kit is giving themed and includes a curated collection of NPR stories that inspire dialogue around why people give, the future of philanthropy and people’s personal stories of giving. You’ll find everything you need to plan and host your own NPR Listening Party—we’ve even included conversation prompts, food and drink recipes and more to make sure your guests have an enriching and entertaining experience. Best of all, it’s free! Sign up now to be the first to get the kit when it debuts on December 1st. Listen for a cause.

100 Good Deeds Bracelets – These beautiful bracelets are designed so that every time you perform a good deed you can move the ring one bead closer to the button. In addition to spreading kindness, these bracelets are made by vulnerable women, many HIV+, who’ve been trained for this work in Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda, Haiti, Bali, India and New York. Accessorize for a cause.

Bright Endeavors – Nothing says relaxation like some deep breathes nearby a lit candle. Bright Endeavors trains at risk mothers to craft premium soy candles in a supportive, professional environment. This group is a nonprofit social enterprise of New Moms Inc. that instills confidence, professionalism and responsibility into adolescent mothers. Unwind for a cause.

Cotopaxi – Getting into nature can be good for both mental and physical health. Cotopaxi creates innovative outdoor gear that funds sustainable poverty alleviation and aims to inspire adventure. Their business model enables their grantmaking focused on global poverty alleviation and represents a commitment to sustainable product design and charitable giving. Adventure on for a cause.

Indigenous Clothing – Indigenous clothes are great for your body and are made sustainably. The clothes contain only organic and natural fibers as well as low-impact dyes. In addition, they are certified fair trade so the hardworking individuals who made the clothes are treated with dignity. Dressing in Indigenous clothes and accessories helps you look beautiful inside and out! Dress for a cause.

Miir – Getting your blood pumping with a great bike ride is both exhilarating and good for your health. Miir bicycles are not only stylish, but they also help get bikes into the hands of those that need them most. In much of the world, biking is one of the most practical and affordable forms of transportation and the ability to get from point A to point B efficiently can change a life. Miir works internationally and in the US with partners to give new bikes, train mechanics and buy replacement parts. Bike for a cause.

RxArt– Coloring books are trendy for both youth and adults this Christmas. The Rx coloring book provides a therapeutic outlet for the artist. In addition, RxArt distributes free coloring books to partner hospitals. RxArt is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children heal through the extraordinary power of visual art. They commission exceptional contemporary artists to transform sterile healthcare facilities into engaging and inspiring environments full of beauty, humor and comfort. Craft for a cause.

Sweet Beginnings – Sweet Beginnings, LLC makes the family of beelove™ products, an all-natural line of raw honey and honey-infused body care products that are sourced from its natural urban apiary in the heart of the North Lawndale community in Chicago. Even further, Sweet Beginnings offers full-time transitional jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and others with significant barriers to employment in a green industry. Moisturize for a cause.

S’well – S’well water bottles have been sweeping the market because consumers love that they can keep a beverage cold for 24 hours or hot for twelve hours. The company initially launched in 2010 with the mission to rid the world of plastic bottles. In the US alone, an estimated 50 billion plastic bottles are dumped in landfill sites each year, and over 200 billion globally. Even further, S’well, is a proud supporter of the US Fund for UNICEF, donating $100,000 to help provide clean water to the world’s most vulnerable children. Quench for a cause.

Theo Chocolate – Chocolate is a known source of antioxidants and mood boosting endorphins. Theo Chocolate makes the chocolate eating experience even sweeter because the artisan crafted bars are produced in an ethical and sustainable fashion. Currently, their current suppliers are Norandino in Peru, Esco Kivu in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Cocabo in Panama. Theo helps these businesses to thrive and succeed. Indulge for a cause.

Tom’s Roasting Company – With Toms, your friend’s morning cup of Joe will work to help individuals who do not have access to safe drinking water. TOMS Roasting Co. purchases support water systems in seven countries – in the same regions where they source their coffee beans. Drink for a cause.

Tory Burch Seed Box – The Tory Burch Foundation empowers women entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, education, networking events and an online resource hub. The Seed Box is one of several initiatives encouraging women to embrace ambition. This box includes a versatile towel, organic tea, watercolor pouch, travel candle and key fob. Enjoy for a cause.

And for the person who has everything already, consider a Network for Good or GlobalGiving gift card. These organizations make it easy to support the nonprofits and causes you care about. A donation to your family and friends’ favorite charities is one of the best gifts of all!

There are many simple and meaningful ways to give back on behalf of Mom, Grandpa or Cousin Stacy this year. Share your favorite gifts that give back with us on Twitter or Facebook using #Gifts4Good.

Three Ways To Give Back During The Holidays For and With Our Kids

As November slips by, many of us have been occupied by autumnal activities — hunting down pumpkin spiced treats of all sorts, cozying up with extra layers of clothing, and cheering on a new season of fall sports. It’s also the beginning of the holidays with celebrations that are largely centered on giving, making this a great time to think about becoming a “Philanthro-Parent.” Whether you are a parent, teacher, neighbor, friend or relative, you can encourage the kids in your life to change the world for good and inspire them to give back in their own meaningful way.

And it’s not just about doing good during the holidays either. There are huge benefits for children who engage in acts of kindness that make generosity a valuable year-round pursuit. In addition to being healthier and living longer, researchers have demonstrated that kids who volunteer and “do good” have improved friendships and self-esteem, and perform better in school.

So how can you help the children in your life embrace the gift of giving? Here are three ways to make your season even brighter for you and your up-and-coming philanthropist.

Give better gifts
I’ll confess that if it weren’t for online shopping my niece and nephews would never see a box with an Auntie Louise tag. For many of us, there isn’t much time to run around to take care of gift wish lists, especially during the busy holiday season. But like with many things in life, we should take the time to slow down with our gift hunting. Let’s take an extra minute to make some of our purchases give back by using AmazonSmile (Amazon donates 0.5% of the eligible purchases to a charity of your choice). Let’s scour the wrappers for a fair trade label on that chocolate treat for our little snackers. Let’s do a couple more Google searches to find gifts that give back. It won’t be time wasted and we’ll feel even better once the wrapping paper starts flying. 

Share gifts
A lot of us take advantage of this season to donate gently used coats and cold weather gear as we replace clothes for our ever-growing kids, or to do a clean sweep of the toy box once presents are opened. Perhaps this year we can go one step further and encourage our child to choose one of their new toys or presents to donate. Or perhaps we can help our kids dream up ways to use their presents to benefit others, like using the new art set to create a poster for a fundraiser. We can tap into the power of choice that can actually enhance our kids’ altruistic endeavors with this twist on giving around the holidays.

Be a gift
Many of us learn better by doing, and it appears this is also true for giving back. Studies indicate that volunteering at a young age can create lifelong social and civic engagement in our kids. So, to help get you started, here’s volunteering ideas for kids from PBS, a list of thousands of children volunteer opportunities from Volunteer Match, a link to find your local food bank from Feeding America and a truly thoughtful curation of “40 Ways Kids Can Volunteer from Toddler to Teen” from author Laura Grace Weldon.

This holiday season, together with our kids, let’s make our gifts give more, share more deeply and be a blessing to others. We’d love to hear about your thoughts; please share your ideas on Twitter using #KidsGivingBack. Before I wish you Happy Holidays, I’ll let the infectiously joyful Kid President remind us that “The perfect gift is the something that makes the world better.”

Gifts that Give Back

This post was written by Alana Ramo on behalf of the Case Foundation:

In the stressful scramble to find the perfect present, we can lose sight of the spirit of giving. Maximize your purchase power and give to a good cause with our holiday “gifts that give back” guide. These gift ideas will fit nicely on your shopping list and support conscious businesses that create meaningful jobs, protect the environment and support our veterans.

While you’re in the spirit of giving back, we hope you’ll join us this holiday season in our 5 Giving Tuesdays holiday campaign. We are celebrating the act of giving by highlighting five ways you can give back to your community. Tomorrow we kick off our Gifts that Give Back week. Make a commitment to purchase a present that supports a nonprofit organization and then use the list below to pick the one that bests suits you!

Have an idea of your own? Please share it with us in the comments section or on Twitter @CaseFoundation!

Eco VesselEco Vessel produces environmentally friendly bottles from sustainable BPA free materials. Committed to providing clean drinking water around the world, Eco Vessel donates 1% of the purchase price of every product to organizations like Water for People (a grantee of the Case Foundation). SHOP NOW

IAVA – Get the gear that supports the IAVA movement through IAVA’s online store. Or, shop on eBay from December 16-23 and give during your checkout. Showing support to our veterans never looked so good. SHOP NOW

Just GoodJust Good is an online marketplace that connects conscious products with consumers while influencing good buying behaviors. They sell watches whose proceeds go to planting trees, shirts that fund safe drinking water, and scarves that empower women across the world in an effort to spark dialogue around conscious living. SHOP NOW

Network for Good – Give the gift of giving! The Good Card® is a gift card with stored value preloaded for quick donations. The gift recipient can disperse the funds as a donation to any organization within Network for Good’s community of 1.2 million charities. SHOP NOW

Sword & Plough – Repurposed for a purpose, Sword & Plough is a quadruple bottom line bag company that works with veterans to repurpose military surplus fabric into stylish bags. SHOP NOW

TOMSTOMS believes business can be used to improve lives. But it takes more than belief to make that a reality. So, TOMS recently launched the TOMS Marketplace, a platform to help other social entrepreneurs succeed. The Marketplace is about emerging companies, their products, their causes, and it’s a new destination for making a difference. SHOP NOW

Tory Burch – Inspired by her own experience as a business owner and working mother, designer Tory Burch launched the nonprofit Tory Burch Foundation (TBF) in 2009. The Foundation supports the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families in the U.S. through small business loans, mentoring programs and entrepreneurial education. You can support the Foundation through purchases on the Tory Burch, Shop for a Cause site featuring an assortment of accessories. SHOP NOW

Twice As WarmTwice As Warm is a movement to help neighbors in need stay warm. Each purchase of Twice As Warm apparel is matched with a donation of their same apparel to children and families in need. The organization’s mission is to provide warmth, hope, and support to people in need, and create a sustainable way of providing new winter clothing. SHOP NOW

Warby Parker – For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker will donate another pair to someone in need. By giving glasses and training low-income entrepreneurs to operate their own glasses store, Warby Parker is building a community to address the 15% of the global population that cannot effectively learn or work. Adorn your loved ones with chic, socially conscious glasses and help someone else see clearly for the first time. SHOP NOW