Gifts That Give Back: Feel-Good Holiday Goodies We Can't Wait to Wrap Up

By: Lucy M. Casale, Associate Editor

These colorful and unique gift ideas are guaranteed to make you feel even better about gifting—because they all give back to worthy causes.

Photo: Williams Sonoma

Thanks to my job, I get to think about gift-giving nearly year-round. #IRL, I start planning EatingWell magazine's holiday gift guide sometime in JULY. Nearly 6 months ahead of December! And I love it. Here, I'm SO excited to share a different sort of gift list. The ideas that follow are guaranteed to take your holiday gift-giving to the next level. Because on top of being unique gifts to give, all of my picks give back to worthy causes too. And who won't want to unwrap that?

Happy holidays to you and yours, and happy gifting!

1. No Kid Hungry Silicone Spatulas, $14

No Kid Hungry spatulas
 
Photo: Williams Sonoma

One of our favorite cooking stores, Williams Sonoma, has raised $5.5 million dollars to date (insert endless heart emojis) for No Kid Hungry. Help them help to fight child hunger across America where one in six children are hungry today. By purchasing one of these 15 new celebrity-designed spatulas, not only are you picking up a great gift (also: stocking stuffer!), but you can tell the recipient that 30 percent of the retail price benefits a good cause. I know I’ll be picking up a few of the swirly white and red “Ciao Bella” spatulas, designed by Giada de Laurentiis.

2. Social with Art Hand-Painted Olive Oil Bottles, $48

painted olive oil bottlesPhoto: Social with Art

Each one of these beautiful bottles of extra-virgin Turkish olive oil is totally unique: hand-painted by women in Ayvalik, Turkey. According to Social with Art's founders, the men in this seaside town traditionally harvest olives while the women stay home to take care of the family. But thanks to the Social with Art project, founded in 2016, about 70 Ayvalik women now contribute to their family's finances too, from the sale of these bottles. The women paint them with images that represent their region: sailboats, olive trees, fish, seagulls. So, each and every bottle is truly special. Tasting notes from our Test Kitchen include: "not bitter," very buttery" and "lovely!"

3. World Vision Kenyan Salad Scoops, $75

salad tongsPhoto: World Vision

Imagine tossing your next salad with these gorgeous olive-wood serving scoops. Hand-carved by artisans in Kenya who receive Fair Trade wages for their work, these are sold by World Vision, whose yearly Gift Catalog program helps people in nearly 100 countries fight poverty. (Also noteworthy: this gift purchase is tax-deductible, as a percentage of the purchase price supports World Vision's efforts in areas like clean water access, disaster assistance and humanitarian relief.) In addition to scooping these up for a friend or family member, you might just want to buy another set for your own holiday table too.

4. Ma & Pembum Leather Accessories and Bags, $25 & Up

red pursePhoto: Ma & Pembum

From EatingWell's home state of Vermont comes leather accessories company Ma & Pembum, offering an array of merry and bright leather goods. Leather earrings? Check. Leather bracelets? Check. Leather handbags in every size? Check, check, check. Not only are this growing company's products and product names creative—you're looking at "The Go-To Mini in Fireball" and "The Wristlet in Distressed Mocha," among other goodies—but so is the mission. Half of the profits from every sale (yes, HALF!) are donated to organizations that fight to end human trafficking. We'll buy a new bag for our weekly grocery runs just for that.

5. This Bar Saves Lives Snack Bars, $24, box of 12

this bar saves livesPhoto: This Bar Saves Lives

Stocking-stuffer alert! But wait: these aren't just any delicious snackable bars in cute packaging that you could easily stuff into stockings. (Get excited to try the Dark Chocolate & Cherry and the Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey!) With a mission to end childhood malnutrition, the four co-founders, including Kristen Bell (yes, THE Kristen Bell), developed these bars with a one-for-one model. For every bar you buy, the company gives food aid (in the form of nutrition packets) to a child battling malnutrition in Haiti or the Horn of Africa.

6. Passion Planner 2019 Planner, $30 & Up

passion plannerPhoto: Passion Planner

Encourage loved ones to start their new year off right with a Passion Planner, a gorgeous notebook that's more than just a weekly/monthly/yearly scheduling tool. (I know because I have one and LOVE it.) A Passion Planner encourages you to "plan your passion road map," starting with your wish list for what you want to accomplish in the next three months, one year, three years, and over the course of your lifetime. Then it helps you put your "passion plans" into action, with weekly encouragements to focus on those goals and monthly check-ins to help you review how you're doing. Even better: for every planner purchased, the company donates one to recipients like schools and medical patients across the country.

More Gift Ideas:

Best Food-Inspired Gifts for Kids
10 Easy Homemade Food Gifts (Plus Printable Gift Tags to Go with Them)
DIY Spa Treatments You Can Make in 10 Minutes