Line drawing illustration of holiday gifts

Illustrations By Michele Perry

Gifts that give back: 16 finds for the whole family

Presents that donate back to meaningful causes make giving that much sweeter

In the spirit of giving, why not put your money towards a gift that supports a good cause? No matter what you’re passionate about, whether it’s helping veterans or supporting mental health initiatives, there are plenty of brands that donate to local charities when you make a purchase. Here are 16 gifts that give back. They’ll put a smile on more than just the recipient’s face.

Unignorable T-shirt

United Way partnered with Pantone to create an unignorable colour to draw attention to issues like social isolation, poverty and unemployment across Canada. Toronto designers The Peace Collective showcase the arresting shade on a t-shirt, with sales going to support United Way Greater Toronto’s awareness raising Unignorable campaign. Unignorable Shop, $30.

Solarwave Studs
From now until December 31, 20 per cent of sales from Toronto-based jewelry designer Biko’s rose gold collection will be donated to Rethink Breast Cancer. Biko, $78.

#Feels T-shirt
Proceeds from the sale of this t-shirt help United Way-supported Distress Centres, a 24-hour help line for emotional support and suicide prevention. The organization answers more than 82,000 calls per year. Toronto Distress Centre, $25.

15-year-old Solera
From every bottle sold of this single-malt whisky, $2 supports Wounded Warriors Canada, an organization that helps sick and injured members of the Canadian armed forces, veterans, first responders and their families. Glenfiddich has raised upwards of $600,000 for the organization since 2013. Glenfiddich, $80.

Gif showing a selection of gifts, including sweat pants, an unignorable phone case, a library people t-shirt and a silver star charm

Unignorable phone case
Another item created by The Peace Collective using United Way’s unignorable colour, this lightweight case will protect your loved one’s phone while raising awareness of issues like poverty and social isolation. Unignorable Shop, $15.

P/C Terry Jogger
Fifteen per cent of the proceeds from the Toronto Strong collection will go to the Toronto Strong fund, which helps people affected by two major tragedies: the April 2018 van attack on Yonge Street and the Danforth shooting in July. Peace Collective, $64.

Maddie Star
This delicate little charm is adorable and virtuous: 50 per cent of sales go towards the Maddie Project, a GTA-based organization that works to support youth living with depression. Suetables, $25.

I’m Library People Shirt
Wear your love of reading! The Toronto Public Library Foundation gets $5 or $20 (you choose the donation amount) per t-shirt. Toronto Public Library, $35-$55.

The Jess Tote
A statement bag that makes an impact: 30 per cent of proceeds will be donated to The Shoebox Project for Women, an organization that provides shoeboxes full of small gifts and everyday essentials to women impacted by homelessness. Adees Co, $195.

2018 Starlight Bear: Sparkles
Proceeds of sales from this bear—which was designed by a five-year-old named Ella who is living with a heart defect—will help sick children in Canada. To date, Toys R Us’ partnership with Starlight Canada has raised more than $18 million. Toys R Us, $20.

Empowerment Tote Bag
This powerful tote lives up to its promise: 10 per cent of sales support Mental Health Empowerment Day 2019 in Toronto, an event that works to raise awareness and promote dialogue surrounding mental health for those who work with children and youth. A Little Wordy, $15.

Lamb Dog Toy
For every purchase of this cute squeaker, PetSmart will donate 10 percent of sales to PetSmart Charities of Canada, an organization which works find animals their forever homes. PetSmart, $5.

Decorate your fridge and support Canada’s wildlife: a portion of sales from Parks Canada’s Wildlife collection helps to preserve the habitats of threatened species. Parks Canada, $6 each.

Gift Card Holder
When purchasing a gift card from Second Cup, don’t forget to buy this $1 limited-edition holder. For every purchase, three meals will be donated to a Canadian in need through Food Banks Canada. Second Cup, $1.

Stuffed Unicorn
A sweet stuffed animal that makes an impact: $5 for every purchase will be donated to Roses of Hope Foundation, which supports various organizations dedicated to helping women. Since 2002, Roses of Hope has raised over $1.7 million for charity. La Vie En Rose, $23.

Charity Gift Card
This gift card allows the recipient to donate to the charity of their choice. There are hundreds of different organizations to choose from, most of which are based in Canada, in categories ranging from health to environment to arts and culture. Canada Helps, amount of your choice. 

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