(BPT) - After getting through the past couple of difficult years, many holiday gift-givers are searching for ways to share their values of compassion and concern for the world around them with family and loved ones. If you have a cause you care about, or if those you're shopping for feel passionately about making a difference in the world, this is the ideal opportunity to share the joy of the season by choosing gifts that give back.
Here are ideas to help you give gifts that you — and the person you're shopping for — will feel really good about this holiday season.
1. Donate to a cause in their name to help provide basic needs to people around the world. They will love hearing about how the donation is truly making a difference for a person or community in need. For example, charity: water is a nonprofit organization that provides the crucial gift of clean water to people around the world to help fight the global water crisis. Nothing could be more fundamental to human survival than clean, safe drinking water. Currently, 785 million people in the world live without clean water, and dirty water kills more people than all forms of violence, including war. Since private donors cover their operating costs, this organization uses 100% of donated funds to bring clean water to people who need it.
2. Buy merchandise to help spread the word through items like T-shirts and hats from nonprofit organizations. Gifting their merchandise helps provide funds for that organization and also shows your gift recipient's support for the cause, which can spark conversation with their friends and family. At charity: water’s online store, you can find unique gifts that spread the word about the global water crisis. From wearables and water bottles to candles, books and more, these special items make great gifts while also helping spread awareness of the need for clean water all over the world.
3. Give a meaningful new experience that can further your loved one's interest in a cause, or spark a new passion. Gift them a class or workshop that teaches something your friend or family member would find informative and intriguing — from creating a pollinator-friendly yard or composting to organic gardening or making your home more sustainable. Learning a new skill or technique that makes a difference in your own backyard is a gift they'll never forget. Make sure to get one for yourself, so you can join them!
4. Choose gifts from local artisans and entrepreneurs to help support your own community and bring much-needed income to start-ups and small businesses right in your neighborhood. Make sure to enclose information about the company with your gift, so the recipient will know where it came from — and may be inspired to shop there, too! Many search engines today make it easy to find local businesses that are minority-owned, which gives you a great opportunity to support those companies.
5. Give a gift to the world with a charitable gift subscription for a gift that not only gives back, but keeps on giving. Many charities and causes allow you to purchase a monthly subscription for a variety of price points. In the case of charity: water’s subscription The Spring, you can choose any amount to give each month. For example, a $40 monthly donation can give 12 people the gift of clean water every year. Subscribers are then sent monthly impact reports, so you'll be able to see the progress that has been made from your contribution.
With a little creativity, your holiday gifts will say a lot about what matters to you, and what the person you're shopping for cares about, too. By choosing gifts that give back this year, you might just help change the world.