Gifts that Give Back, a series with Craftwhack

Gifts that Give Back

Jeanette Nyberg of Craftwhack and I have teamed up again to bring you a holiday shopping series.

November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids  (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: HersMine)

Today, we bring you Gifts That Give Back!

I like to have my kids think about giving back as we near the holidays. I read that teaching kids gratitude is the best way to assure that they will be happy.

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. From Harvard Health Publications

Last year, I tried my hand at crafts (which I am bad at) and created a DIY Advent Gratitude Calendar in which my family tried to do an act of kindness as we counted down towards Christmas.

DIY Gratitude Advent Calendar

If you need Random Acts of Kindness ideas, I researched them in order to do 48 for my birthday.

RAK, Random Acts of Kindness

Thankfulness, in our house, also includes Thank You notes and I have a free Thank You Card printable for kids that I hope makes note writing less onerous.

Thank you card printable for kids

This year, I’m searching for gifts that give back with the idea that I can make a difference while buying presents. What are your favorite gifts that give back? Please share!

  1. Kauzbots: plush robot toys that give back to those in need, $25.

Army Of Plush Robot Toys With A Mission To Better The World

Kauzbots, the cuddly stuffed “robots with a heart,” offer an opportunity to be charitable through the act of gifting. This group of 10 heroic robots fights a variety of hardships that affect millions throughout the world. 10 percent of the retail price is donated to their individual ‘kauz’, which raise awareness for different charities that support: refugees, homeless children, pediatric cancer and autism research, just to name a few. 10% of retail price is donated to a different cause depending on which Kauzbot you choose.

2. Dsenyo Plush Toys support women affected by AIDS in Malawi. $25

Fair trade social enterprise Dsenyo creates sustainable jobs for female artisans in Malawi, Zambia and Brazil. The shop includes a wide spectrum of items, from apparel to woven home decor. The 17 members of the Mwayiwathu HIV Support Group in Malawi — mostly women affected by AIDS, either personally or within their family — created the toys.

Dsenyo Plush Toys support women affected by AIDS in Malawi.

3. Sally Jane “bee” jewelry: conates back to cancer research, $43-$68.

Sally Waite of Boston was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer while 7-months pregnant. Using her love for jewelry and nature, she went on a mission to inspire others. She teamed up with her Aunt Sally to create Sally Jane (  Their signature message — “Bee Courageous, Bee Bold, Bee a Survivor, Just Bee” — to coincide with the bee designs. As a cancer survivor Sally knew the line would make a thoughtful gift for others going through a difficult time. The company is even donating back to the cancer research community for each item sold.

Sally Jane BEE jewelry

Hammered rustic “just bee” Sally Jane charm worn as a necklace sits at the heart with a message of “just bee.”

4. UNICEF Market: beautiful board games give back to the artisans who made them while also helping to save and protect children around the world.

UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. UNICEF purchased therapeutic food to treat 2.6 million severely-malnourished children in 2013. UNICEF Market has beautifully crafted items, with part of the proceeds going to talented artisans and to help UNICEF save and protect children.

Marble Tic Tac Toe Board Game from Mexico, ‘Rose on Black’, $24

Marble Tic Tac Toe Board Game from Mexico, 'Rose on Black'

Fair Trade Wood Maze Game Carved by Hand, ‘Labyrinth Intrigue’, $24

Fair Trade Wood Maze Game Carved by Hand, 'Labyrinth Intrigue'

Unique Wood Chess Set from India, ‘Strategic Alliance’, $31

Unique Wood Chess Set from India, 'Strategic Alliance'

5. Boston-based Rosie’s Place sells gifts made by homeless women that it also feeds and shelters.

Founded in 1974, Rosie’s Place provides shelter, meals and support to poor and homeless women in Boston. Its Women’s Craft Collective program hires those same women to create gifts and jewelry. Proceeds support Rosie’s Place programs and services, while also teaching the artisans valuable job skills and providing permanent employment.

Rosie's Place floral mirror

This vintage-look pocket mirror is topped with a gold or silver finding. Detailed with pearl button, ruby or opal topper. Comes with a black velvet case. $7.50


This brass/silverplate bookmark is embellished with a faux ruby/opal accent. $5 for 2!

Gifts that Give Back, a series with Craftwhack

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I want the games! The games! That wood maze game is really beautiful.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…5 Weeks of Gift Giving: Gifts That Give BackMy Profile

  2. Great theme for a gift guide! I love that tic tac toe set.
    maryanne recently posted…Quick and Easy Perler Bead Designs for KidsMy Profile

  3. How lovely! Great theme and we can feel good about giving these 😉
    Julie S. recently posted…DIY Toy Box, Upcycle a Diaper BoxMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Julie! I believe in making a statement with how you spend your money. Even just doing some shopping local this holiday season as well as gifts that give back makes a big difference in this world. The Butterfly Effect in action, right?
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…DIY Gamer Kit STEM ToyMy Profile

  4. Great list. I just purchased some fair trade items for gifts
    Mary recently posted…Thrifty Ironstone FindMy Profile

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