gifts that give back, 12 days of shopping

Gifts That Keep on Giving: Day 2 of 12 Days of Shopping

For Day 2,  Jeanette and I are fixated on gratitude and gifts that keep on giving. I’m choosing both charities and gifts that give back that kids can relate to. I hope this inspires yours kids and mine to think about others in need this holiday season. What are your favorite ways to give back? Please share!

Charities for Kids to Support

Animal Rescue League of Boston. My kids love to do things to help animals. The MSPCA is another good one, but we are fortunate that we also have a local Animal Rescue League of Boston here in Dedham which is two towns over. This year my son had a joint birthday party with his friend Brendan, and in lieu of presents, they asked for dog and toys, dog and cat food and other items off their wish list. They collected a small box full of items and they are excited to make a delivery.

charities for kids to support Animal Rescue League of Boston

First Book is partnering with our Multicultural Children’s Book Day event on January 27th. We all are striving to get multicultural books into the hands of underserved kids and First Book has delivered more than 120 million new books to schools and programs serving children in need, but more is still needed. If your kids ever think about kids who have no books of their own and want to help, steer them to First Book. They can volunteer by setting up a fundraising event themselves. It’s as easy as asking for donations instead of gifts at a birthday party!

First Book


Kids can relate to being hungry. Share Our Strength is a great national organization, but we are lucky to have many local options. There are 3 food banks in my town as well as The Greater Boston Food Bank which serves my community and a lot of others. Our elementary school does a food drive but kids don’t always feel like they are actually doing something other than lugging in a can from the pantry.

They might want to run their own food drive by leaving a flyer at neighbors’ houses and going back to pick up the donation. (Our letter carriers do a food drive and our local boy scout did one this way too.)

There was nothing more satisfying than the 5th graders at my elementary school who were allowed to load up the truck with our school’s donations and bring them to the food bank. That is such a great feeling and is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

local food bank, the greater boston food bank


Gifts That Give Back

Chocolates That Give Back

Chocolates for a Cause: African Chocolate Collection by Compartes

Don’t feel bad eating or gifting these chocolates from Compartes! 40 percent of proceeds benefit Relief International’s efforts in Darfur and directly help feed malnourished children as well as fund a women’s help center. Made from Compartes gourmet chocolate, caramel and more adorned with colorful African graphics, paired with 1 Relief Beads bracelet for a 3-in-one gift: chocolates, bracelet and a gift of your donation to Darfur. $20 for 5 piece chocolate set plus bead bracelet.


Pencils to Kids Who Really Need Them

12 KITE First Edition Pencils; proudly made in the USA. Each pencil pack comes packaged in a kraft box with your very own KITE tag. For every pencil pack purchased, we give one to a child in need. KITE partners with organizations and schools committed to eliminating the barriers of education both domestically and internationally, where kids in attendance are living below the poverty line.  $10 for 12 pencils.

Kite Pencils gifts that give back

Knits to Stay Warm

Krochet Kids Headwear empowers women in Northern Ugandan and Peru to make handmade items, securing sustainable livelihoods for each of them. Among the many items sold by Krochet Kids, the knit caps and other headwear make great, wintery gifts. This is great for us because we live in Boston!

The Jackson knit cap is $29.95.

The Jackson knit cap

12 Days of Shopping with Jeanette of Tiny Rotten Peanuts

Day 1: Gratitude Advent Calendars (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 2: Gifts That Give Back (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 3: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 4: Gifts for Those Impossible to Shop for (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 5: Gifts to Open Minds (Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading, Jeanette’s Reluctant Artists)
Day 6: Oops, I Did It Again; Worst Gifts Ever (Ugly Holiday Sweaters, Oh So Tacky Christmas Gifts)
Day 7: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 8: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 9: Gifts for Those Easily Forgotten & Unique Client Gifts
Day 10: Gifts for New Year’s Resolutions (Mine, Jeanette’s)
Day 11: Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts & 15 DIY Gift Ideas
Day 12: The Art of the Thank You Note (Mine, Jeanette’s)

gifts that give back, 12 days of shopping

p.s. I have a few more ideas for Teaching Kids About Charities.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Love these ideas, Mia–thank you for sharing them!

  2. Oh – I love the Kite pencils! What a great gift this season for the kiddos to give to other kids. I can think of some moms that would like that chocolate too! Great ideas!
    Crystal Foth recently posted…We Made a Necklace! Our Creative Day in LAMy Profile

  3. I love that you included a local pick. I wouldn’t have thought of animal shelters, but that’s such a good idea. Our little furry buddies need love this season.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…10 Funtastic Gender Neutral Gifts for KidsMy Profile

    • Hi Jeanette,
      We haven’t made it to our local pet shelter to donate the dog/cat bday presents yet — it’s on a private lot so you have to get an appointment to come by and it seems to be taking a while — but I’m sure my son will feel great about giving to dogs and cats instead of getting bday presents from his party.

      I think kids have a natural instinct to give and to want to help those less fortunate. It’s nice when they realize what a huge difference they can make.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Difficult To Shop For Gifts: Day 4 of 12 Days of ShoppingMy Profile

  4. First Book is a great idea to help kids give to others.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Little Ghost — Halloweensie ContestMy Profile

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