The holidays are a time for giving, but it’s often not the neediest who receive. While Canadians have a pretty good track record of supporting charities during the holiday season — according to Imagine Canada, we give approximately $5 billion to charitable causes around this time of year — it’s easy to assume that those with deep pockets will take on the bulk of the responsibility.
Lend a hand in boosting the revenue of charitable causes this year with one of these stylish, adorable and ultra compassionate gifts. They’re the kind of sentiment that puts a smile on a person’s lips and a song in their heart.
For the sports (and education) enthusiast
Fashion footwear retailer Aldo has partnered with Global Citizen for a capsule collection of their gender neutral Mx. sneakers. Available in black, grey and red, 100 per cent of the net proceeds from the sales of these shoes will go to Global Citizen’s Education for All campaign, which aims to fill critical funding gaps in global education.
Available at Aldo
For the eco beauty junkie
Lush, the beloved Canadian beauty brand, has made it their mission to support various charities over the years. (In fact, Lush North America has donated almost $22 million to more than 1,500 grassroots organizations around the world in the last decade.) The brand’s Charity Pot is a luxurious hand and body lotion that’s made with ethically-sourced ingredients that support regenerative projects around the world. All of the sales of this product go directly to human rights, animal protection and environmental conservation causes.
Price: $7.95 for 50g, $27.95 for 240g
Available at Lush
For the girl power advocate
Did you know that you can buy a girl a future? That’s right. By buying the gift of Girl Power through Plan International Canada, you can help a girl in a developing country by offering her nourishment, education, protection and health services. This gift also contributes to awareness training for boys and men and shows them that equal rights benefit everyone. The Girl Power gift is just one in a wide selection of Plan International Canada’s Gifts of Hope that have had a powerful impact on the lives of people in developing countries.
Available at Plan International Canada
For the cancer crusader
Being a mom is a tough job, and it’s even harder if you’re a mom living with cancer. The Mom Project is one of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Gifts for the Cure, and the proceeds go towards giving moms and moms-to-be the support they need. This gift goes towards providing a wig for a mom, a home away from home while she’s undergoing treatment or funding for fertility research. It’s the gift that puts moms first, and it’s but one in a selection of Gifts for the Cure that benefits everyone affected by cancer.
Available at Canadian Cancer Society
For the clean beauty lover
Let natural beauty radiate from every pore with the Weleda Clean Beauty Kit. Featuring a selection of the natural skincare brand’s favourites in handy travel sizes, it includes moisturizer, body wash, toothpaste and massage oil. Exclusively available at Whole Foods, 100 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to Whole Planet Foundation, the grocery retailer’s non-profit that funds microcredit loans around the world.
Available at Whole Foods (in-store only)
For the cuddle monster
This year, the Hudson’s Bay Company launched their HeadFirst program benefiting mental health initiatives across the country. By purchasing this adorable bear in his signature HBC stripes, 100 per cent of your money will go to supporting this crucial charitable initiative that aims to combat stigmas, support research and improve mental health programs across Canada.
Available at HBC
For the shoe obsessed
In 2006, Blake Mycoskie was travelling in Argentina when he was struck by how many children he saw who didn’t have shoes and how difficult their lives were. That’s when he developed TOMS, a line of shoes for men, women and kids using his one-for-one concept: for every pair sold, one pair is donated to a child in need. He has applied the same concept to TOMS sunglasses, for which every pair sold gets a child in need a pair of prescription glasses, and bags, whose sales provide a safe birth for a mom and baby in need.
Price: Shoes start at $40 (for babies), $60 (for adults)
Available at TOMS
For the dog lover
These essential oils from Vancouver-based company Happy Spritz have multiple benefits: they bestow energizing, soothing and calming effects, and a proceed of their sales goes to various animal rescue organizations in Canada and the U.S. The oils use all natural ingredients, are 100 per cent vegan and cruelty-free. Bonus: the Sweet Dreams Darling Mist can also be used to calm down an anxious pooch. Simply spritz one to three times on their doggie bed.
Available at Happy Spritz
For the new mom
New moms are almost literally attached to their babies (at least most of the time), so why not make it extra comfortable for them both? This baby wrap from Me to We is made from soft, luxurious and sustainable modal fabric, and is ideal for newborns up to 25 pounds. Proceeds from the sale of each wrap help provide safer childbirth, including skilled birth attendants, supplies and equipment for birth, and postnatal care to women in crisis zones like Haiti, Sierra Leone and Syria.
Available at Me to We
For the survivalist
The Canadian Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that works to improve the lives of vulnerable people around the world. By purchasing one of their holiday survival gifts, you can provide anything from warm blankets to refugees fleeing violence to food and water relief to people in a natural disaster zone. Other gifts include medications and essentials for mothers and babies, groceries and essentials for families who have been displaced due to a disaster or violence. Until Dec. 25, every holiday gift will be matched by Aviva Canada to a maximum of $30,000.
Price: Starting at $15
Available at Canadian Red Cross
For the environmentalist
Polar bears are a holiday favourite, and this year’s collaboration between Holt Renfrew and the World Wildlife Fund has resulted in two adorable, cuddly polar bears inspired by the Great White North. A portion of sales from these limited-edition bears ($10 from the small one, $30 from the large) will go to preserving the unique ecosystems of the Arctic, and safeguarding the critical habitat of species like the polar bear, caribou and narwhal.
Price: $55 for the small bear, $495 for the large bear
Available at Holt Renfrew
For the sweet tooth
It doesn’t get more local than this delectable Canadian Sensations gift basket filled with sweet treats like maple syrup cookies and ice wine dark chocolate, all housed in a chic red metal container. What’s sweeter still is that a portion of the sale of this gift will be donated to Big Brothers and Sisters of Canada.
Available at Glitter Gift Baskets
For the fashion plate
Who says you can’t look fabulous while supporting a good cause? This NimiNimi silk scarf is inspired by the many colours and patterns of Africa — Montreal-based designer Nimi Nanji-Simard’s roots trace back to Uganda. She partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the “Ouvre Moi Ta Porte” initiative (which translates to “won’t you open your doors”) to donate a portion of the sales of this scarf — $100 from the large, $30 from the mini — to aid people displaced by violence and persecution. Each scarf is hand rolled in Italy and uses the finest silk.
Price: $80 for the mini, $300 for the large
Available at NimiNimi