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Do Good, Feel Good: Gifts That Give Back

It's nice to give and get gifts, so why not go the extra mile with your holiday shopping this year? These options all give a little extra something special, so you can bask in an extra dose of warm fuzzies all season long.

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Tea Collection Scarf.jpg
Courtesy of Headbands of Hope
Courtesy of Lead Now Tour and Crowdrise
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Bundle Up

Warm up with Tea Collection's fashionABLE scarf this season. Each one was exclusively hand-woven in Ethiopia through fashionABLE -- an organization that helps women create sustainable business cooperatives in Africa. When you give (or get!) your gift, you'll also receive a note detailing the story of one woman who helped create your present.


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Feed a Family

Make over someone's makeup bag with the Feed Kenya Kikoy Pouch and you'll provide 10 school meals to a child in need. Each is handmade with traditional Kenyan kikoy fabrics, and come in gorgeous shades like this one.


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Meaningful Miles

With the end of the year drawing near, all those frequent flyer miles from an airline you used, oh, once are nearing their expiration date. Instead of letting them go to waste, join TripIt's Wishes in Flight program. It's free, and you can donate any or all unused miles to the Make-A-Wish foundation, which helps send kids suffering from life-threatening illness on the trip of their dreams. And to make your holiday travel more Zen, opt for TripIt Pro, a yearly subscription app that organizes all your travel plans in one place.

Prices vary,

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Light the Way

Holiday-scented candles are a staple throughout the season. Stock up on the delicious-smelling ones from the Light a Candle Feed a Child program: every jar sold feeds an orphaned child for a day through the nonprofit organization Rice Bowls, and each holds a tag featuring the child you've fed. With scents like Apple Pie, Dear Santa, and Christmas Bliss, you're guaranteed to end up on the nice list.

Prices vary,

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Foodie Fun

Instead of giving one gift this holiday, give your busy-bee friends one every month of the year! Sign up for a Love with Food subscription to sample gourmet, organic, all-natural goodies, and discover which snack to fall in love with next. Every box has something new, and for each one delivered, a meal is donated to food banks across the United States.


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Wise Words

Jewelry is a gift-giving staple! Consider giving back to the environment when picking out a piece for a pal. Kris Nations' Words to Live By Necklaces feature inspiring phrases like "Dream" and "Peace," and are made from the earth's existing metal supply, rather than depending on mining new metals. What's the difference? The mining process can create environmental waste, contaminate water, and endanger animals.


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Thoughtful Beauty

Headbands are everywhere these days, but Headbands of Hope have an extra sparkle to them: For every band purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to childhood cancer research. The company was started by a college student with a flair for fashion -- you can find beaded headbands (pictured), chevron ones, or fluffy floral ones for your young nieces or daughters.


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Go Global

For months, we've been following professional rock climber Paige Claassen tackle adventures around the world. But at the core of the Marmot Lead Now Tour is a massive fundraising effort for 12 different charities and efforts, from improving children's literacy to flood relief assistance. Donate in someone's name or consider asking people to donate in lieu of a gift for you.

Originally published on, October 2013.


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