Our favourite holiday gifts that give back
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 7:12PM PST
Struggling to find the perfect Christmas present for the person on your list who has everything?
There are scores of great gifts that give back this holiday season, from eco-friendly shoes and lingerie to luxurious hand creams and herds of African goats.
Philanthropic gift-giving not only makes the giver feel good about supporting something they care about; the person receiving it gets a unique holiday gift with the benefit of helping someone less fortunate.
Here's a look at some of our holiday favourites:
SPCA Pawsitive Gifts
If you care about animals, the B.C. SPCA has an amazing program that provides dog, cat and wildlife care for as little as $10.
The organization cares for 34,000 animals each year, and is completely donor-funded, so every gift matters.
You can direct your Christmas donation to the program of your choice, from kitten care to horse rehabilitation. The SPCA also sells merchandise online with proceeds going to animal care.
TOMS operates on a one-for-one business model, meaning you get a funky pair of shoes for Christmas and company founder Blake Mycoskie donates a pair to a child in need.
Styles range from sequined sneakers to desert boots to leopard print wedges. There are styles for women, men and even babies.
As of September, TOMS had given away more than a million pairs of shoes to children who would otherwise go barefoot.
World Vision Gift Catalogue
World Vision offers an online catalogue that allows you to donate a life-changing gift to a struggling family overseas.
Gifts range from $30 for three soccer balls to $100 to send a goat to a village. For $100, you can also stock a medical clinic with supplies or help a family start a small business.
Last Christmas, over 82,000 Canadians sent World Vision gifts worth over $17 million to families living in poverty.
One hundred per cent of the retail price of the Lush Charity Pot Hand & Body Cream goes directly into a charitable fund to support causes like animal rights, environmental protection and humanitarian concerns.
Almost 20,000 pots have been sold in North America.
A gift basket of goodies perfect for the foodie on your holiday gift list. Erin Ireland puts together a selection of her favourite local foods, including Dirty Apron White Truffle Oil, a Thomas Haas chocolate bar, and, of course, some of her To Die For Chocolate Macadamia Nut Banana Bread.
Ten per cent of the net proceeds for the gift baskets will be donated to the Union Gospel Mission.
Vancouver's Kaia Lingerie Company will donate a pair of panties to a woman in the Downtown Eastside for every pair of underwear sold.
Most recently the company supported Covenant House and the Powell Street Medical Clinic.
SFU Marketing Professor Lindsay Meredith says charities are striking the right chord with consumers.
"You know it's Christmas time, I believe it's supposed to have something to do with charity and looking after others -- well here's the opportunity. You buy the gift for that person you can never place a good gift for -- and at the same time, you know what? You feel good."