It’s doubly gratifying when you give a gift the recipient is sure to love, and it also does good for someone in need. Here are but a few great gifts that give. (Send your favorites, and we'll add them to the list!)
100 Good Deeds Bracelets
Designed by artist, author, and philanthropist Mary Fisher, these bracelets are hand braided with nylon thread and 100 glass beads by women in Africa, many of whom are HIV positive. Each time the wearer performs a good deed, and doesn’t tell anyone about it, he or she can move the disk over one bead. The ultimate goal is to commit 100 good deeds and have the disk moved over to the other end of the bracelet. All proceeds go to the 100 Good Deeds Program, supporting women and girls with more training. $30 at Max’s, 3826 Grand Way, St. Louis Park
Dog Threads is a new Minneapolis-based company designing "human-inspired" clothes for dogs. Every purchase benefits Secondhand Hounds, a local animal rescue organization. Choose from plaid button downs, cardigans, and more pieces you'll want to wear too. $38 each at shopdogthreads.com
Twin Cities artisan and fitness enthusiast Amy Cochrane funneled her two loves into a line of motivational wrap bracelets and shoe charm to nudge you on with every step. Five percent of profits are donated to Action for Healthy Kids, which works with schools to fight childhood obesity. $10 to $20 each at designsthatmoveyou.com
Feed x Faribault Tote
Lauren Bush Lauren’s company, which sells bags and other products to raise money for meals around the world has partnered with Minnesota-based Faribault Woolen Mills on a limited-edition camouflauge tote, hand woven in Minnesota with Faribault’s signature wool. The sale of each bag provides 300 meals to those in need. $300 at feedprojects.com
Hand in Hand Sea Salt Candle
Every candle purchased saves 50 square feet of rainforest and donates one bar of soap and one month of clean water to a child in a developing country. These hand poured candles are made with GMO-free soy wax and natural essential oils. We spotted them at Northern Grade, from Minneapolis-based Rypen, an online mercantile. $34, rypen.com
Sydney Hale Co. Candles
Because you can't have too many candles around the holidays, this smart-looking, fragrant collection is another favorite. The company donates 10 percent of profits to dog rescue. $30 at Honeyshine, 2720 W. 43rd St., Mpls.
Love your Melon
Started by a group of college students in the Twin Cities, Love Your Melon is a non-profit with a mission to put a hat on every child battling cancer in America. For every hat sold, another identical hat is given to a child battling cancer. Through funding from this Buy One – Give One program and donations, the Love Your Melon Foundation provides therapeutic entertainment and comfy hats to children battling cancer during the difficult cancer treatment process. (Reopening Dec. 7). $28 at loveyourmelon.com
Can’t decide? Shop a local retailer that makes giving part of its mission.
Creative Kidstuff: You may not realize, but every time you buy a toy at this popular Twin Cities chain, a toy is given to a child in need. Creative Kidstuff works in partnership with Sensational Beginnings, GreaterGood and Soles4Souls to facilitate the donation and distribution of product surplus to children worldwide.
Greater Goods: This small, independent stationery shop from the husband-wife team behind Old Tom Foolery and Modern Lore dedicates at least 5 percent of the shop’s proceeds to a rotating roster of local organizations, such as Minneapolis College of Art and Design. 2515 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls
House of Talents: Don’t forget about this showroom up on the sixth floor of a North Loop building. Every purchase, from hand woven colorful baskets to jewelry and soap, supports artisans in Africa. A new shipment arrived just in time for holiday—shop the collection during an open house Dec. 5 and 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (studio is open regular hours if you can’t make it to the event). 250 Third Ave. N., Ste. 615, Mpls.
Emily Den Boer and Erin Kincheloe contributed to this round up