16 Charitable Gifts That Give Back

Love Your Melon / UncommonGoods / Amazon
Love Your Melon / UncommonGoods / Amazon

It's often said that it's more satisfying to give than receive. So why not double up on your efforts and give a gift that backs organizations supporting different movements around the world? We pulled together a list of different items that contribute to causes that benefit people, animals, and the environment. Presents like these will make the world a bit better—and we bet the recipients will love being involved in improving different lives.

1. Recycled Bomb Bangle; $40

ARTICLE22

This bracelet, crafted by artisans in Laos, is made from melted-down bombs dropped and planted by the United States during the Vietnam War. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world. ABC News estimates that the U.S. dropped about 270 million bombs on Laos between 1964 and 1973, 80 million of which, as of 2016, were still active. This bracelet contributes to removal efforts. For every purchase, ARTICLE22 donates money to clear three square meters of bomb-littered land.

Give back: ARTICLE22

2. Panda Salt and Pepper Shakers; $55

World Wildlife Fund

These adorable ceramic salt and pepper shakers support the World Wildlife Fund's conservation efforts. Want a few other options? For a similar price, you could purchase a bamboo cutting board, a no plastics kit, or three pairs of socks.

Give back: World Wildlife Fund

3. Recycled Tire Wallet; $28

Friends International/Global Goods Partners

This sleek wallet supports families and children living in Cambodia. With every sale, Friends International, an organization that focuses on youth, is able to provide adults with a stable job and income so that their children don't need to be pulled out of school to support the family.

Give back: Global Goods Partners

4. Miniature Chess Set; $40

Sierra Family/UNICEF

This unique miniature chess set, handcrafted by the Sierra family in Mexico, contributes to UNICEF's goals of supporting and protecting children around the world. According to UNICEF's website, this $40 purchase can provide “22 packets of lifesaving nourishment to children suffering from acute malnutrition,” among other aid.

Give back: UNICEF

5. Pooping Pooches Calendar; $17

Gag Gifts for Good Causes/Amazon

This calendar isn't just amusing—it also gives back to animals living in shelters. One dollar from every calendar sold goes to the Maui Humane Society, an “open-door” shelter in Puunene, Hawaii.

Give back: Amazon

6. Hand-Poured Candle; $22

Prosperity Candle

Every Prosperity Candle is hand-poured by women refugees living in the United States. But that's only part of the story—the vessels for each candle were created by women artisans from all over the world, and a portion of every sale goes directly back to them. Candles come in scents like garden, lakeside, and more.

Give back: Prosperity Candle

7. Yoga Mat; $52

Wan(der)lust/Amazon

Purchases of this yoga mat support (RED), a nonprofit that fights to end AIDS in Africa. An estimated 23.8 million people living in African countries are HIV-positive, according to DoSomething.org. (RED) partners with well-known brands like Apple, Moleskine, and Louis Vuitton to fund outreach efforts.

Give back: Amazon

8. Socks That Plant Trees; $15

Uncommon Goods

Every pair of socks purchased helps Trees for the Future plant 10 trees on farms in Uganda. Trees for the Future teaches Ugandan farmers how to sustain forest gardens, which benefit the environment while also giving families an additional source of income and food.

Give back: Uncommon Goods

9. Beanie; $30

Love Your Melon / Amazon

Love Your Melon originally began with a goal to give away 45,000 hats—one for every child battling cancer in the United States. As the company has grown, its focus has shifted to funding programs for families of children with cancer. Every year, Love Your Melon donates 50 percent of its net profits to its nonprofit partners (including Be the Match, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities).

Give back: Amazon

10. Skin Care Product Collection; $50

Kiehl's

One dollar from the sale of this four-piece skin care set goes to Feeding America, a nonprofit network of food banks that aims to reduce hunger in the United States.

Give back: Kiehl's

11. Custom Popcorn Tin; $29

Popcorn for the People

Every tin of popcorn purchased at Popcorn for the People provides “meaningful employment” to adults with Autism and other disabilities who may otherwise have a difficult time finding jobs, the company's website says. For $29, you can purchase a one-gallon tin of up to three of the company's 12 different popcorn flavors (including buffalo, French toast, and dark chocolate espresso).

Give back: Popcorn for the People

12. 14-Ounce Coffee Blend; $14

Fire Dept. Coffee

Fire Dept. Coffee is (rather unsurprisingly) run primarily by veterans and fire fighters, and 10 percent of every order supports ill and injured fire fighters and first responders. “You drink a lot of coffee, and it's essential at every fire station,” founder Luke Schneider told Fox Business. “Coffee is what brings people together, whether it be around the table at the fire department or around the table at home. We hope Fire Dept. Coffee can do that for everyone.”

Give back: Fire Dept. Coffee

13. Pinot Noir; $49

One Hope Wine

This 2016 vintage Pinot Noir from California helps fund pet adoptions. So far, the company has helped more than 65,000 pets find new homes. Not into Pinot Noir? One Hope also sells sparkling wine, white wine, and rosé, all of which contribute to different causes. Sales from this bottle of rosé, for example, go to educating women about ovarian cancer, and this peach-flavored sparkling wine helps combat childhood hunger.

Give back: One Hope Wine

14. Lip Balm; $19

The Lipstick Lobby

One hundred percent of profits from this colorless lip balm go to the UnPrison Project, which strives to empower and educate women in prisons. Lipstick Lobby's other lipsticks contribute to other charities—proceeds from “Outrage,” a blue-red lip color, go to the American Civil Liberties Union; “Fired Up,” an orange-red, contributes to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence; and “Kiss My Pink” supports Planned Parenthood.

Give back: The Lipstick Lobby

15. Cupanion Water Bottle; $15

Cupanion

Every Cupanion water bottle comes with a tag that connects to an app where users can track how often they refill their cups. Every time a user refills their bottle, Cupanion donates clean water to communities around the world.

Give back: Cupanion

16. Nancy Drew Tote Bag; $16

Out of Print

Show off your love for literature while also supporting literacy within communities across the world. Since 2010, Out of Print has donated more than 3 million books to people in need, the company reports. Each purchase contributes to the organization's goals of promoting literacy and a love of reading.

Give back: Amazon

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14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

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Stock Your Funko Collection While These 9 Figures Are on Sale

Funko
Funko

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.

Whether you're looking to get started on your Funko Pop! collection or just want to add to your tiny vinyl army, you can find figurines for every obsession, from Marvel to NSYNC, while they’re on sale for a limited time.

1. Funko Marvel Specialty Series Dorbz Iron Man Mark I Vinyl Figure; $13 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

Score this tiny Iron Man figure that's decked out in the character's original clunky gray suit of armor.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. The Walking Dead - Ezekiel; $23 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

Commemorate the king with this mini Ezekiel figurine (Shiva not included).

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Funko Pop! Vinyl Collectible Mystery Starter Box; $80 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

Start your collection with this mystery box, complete with six miniatures of iconic characters in pop culture.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Funko Pop Dorbz Rick and Morty Police Vinyl Figures (Two-Pack); $21 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

This Rick and Morty Dorbz two-pack features the alternate cop versions of the duo from the episode "Tales from the Citadel."

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

5. Dragonball Z Super Saiyan Goku; $16 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

Go Super Saiyan with this Goku figurine. You could hold the first Saiyan to go super in over 100 years in your very own hands.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

6. Funko Pop! Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Hulk (Gold Chrome); $22 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

Trade in the standard green version of Hulk for this rare gold chrome variant, which was made to celebrate 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Shadow the Hedgehog; $21 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

Sonic's gritty counterpart, Shadow, made his video game debut all the way back in 2001, and nearly 20 years later, he's still one of the franchise's most popular characters.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Disney Jasmine; $13 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

No Funko collection would be complete without a figurine of Jasmine, one of the most popular Disney princesses.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

9. NSYNC Funko Pop - Bundle Of Five; $57 (9 Percent Off)

Funko

All five NSYNC members are represented in this pack for collectors looking to say bye-bye-bye to 2020 and relive their favorite days of the '90s.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

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