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


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

Image of two salt and pepper shakers shaped like pandas holding bamboo
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

Image of a folded black wallet. The wallet is slightly open in this image, revealing an inner zipper and a pouch for cash
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

Image of a miniature chess set made out of onyx and marble
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

Image of the cover of a calendar, which features a black and white dog pooping in a field of lavender
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

Image of six white candles artistically arranged on a table. All of them are labeled with the word "happiness."
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

Image of a rolled-up red yoga mat with two gray stripes near the top.

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

Image of a pair of green socks with thin gray stripes. In the center, there is a green embroidered circle, about the size of a quarter, with a gray tree silhouette in the center.
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 beanie
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

Image of a box of skin care products with the Kiehl's logo on the front. There is a red bow tied on to the upper left corner of the box.

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

Image of a large red popcorn tin with the logo for Popcorn for the People on the front
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

Image of a brown paper bag full of ground dark roast coffee. The bag bears the label for Fire Dept. Coffee.
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

Image of a wine bottle covered in bronze glitter
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

Image of clear lip balm in a black container
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

Image of five clear hard plastic water bottles set up in a horizontal line.

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

Image of a beige colored tote bag with dark blue details of a scene with trees and a house. In the foreground, in a lighter blue color, is a girl with a braid holding a magnifying glass.
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

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Make Breakfast for the Family in a Flash With the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker


The number of ways you can eat eggs is limited only by your cooking ability and imagination. Now, thanks to the foolproof Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, even that doesn't have to hold you back, because you'll be able to prepare your eggs exactly how you like them in just minutes—no flipping, stirring, or frying required.

Weighing roughly 1 pound and measuring 7.5 inches across, this egg cooker is the perfect size for a shelf or countertop. Its design accommodates a variety of egg preparations, so if you like your eggs boiled, you can fit up to six of them on the tray at once and cook them until they're soft-boiled, hard-boiled, or somewhere in between. The cooker also features trays for poaching eggs and making omelettes.

Rapid Egg Cooker.

The device comes with a measuring cup showing how much water you need to cook each style of egg, and it buzzes and shuts off automatically when they're done. That way, you can make your perfect breakfast even before you've had your first cup of coffee.

The gadget is super popular with breakfast-lovers. It has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, and the online retailer lists it as one the most-loved items on the site. You can purchase it on Amazon today for $20.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.