Photographs: Jjulia D’agostino
GIVE THE GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
I love buying gifts for family and friends, even more than I like getting them. My sister jokes that I should start a gift-giving business because picking out thoughtful gifts might be my greatest talent. But the holiday season can feel especially overwhelming as a consumer and a gift-giver.
We all want to buy the best gifts for our loved ones, but why not do that while also helping people who are in need? I’ve rounded up my five favorite gifts to give that also give back this holiday season.
STOCKING STUFFER: LOVE YOUR MELON HATS
Who wouldn’t appreciate a cute and cozy winter hat in their stocking? But what if that hat could also help fight pediatric cancer? Fifty percent of net
profits from the sale of all Love Your Melon hats is given to the Love Your Melon Fund to help fight the disease, create therapeutic experiences and fund charitable programming initiatives for children and families battling cancer. Hats range from $25 to $45.
YANKEE SWAP: ONE HOPE WINE
A bottle of wine always makes a winner at Yankee swaps, and One Hope Wine will make you feel even better when you buy it. Simply by shopping the vast selection of Napa Valley wines, you give back to a wide spectrum of charitable causes. Bottles range from $20 to $125. The One Hope Wine community has donated nearly $5 million to non-profits around the world. Pretty darn impressive.
SECRET SANTA: THE HOME T
Showing some Connecticut pride just got even better. The Home T makes soft and comfortable tees, perfect for lounging or working out. They cost about $28 to $38 and they donate 10 percent of profit to multiple sclerosis research. Total win/win.
FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS: PURA VIDA BRACELETS
Last summer, my group of friends and I bought friendship bracelets partly as a joke, but we ended up wearing them until they fell apart. Pura Vida Bracelets look like the elevated version of those friendship bracelets of our youth. And they have partnered with more than 175 charities around the world to donate $1.7 million to multiple causes like Alzheimer’s research and funding the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs. Bracelets start at $6.
FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE: THE GIVING KEYS
I wrote my college thesis on homelessness in the U.S. so it’s an issue that always lives near my heart. The Giving Keys, which calls itself a “pay it forward company” sells key necklaces with inspiring words on them. The company sells jewelry and provide jobs to people transitioning out of homelessness. Their mission is to help break the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness. I just love that so much and plan to buy these for multiple people on my list this year. Keys start at $36.
JULIA DZAFIC is the creator of Lemon Stripes, a lifestyle blog covering everything from wellness and design to style and motherhood. She lives in Westport with her husband Anel, daughter Amalia, and pup Boots. lemonstripes.com, @lemonstripes