These meaningful holiday gifts offer a unique way to give back in Vancouver

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There are an endless number of holiday gifts to give your friends and family this year; however, there are some gifts that go a little further.

By purchasing one of the following presents, or by making a donation in someone’s name, you’ll be helping to support awesome charities or local initiatives that aim to improve their communities.

So, have a look at some of the best ways to give back this year while treating those that you love.

JusTea

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JusTea is tea that is made justly. Its goal is to create jobs for women and youth in Kenya, two severely underemployed groups chronically lacking in opportunity. The company also offers a Christmas Gift Box that supports Kenyan Wildlife Conservation at Christmas (see picture above.) While JusTea is a for-profit business, it exists primarily to benefit Kenyans who would otherwise be struggling to find employment or earn a sustainable wage. Moreover, the company also operates a reading program that provides books and education where education is still seen as a luxury and the book to student ratio is 1:3. Have a long at their selection here.

BC SPCA

bc spca
Funny kitten coming out of a gift box with bokeh background of Christmas lights / Shutterstock

The BC SPCA is a non-profit animal welfare organization that strives to enforce animal protection legislation, as well as run 44 animal shelters across the province. Being a non-profit, the organization depends on donations in order to help fund its programs. A great way to give back over the holidays is to send an e-Card to a loved one with a donation to the SPCA. You may let them know you’ve saved a puppy or kitten, or provided an important service in the lives of one of the animals.

East Van Roasters

East Van Roasters / Facebook

East Van Roasters encourages women who are re-entering the work-force through mentorship based programming and on the job training. The cafe is located in East Vancouver at 319 Carrall Street in the Rainier Hotel and creates organic ‘bean to bar’ chocolate and coffee roasted and prepared on site. They also offer delicious organic drinking chocolate and coffees, hand rolled truffles, single-origin chocolate bars and select pastries. Buy some chocolate for those you love while contributing to your local community.

Good Earth Coffeehouse

Good Earth Coffeehouse (Alma Street, Vancouver) / Facebook

Just in time for the holidays, Good Earth is offering a new holiday blend coffee from Guji, Ethiopia. Traceable from tree to cup, this coffee is organically grown using sustainable farming methods that maintain the inherent nature of wild coffee and is Rainforest Alliance Certified. As well, Good Earth Coffeehouse is selling gingerbread families and for each package sold, $1 will be donated to a local food bank.

World Vision Rooster

rooster
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For countless children around the world getting a rooster would be one of the best gifts they could ever imagine. The biggest reason why giving a rooster is such a good present for families around the world struggling in poverty is it’s the gift that keeps on giving. A chicken can lay up to 250 eggs per year, providing food for families struggling to put food on the table. You can do this through the World Vision Gift Catalogue.

Hope in Shadows Calendar

Hope in Shadows / Facebook

The Hope in Shadows features photography from people experiencing poverty in B.C. The photos are made into a calendar and sold through Megaphone’s vendor program, which employs homeless and low-income people throughout Vancouver and Victoria. You can also buy the calendar online; however, the best way to support vendors is to buy directly from a vendor on the street.

World Wildlife Foundation

tiger in the forest / shutterstock

By symbolically adopting a species, you help conserve wildlife and the planet for future generations. Whether your loved one adores three-toed sloths, tigers, or giant pandas, there are a litany of animals to adopt. With more than 30 species to choose from, you’ll be able to select their favourite local or international animal and slip it in their stocking.

Canadian Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society / Facebook

“The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.” By making a donation to the society in someone’s name, you help fund the battle against cancer. There are a number of gifts to choose from, ranging from a wig to nutritious meals for day, and many more.

Lush Charity Pot

Lush Charity Pot UK / Facebook

“With a delicately floral perfume of ylang ylang and rosewood oils in a hydrating cocoa butter base, Charity Pot will leave your skin subtly perfumed and touchably soft.” This beautiful lotion is delightfully perfumed and moisturizes your skin, but it also goes toward a good cause. In fact, Lush donates 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.

Blue Ruby x Cause We Care

Blue Ruby

“Grey moonstone and labradorite make for a dynamic, tonal pairing while complementary fresh water pearls and crystal beads create depth in texture. Highlighted by lustrous holiday hues of silver and gold, these gemstone-forward bracelets look beautiful when stacked together and are stand-outs all on their own.” Indeed, these bracelets look divine, and Blue Ruby is donating the profit toward a good cause. In fact, 100% of the proceeds from these beautiful bracelets go towards Cause We Care Foundation’s programs and initiatives in support of single mothers and their children in need in the Greater Vancouver area.

With files from the Vancouver Courier and the Burnaby Now.