It feels like the world is in a very give-back kind of mood this year, doesn’t it? And while we have quite a few gifts that give back on our holiday gift guide, there’s something particularly special about ornaments that support a great charity or cause.
Every year, you (or the lucky recipient) gets to be reminded of the do-gooding aspect of the season, which I think is my very favorite part. Here, a few favorites which support an incredibly diverse range of causes, some for as little as $5 an ornament. -Liz
Ornaments that support children in South Africa
The pretty glass bead ornaments from Thanda Zulu (above and at top), like everything else at this lovely shop, not only provide the artisans with a decent wage, but all proceeds go right to children’s educational projects in rural South African communities.
Ornaments that support wildlife conservation
I don’t know one kid (or adult for that matter) who could resist this adorable handblown glass panda ornament, created by Christopher Radko in honor of World Wildlife Fund’s 50th anniversary.
Ornaments that support research for childhood diseases
I love this sophisticated, hand-painted Badgely Mischka designed ornament that supports HSN cares, meaning all the proceeds go right to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital…one of Cool Mom Picks’ favorite charities.
There are other designer and celeb-created ornaments in the shop, and another favorite is the Nicky Butler dove ornament. They’re all limited edition, though, so hurry. They do sell out.
Ornaments that support children around the world
Unicef is an organization that needs little introduction, and they have quite the gift shop to help enable their efforts around the world. I really like this beaded dove ornament set which is just $15 for all three.
Ornaments that support survivors of human trafficking
The beaded ornaments at iSanctuary are all made by hand by survivors of human trafficking who are rebuilding their lives with creative skills. By the way, the women are not just in Mumbai, Africa–some of them were rescued right in California. This is an amazing organization and it’s so easy to support them with such pretty purchases.
Ornaments that support homebound adults and children
You don’t have to have a Christmas tree to hang an ornament from a doorknob or a mantle. This pretty Star of David ornament by sculptor Michael Aram is available at the gift shop from God’s Love We Deliver, a fabulous organization that delivers free meals to adults and children who are homebound with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other debilitating conditions. I love GLWD so much; for 25 years they’ve really been a New York institution.
Ornaments that support US forestation efforts
Recently I visited Muir Woods outside San Francisco and was reminded how lucky we are to have people taking care of some of the most glorious parts of our country. Ornaments like this laser-cut redwood design are crafted from responsibly forested wood and support the efforts of the park. Plus, they look gorgeous on a tree.
Ornaments that support homeless children in the US
I am so thrilled to discover the Etsy shop Ornaments 4 Charity, which sells the cutest LEGO ornaments. Plus: 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Siena House homeless shelter for families, and two domestic violence shelters, all in Omaha, Nebraska. They seem to be replenishing the shop often, so if your favorite is gone, hang tight for another (or convo the artist and see what they can do for you). Me: I’m all about that Star Wars fighter. And I bet all the kids it supports would love it too.