Feel Good Friday Gift Guide: Gifts that Keep On Giving

Feel Good Friday guide guide

The holidays are all about giving so why not choose gifts that keep on giving? Below are some of our favorite products that have an altruistic side– just like you. From food, to booze, to fashion and even animals, there’s a thoughtful, helpful gift for everyone on your list.

John Legend (RED) vodka ($40+)

belvedere (red) john legend vodka

(RED), founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006, is a truly unique way to contribute to the fight against AIDS: when you purchase something from a (RED) partner, up to 50 percent of that sale goes directly to the cause. In the ten years since it’s been operating, (RED) and its partners have raised over $365 million for The Global Fund, which uses 100 percent of its funds for HIV/AIDS initiatives.

This year, Belvedere Vodka and John Legend have teamed up for the #MakeTheDifference campaign to create a special bottle for (RED). Legend and world-renowned South African Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu designed a good looking bottle that you’ll want to keep around even after the vodka is long gone. 50 percent of the purchase goes to ending AIDS. The bottles are available nationwide and sell at $40 for 750 ML, $50 for a liter and $71 for 1.75 liters: an incredible price for art, booze, and a contribution to ending one of the world’s worst diseases. And who doesn’t like vodka in their stocking?

TOMS for Apple Watchbands ($49+)

TOMS apple watchbands for solar power

TOMS is famous for their buy a pair, give a pair philosophy: when you buy a pair of shoes, for example, someone in need receives a pair as well. Just in time for the holidays, they’ve launched a new watchband collection designed specifically for Apple Watch that brings solar power to people!

They have two band styles, a Utility Collection, which is designed to stand up to adventure with grosgrain fabric and leather details. Or check out the Artisan Collection, which are influenced by founder Blake Mycoskie’s friendship bracelets. Those come in three color choices with a leather backing.

The bands run from $49 to $75 and for each one sold, TOMS provides solar lighting to a person or family in need. And that’s a lot of people– over 1.2 billion people worldwide don’t have access safe sources of electricity. Without it, people lose economic opportunities, studying time, and can suffer health problems from dangerous fumes and accidents. Partnering with Solar Sister, a woman-centered network and Solar Air, TOMS is hoping to provide 10,000 years of solar light in honor of its 10-year anniversary. You can help bring light and hope to people by making the Apple Watch-wearer in your life more stylish!

Imlak’esh Chocolatier’s Dream ($29.99)

imlak'esh superfood chocolates

Maybe you’ve got a super foodie on your list. Imlak’esh has got you covered. The company works with small organic farmers all over the world to bring the best sustainably sourced superfoods to American markets. In doing so, they bolster under-served economies and provide living wages. They also have the 5% for the People program, which donates to initiatives like helping the Acate Tribe purchase tools and to create polyculture gardens (which means imitating nature instead of neat rows of plants), and giving micro-loans to an Amazonian women’s collective for drying ovens to produce wild harvested fruit. Imlak’esh even donated 600 pounds of superfood goodness to the Standing Rock protest.

The Santa Barbara-based company has a plethora of delicious, healthy, guilt-free options, but we particularly love their Chocolatier’s Dream gift set. The Cacao is ethically sourced from the Andes Mountains and comes in three forms: Cacao Powder, Cacao Wafers, and Cacao Nibs. With these sweet treats, rich in antioxidants, the lucky gift-getter can make hot chocolate, smoothies, brownies, you name it.

Heifer International ($10+)

heifer international

Since 1944, Heifer International has revolutionized how world hunger and poverty is eliminated: they give people what they need most, providing livestock, agricultural training, basic needs, like irrigation pumps, or stoves, and programs focused on empowering women.  

The ripple effect of providing a family in need with an animal is truly incredible.  Even one animal provides food, economic opportunity, and perhaps more importantly, offspring that the family then passes on to someone else in need, magnifying the effects of your initial gift. Did we mention the animals also combat climate change by helping to heal their environment?

You can choose the animal, anything from a goat, to, well, a heifer, even a water buffalo, which is a mere $250. Or, if you can’t afford the whole hog, you and purchase a share for as little as $25, getting a family, and ultimately their community, on the path to economic opportunity and healthy lives.

This is one powerful, world-changing gift.

The Manual + United By Blue Trail Socks ($50)

UBB manual trail sock pack

United By Blue (UBB) is serious about cleaning up the planet. For every item they sell, UBB removes a pound of trash from our oceans and waterways. As for now, they’ve removed a staggering 358,122 pounds of waste. Hardly shocking coming from a certified B-Corp company, a designation that means they’re hardcore about sustainability, social and environmental enhancement, and transparency.

They make you look damn good while your money facilitates the ocean cleanup. UBB uses fabrics like recycled polyester, made of plastic bottles that once threatened to choke dolphins (we can’t guarantee you’ve got something made from dolphin-threatening bottles), organic cotton, which doesn’t use any pesticides that pollute water, and wool, which is completely renewable (just try to get a sheep not to grow the stuff) and biodegradable.

We at The Manual love UBB so much, and the two of us together love the great outdoors so much, we teamed up to make you the perfect trail sock! In the UBB + Manual Trail Sock gift pack, you get five pairs of socks made of 73 percent Merino wool, jazzed up with a colored stripe at the top, your choice of orange, navy, red, or olive green.