Gifts that Give: 8 Gifts that Inspire Compassion

woman smiling with yoga mat

Holiday shopping can be a drag to say the least. It’s not easy during the hectic holiday season to search high and low for the perfect gift, and material items often lack true meaning. What if your gift could inspire someone to lead a more compassionate and fulfilling life? That would truly be a gift that keeps on giving.

Here are some ideas for meaningful gifts that create compassion:

1. Yoga Mats that Save the Earth

Suga collects used wetsuits and turns them into environmentally sustainable yoga mats. So far, the company has collected 11,453 wetsuits, diverting 28 tons of neoprene from landfills. Suga also encourages customers to send in their used mats for recycling, which is how the company implement its cradle-to-grave approach to production.

2. Beach Towels that Give Back

To fulfill its mission of saving marine life, Sand Cloud donates 10 percent of its profits to nonprofits that work to clean our oceans and protect our sea creatures. Donations support Marine Conservation Institute, Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, San Diego Coastkeeper, and Hawaii Wildlife Fund. Unlike your typical beach towels, Sand Cloud’s are hand-loomed in Turkey and made with 100 percent Turkish cotton.

3. Hoodies that Inspire Hope

This LOVE hoodie and other apparel supports the nonprofit To Write Love On Her Arms. The organization is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

4. Shoes that Employ Mayan Artisans

Being socially responsible doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style. These handmade vegan leather huarache flats provide dignified jobs for local artisans in Guatemala. Hiptipico employs Mayan artisans to handcraft high-quality products out of sustainable materials. The company’s goal is “to support the creativity, ingenuity and passion of local Guatemalan artisans while preserving Maya culture and traditions.”

man speaking

5. Coffee that Supports a Cause

If you’re looking for a gift that lights a fire under someone, organic, fair-trade coffee from Cura Coffee offers a jolt of inspiration along with caffeine.

Cura Coffee supports sustainable dental care by training and equipping local Nicaraguans to deliver dental care in their communities. In 2000, dentists and students from Loma Linda University volunteered in a remote village in Nicaragua and saw that many children lived with decaying teeth. This prompted them to create a long-term solution for providing dental care to the region. A few years ago, San Diego dentist Thomas Fitzpatrick partnered with business students to create Cura Coffee in order to support their efforts.

6. Jackets that Help Our Planet

Want to give someone eco-friendly clothes, but can’t afford the price that often comes with it? The start-up company Renewal Workshop takes discarded apparel and textiles from companies like prAna and Ibex and turns them into renewed apparel.

This zero-waste approach serves customers, partners, and our planet. Renewal Workshop offers a unique solution to combat the 14 million tons of apparel and textiles that end up in landfills each year.

7. A Tee that Tells a Story

The nonprofit Peach’s Neet Feet brings joy to those who need it the most - children who suffer from chronic illnesses and disabilities.  Madison Steiner and her team of volunteer artists from around the nation deliver hand-painted, custom shoes to children whose lives could use some brightening.

Peach’s Neet Feet’s Hustle Kindness brand supports the nonprofit’s efforts that extend well beyond shoe delivery. A new line of t-shirts includes stories of some of the children PNF has supported, and proceeds help families who need to travel long distances due to specialized care.

8. Stickers that Unleash Adventure

Live A Great Story focuses on inspiring people to craft their own journeys and create a meaningful impact. The brand celebrates those who design their lives around adventure and compassion.

Zach Horvath, founder of Live A Great Story, says the company’s mission is best summed up by the quote by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Need a stocking stuffer idea? My nonprofit, Compassion It, makes reversible wristbands to remind you to make compassion a priority every day. Wristband sales support the Compassion It education programs we develop for schoolchildren, educators, business professionals, and inmates—and they are only $10 for a two-pack, which makes them the perfect stocking stuffer for your family, coworkers, or friends interested in making the world a better place.


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About the Author
Sara Schairer is the founder and executive director of COMPASSION IT , a start-up nonprofit organization and global social movement whose mission is to inspire daily compassionate actions and attitudes. She created the one-of-a-kind reversible COMPASSION IT wristband prompting compassionate actions on six continents, 48 countries, and all 50 states. Wristband sales fund compassion education programs for youth, teens, and adults. As a public speaker, Sara encourages her audiences to “compassion it” in their daily lives. A Stanford-certified instructor of Compassion Cultivation...Read more