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5 Easy Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

The holidays are approaching, which means your calendar is about to fill with dinner parties, stringing lights, school plays, company events, fundraisers and annual traditions with family and friends. Amidst the holiday hustle, it can often be hard to find time to give back, agreed? We surveyed over 2,400 people across the country and discovered 75% of people said the greatest challenge to giving back during the holidays is simply finding the time to do so. Together with a handful of partner organizations, we’ve found 5 easy opportunities to give back this holiday season:

1. Swap out a traditional gift for a friend with a charitable donation in their honor:

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The key here is find an organization and cause that strongly resonates with your friend or family member. We asked 2,400 people a simple question: can a charitable donation on your behalf be just as meaningful as a traditional gift? 60% of people said absolutely, and another 20% said most likely. If your friends or loved ones are passionate about educating and empowering America’s next generation, consider giving a gift to City Year in their honor. City Year trains and equips aspiring young leaders through a year of public service in 25 cities across America. To give to City Year or learn more about their mission, click here.

2. Help plant a garden at a local school or community space:

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Perhaps this holiday you’re looking to keep the budget in check—volunteering is a great way to give back without breaking the bank. Our friends at FoodCorps organize community service initiatives in underserved communities across the country. If you enjoy planting gardens, working with schools, or helping with nutrition education, this could be a great place to give back your time through volunteering. To find a volunteer location near you, click here.

3. Give a Fair Trade Certified gift that benefits the person who made it:

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Have a chocolate or wine lover in the family? Or perhaps they’re in need of new fitness wear for all their outdoors activities. You’d be surprised how many gifts give back to those around the world who made them. Fair Trade certification helps ensure safe working conditions, medical supplies, access to education, and equal opportunities for women. Check out Fair Trade USA’s holiday gift guide for more ideas. To shop their holiday gift list, visit here.

4. Provide eyesight for a tea farmer in Bangalore, India:

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We often take something as simple as eyesight for granted. You can give the gift of sight to an individual to open his or her world. For every $5 donated to VisionSpring, a pair of glasses is given. This is a great gift idea if you want to make a thoughtful gift that gives back without draining your wallet. To get involved click here.

5. Give a gift for the planet:

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If you’re in need of “small gift” ideas or stocking stuffers, look for the 1% logo on the tag to give back in a greater way. Products with this logo donate a percentage of their profits to make an impact with the environment in mind. Our staff holiday picks: Patagonia Capeline base layer pants for winter activity, Puravida Bracelets for the jewelry lover, Klean Kanteen for the commuter, for the young student there’s Hugg-A-Planet, for the mom who deserves a little pampering, check out Caudalie for skin care kits with earth-inspired scents. To learn more about 1% for the Planet’s latest initiative, click here.

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