Sunday, December 08, 2013

HGG2013: Gifts That Give Back

How is your holiday shopping coming along? Are you still struggling over those hard to buy for family and friends? What to get the man who has everything? Wondering what you can do for a teacher's gift that isn't yet another mug or box of chocolates? Here are four ideas for special gifts that give back. Each of these gifts are designed to do good and support charitable causes, and your gift recipient will be honoured that you've chosen to share the holiday spirit with them in this way. Read on!

For a meaningful and lovable gift for a child in your life, Starlight Children's Foundation Canada offers a special teddy bear each year, available exclusively through ToysRUs. The 2013 bear is named Beario, and was designed with the help of Starlight child, Dylan. The red star on Beario’s paw symbolizes one of Dylan’s favourite video game characters, Super Mario! Your purchase of this collectible bear will help Starlight brighten the lives of seriously ill children through in and out-of-hospital programs that provide entertainment and distraction to sick children in communities across Canada. Plus, your gift recipient will have this super soft and cuddly bear to love. Beario is available in store or online at

For the animal lover, why not choose a gift from the Paws & Give collection offered by the Ontario SPCA? You can select from their numerous options to help cats, dogs, farm animals and small animals being cared for by the OSPCA. From a $3 holiday stocking stuffer toy through a $100 Cat Care Holiday Package to $5000 for spay/neuter equipment, there's something for every budget. Most of the gift options are in the $20-$100 range. Your gift recipient will receive your choice of an e-card or traditional holiday card letting them know you have made the gift in their name. And you will receive a tax receipt for the charitable donation.

Animals aren't the only ones who may not be home for the holidays. For many families with critically ill children a hospital stay is the reality of their holiday season. The Hospital for Sick Children offers the Get Better Gifts program to bring a little joy to the kids and families in their care at this time of year. You can choose to send a gift that will go directly to a child, like a $30 stocking of toys, or a gift that will benefit all children at the hospital, like holiday books for the reading room ($20) or a treasure trove of toys ($75) for the hospital's collection. Again, you can choose a traditional or e-card for your recipient to advise them of your gift, and you will receive a tax receipt. 

UNICEF Survival Gifts give you the chance to provide life-saving medications, educational supplies, sports equipment, and more to children in need around the world. For $10 you can choose a gift of water purification tablets to provide a family of four with enough clean water for two months. Or, for a truly special teacher's gift this year, select one of the many education-related survival gifts, like a $30 literacy pack or 750 pencils for a school, just $20. There are 54 survival gifts from which you can choose, and all are real items delivered to those in need. Your recipient receives a traditional or e-card describing the gift you've made in their name, and you receive a tax receipt.

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