Instead of snagging any ole yoga mat, iPod, or water bottle, kick up your kindness this holiday season by picking presents whose proceeds go to charityBy: Hollis Templeton
Celebrate the season of giving by contributing to two causes at once. Select gear that will motivate your friends and family to stay fit while you make a donation to a worthy charity. Proceeds from the following feel-good gifts help nonprofit organizations achieve goals such as raising heart disease awareness, fighting HIV/AIDS, and employing those living in poverty-stricken and war-torn corners of the globe. Take your “nice” list to a whole new level by giving your friends and family these 11 presents with purpose.
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With its built-in filter, this BPA-free and spill-proof bottle delivers great-tasting water whether you’re filling up from the water fountain at the gym or on the jogging trail. It serves as a simple reminder that not everyone has easy access to hydration—more than a billion people around the world don’t have safe drinking water. That’s why $10 from every purchase directly supports Water.org, a nonprofit organization founded by actor Matt Damon and social entrepreneur Gary White to help provide global access to clean water and sanitation.
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Founded by a group of snow-sports-loving high school boys, who also have a knack for crocheting the hats they wear on the slopes, Krochet Kids provides women in northern Uganda with fair wages and job training to equip them with the assets and skills necessary to lift their families out of poverty. Each handmade beanie, like the wool-acrylic tri-color 5207.5, features a label signed by the woman who sewed it. Once you receive your hat, log on to krochetkids.org to read your seamstress’s story and send her a thank you message.
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Help your favorite yogi achieve a more peaceful practice with a mat that’s made from nontoxic materials, like biodegradable tree rubber. The eKO Lite’s textured surface is extra grippy and blocks sweat from seeping into the mat and breeding bacteria, making it the perfect companion for hot yoga classes this winter. Manduka will donate 10% of its proceeds from this model to Off the Mat, Into the World, an organization that inspires yoga lovers to use the insight they gain from the practice to ignite conscious and sustainable social change.
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This isn’t your average yoga bag. The top-loading sack with cinch ties and plenty of room for your keys, phone, wallet, and towel is made by women in a region of Uganda devastated by more than 20 years of armed conflict. A fair-trade business model provides sustainable income opportunities for the women who stitch organic cotton clothing and accessories made from brightly colored, locally purchased fabrics.
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If someone on your gift list needs a little push when it comes to taking the stairs instead of the elevator, let this sleek fitness device be the motivation to move. Every step you take is recorded and counts toward a donation to charity—at no cost to you. Walking helps you work toward goals like donating five polio vaccines or 14 days of clean drinking water. The more ground you cover, the more you give.
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When you’re reaching for a comfy shirt to throw on before yoga class or the gym, pick one with purpose. This supersoft T-shirt is made from organic cotton grown and sewn in Uganda. A portion of its proceeds supports Invisible Children, a group dedicated to ending the abduction of children by the Lord’s Resistance Army in eastern Africa. Through on-the-ground programs, like clothes- and bracelet-making, the organization helps supply steady jobs and education to Ugandans.
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This year, gift that runner or cyclist something a little less black-and-boring. These special-edition shades aren’t just functional, they’re a little flashy—in a good way. The lenses protect against 100% of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, and the stems feature Livestrong’s name and colors. For each purchase, Oakley will donate $20 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which provides support for people affected by cancer.
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Talk about a two-for-one deal. Buy a backpack and give a child in a poverty-stricken Latin American country a backpack of his or her own. Tack on a matching T-shirt, and that student’s backpack will be delivered filled with school supplies. What’s in it for your recipient: a durable, weather-resistant sack for stowing workout essentials. The padded shoulder straps are comfy and the bag touts plenty of pockets for keys, phone, and other necessities.
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Bundle up while giving back. Sporting this heat-trapping, slightly stretchy hoodie gives a nod to the nation’s military, public-safety officials, and other men and women who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe. In celebration of these everyday heroes, Under Armour will donate 10% of gear proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides support to service members recovering from combat-related injuries.
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Say hello to a set of golf balls finally worth fishing out of the pond. These three Pro-Flite balls are printed with the American Heart Association signature red dress logo, a symbol for its Go Red for Women heart health campaign. A least 25% of proceeds will be used to raise awareness and fund research, education, and community programming for the number one killer of women in the United States.
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The Nano clips onto your pocket or sleeve as you walk, run, ride, or dance, and it comes equipped with a built-in accelerometer to track your steps, distance, pace, and workout time. Pick the Product Red special edition version of the music player and Apple will donate a portion of each purchase to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa.
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