Life / Health

Six gifts that may help save the world this holiday season

Consider gifts that give back this holiday season, including animal ornaments and the Mealshare program.

UNHCR Canada's new baby delivery kit ($40) contains items including a plastic sheet, clean blade, soap, string, swaddling and resuscitation instructions for a health care provider to prevent post-pregnancy complications for 10 refugee women after childbirth.

Sam Phelps / UNHCR

UNHCR Canada's new baby delivery kit ($40) contains items including a plastic sheet, clean blade, soap, string, swaddling and resuscitation instructions for a health care provider to prevent post-pregnancy complications for 10 refugee women after childbirth.

Who says you can’t give a gift and help save the world at the same time? With these presents, the receiver won’t be the only one benefiting.

Drawing on kids’ health

The Drake General Store

Those looking for a warm onesie to curl up in next to the fire needn’t look any further. The Drake General Store took whimsical holiday drawings by Sick Kids patient ambassadors Hugh, 10, Luci, 9, and Amrita, 8, and placed them on onesies for adults, kids and babies. A percentage of sales goes directly to the Sick Kids Foundation to help fund the fight for children’s health. Drakegeneralstore.ca, $34.95 to $59.95.

Charmed for charity

Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani has partnered with a number of organizations, ranging from UNICEF to Make-A-Wish Foundation to Global Fund to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Special Olympics, offering 20 per cent of the purchase price of its Charity by Design bangles to charity. Alexandani.com, $28 to $38 per bangle, or $48 for set of two.

Going beyond borders

Borja Ruiz Rodriguez/ MSF

Help fight disease, malnutrition and displacement with gifts through Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). The organization’s warehouse delivers gifts around the world, including sterile syringes, mosquito nets, life jackets, first-aid kits and even the costs behind one-day missions for doctors. After selecting a gift online, a donation will be made for the value of that item. Buyers can then send a personalized printed card or e-card to a friend or loved one letting them know what has been given in their name. Msfwarehouse.ca, $5 to $1,310.

Shed some light

Phil Behan/UNHCR

Refugee agency UNHCR Canada has a gift shop on its website with six categories: water, education, protection, food, health and maternal health. The supplies, which can be donated on behalf of a friend or loved one, include important relief items delivered in the field each day. This solar-powered lantern provides light to families after dark so they can carry out everyday tasks like cooking, reading and studying.
Unhcr.ca/shop, $50.

Share a meal

Mealshare

You can now take your philanthropic friend to dinner and be assured they’ll feel good about dining out. Through Mealshare — a non-profit that works to end youth hunger and partners with Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth and Save the Children — diners can visit one of the 30 participating restaurants in the GTA and purchase an item on the menu marked as a “Mealshare item.” Keeping with their “buy one, give one” motto, Mealshare will give one meal to someone in need for each meal bought, at no additional cost to the customer. Participating restaurants can be found online at mealshare.ca.

Go wild

The Drake General Store/ World Wildlife Fund

Decorating your tree has never felt so good. With 10 per cent of sales going to the World Wildlife Fund, one of the country’s leading conservation organizations, these various animal ornaments do more than make a home more festive. The ornaments range from orcas to kiwi birds to Arctic foxes and otters. Drakegeneralstore.ca, $15.

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