Pay it Forward Gift Guide

Give gifts that give back to worthy causes this holiday season! 


With all the hustle and bustle of shopping this holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and lose sight of what is truly important at any time of year. If you’re short on time but big on heart, my Pay it Forward Gift Guide is an easy way to give gifts to friends and family that give back to others.

Love one another. 

Such a simple concept, and yet it brings such joy. Be kind. Love your neighbor. One of the things we try to teach the Sons is to think of others before themselves. We want them to be conscientious of their neighbors, and to help those in need whenever possible. One way to help others is by donating time, talent, or money to charitable organizations. Easy, right?

Not always. Let’s be honest…life can be crazy, and most of us are selfish creatures at heart. I, for one, don’t have a ton of extra time or money during in this season of my life. Even so, I do love to give gifts. I also love receiving a note or small token from someone for the simple reason that it shows that they’re thinking of me. Me. However selfish that may sound, little things like that make me smile.

Why not give gifts that give back to others? Recipients get a little something to unwrap, and charitable organizations get a kick back of cash to fund their causes. Everybody wins! A few of my favorite gifts that give back are listed below in the Pay it Forward Gift Guide.

Pay it Forward Gift Guide

  1. International Justice Mission Gift Guide – International Justice Mission works worldwide to rescue those that have been sold for human trafficking, sex slavery, and victims of violence. Many of those that are sold or enter the sex trafficking industry are from desperately poor backgrounds in countries with weak justice systems. 29.8 million people are victims of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation globally. 80% of all human trafficking victims are women and girls as young as 8 years old.
  2. Samaritans Purse Gift Guide – funds clean water initiatives, education, emergency food, and shelter to impoverished people across the globe. You can buy sheep, goats, and cattle for a family that can provide future income and feed them for years to come.
  3. Cookies for Kids Cancer – No time to bake this season? No problem! My friends at Cookies for Kids Cancer will ship cookies in your name. Your recipient gets delicious, freshly baked cookies delivered to their door, and Cookies for Kids Cancer gets much needed funding to bring existing pediatric cancer treatments to the kids who so desperately need them. Last year, C4KC was able to fund over $1,000,000 of available pediatric cancer treatments that were “shelved” due to lack of funding to get them into the hands of doctors.
  4. Chase Infinite – Driven by a love for fitness and helping people, the folks at Chase Infinite was founded with the hope of delivering quality fitness apparel, while motivating people and giving back to the community. Chase Infinite sells quality t-shirts, tanks, and other fitness gear emblazoned with motivational quotes for men and women. Chase Infinite gives a portion of profits to such organizations as the American Heart Association, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and more. I have the tank top version of the hoodie shown in the graphic above. I’m continually motivated to continue my work outs whenever I read “She will endure all things.”
  5. world-vision-serving-spoons
    World Vision Gift Guide – World Vision is dedicated to making the world a better place for children through education, providing access to clean water, and feeding hungry children in the United States and worldwide.  I have the hand carved serving spoons that were crafted by artisans that directly benefit from the sale. The serving spoons are as sturdy and they are gorgeous! I highly recommend them for the foodie on your list.
  6. Heifer International – also helps impoverished people worldwide, with the twist that the families that receive your gifts end up paying it forward 9 times the amount of your initial gift. The families are able to use your gift to help other families and neighbors in their own communities. nourish-from-the-heart-bowl
  7. Round-Up from the Heart Nourish Soup Bowl – The Pampered Chef created their Nourish collection with the goal of feeding families, one bowl at a time. Two dollars from the purchase price of each bowl will go directly to Feeding America to feel families in need, in partnership with local food banks. That two dollars will provide 18 meals! The Pampered Chef is committed to providing 4.5 million meals from the purchase of this bowl. I have one, and I’m totally smitten with it! I’d love an entire set.
  8. The Charity Pot Lotion – Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is committed to creating luxurious cosmetics from organic fruits and vegetables, and the finest essential oils. They practice ethical buying, preserving the environment, and prohibit testing of their products on animals. With each purchase of The Charity Pot Lotion, you get velvety smooth skin, and Lush donates 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small, grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.
  9. The Wounded Warrior Project - has partnered with several companies, including Under Armor and Believe in Heros, to sell athletic gear, outdoor gear, and other gifts. Participating partners donate a portion of sales to help The Wounded Warrior Project further their mission of raising awareness to enlist the public aid of meeting the needs of our wounded veterans, helping our wounded warriors help each other, and providing direct services to help our injured veterans.
  10. No Kid Hungry Holiday Cards – Purchasing No Kid Hungry holiday cards and gifts supports No Kid Hungry. One in five children in America live in households that struggle to put food on the table. A child that doesn’t get enough to eat is less likely to do well in school, more likely to drop out of school, and statistically likely to not be able to provide enough food for their family in the future. Hunger is a problem that is solvable. The mission of No Kid Hungry is to combat childhood hunger in America by connecting families with the resources they need to provide nutritious meals for their children every day, so that they may thrive.
  11. Local Food Pantries - Need knows no season, nor does it have geographical boundaries. The Father Fred Foundation provides food, clothing, household goods, and financial assistance to those in need in our five country region of Northern Michigan. They’re always in need of donations and volunteers to serve the community. Check in your local area for food pantries, and ask what you can do to help them. Giving can be as simple as tossing a few extra items in your grocery cart, and dropping them off at the food pantry. Consider spending the money set aside for someone’s gift on food pantry items, and giving the intended gift recipient a card detailing what was donated in their name. This is an especially great gift for empty nesters, the ones who have everything, and hard to buy for people on your gift lists.



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