Holiday gifts that give back

Giving presents is a huge part of Christmas, and giving can be even better than receiving, especially when your generosity to your friends and family also benefits others. Here are some Chicagoland shops that support great causes and our favorite holiday gifts that give back.

Flowers for Dreams

What we crossed off our list here:

– Flowers and wreaths for holiday decorations

– Hostess gifts

– Centerpieces for the Christmas dinner table-

– Subscription service for regular flower deliveries 

This Chicago company sources flowers locally and donates 25 percent of profits to local charities. A different charity benefits each month, and the chosen charity for December is The Night Ministry. Bouquets are stunning and come bundled in burlap with hand written cards.They start at $35, and they deliver all over the Chicago area and the suburbs, including as far as Gurnee and Aurora.

WAR Chest Boutique

4 East Jefferson Ave, Naperville

What we crossed off our list here:

– Board book of babies around the world

– Finger puppets and sweet owl backpacks

– Necklaces- Earrings and scarves

– Fair trade chocolate bars to put into stockings

WAR Chest Boutique is a non-profit store in Naperville operated by Women At Risk, International featuring items made by rescued and at-risk women. The store isn’t large, but we were surprised at how many people we could cross of our list here. The staff is knowledgeable about the items, sharing meaningful details like the stuffed animals featured wool from alpacas raised by vulnerable women in Peru. Story cards are available for the items explaining the story behind them and the women who benefit from your purchase. You can also shop online here.

Ten Thousand Villages

Locations in Evanston, Oak Park, Glen Ellyn

What we crossed off our list here:

– Kitchen items

– Coffee pot and mugs

– Picture frames

– Ornaments

– Lip butter to put into stockings

Ten Thousand Villages features handmade items by artisans from communities in developing nations around the world. Each purchase helps support the makers and gives them a fair, stable income.

Share the Care Animal Adoption and World Wildlife Fund Species Adoptions

What we crossed off our list here:

– The Amur leopard cub from Brookfield Zoo

–  A Komodo dragon from World Wildlife Fund

Brookfield Zoo’s Share the Care Animal Adoption program helps provide expert care for your animal as well as support research and conservation efforts within the zoo and around the globe. You can find a list of animals available here. The basic package is $35 and includes a personalized certificate of adoption, species fact sheet and photo. There are also package options that include a plush animal. You also get invited to a special summer event at the zoo. This is a great gift idea for the person who has everything.

You can also adopt an animal online through World Wildlife Fund Species Adoptions and the $55 adoption kit includes plush animal, photo and species information card. Plus, how cool to say you gave (or received) a dragon for Christmas?!

PAWS Chicago Online Store

What we crossed off our list here:

– A sweatshirt hoodie for our four-legged family member

– The 2018 Desktop Pet Calendar

PAWS Chicago is well known for its great work to find loving homes for homeless animals in the area. Purchases made at the online store help support the efforts to rescue and rehabilitate more of Chicago’s homeless animals and get them adopted.

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