November 24, 2020
Gifts that give back - CNET

Gifts that give back – CNET

Like you, I try to support worthy causes whenever I can. For starters, I leverage ways to give to charity without even trying. But there’s another way to help out: with strategic holiday shopping. Certain products come with charitable donations built right in, meaning you’re not only giving someone a nice gift, but also helping those in need.

Below I’ve rounded up some examples of gifts that give back. If you’ve found others you’d like to recommend, shout them out in the comments.

More on charitable giving


For years, Apple has offered Product Red versions of iPhones and various other products. Whenever you buy one, eligible proceeds go toward lifesaving HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Between now and Dec. 31, however, those proceeds will go to Product Red’s COVID-19 response.

Right now, there are Product Red versions of all current iPhone models, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone XR and iPhone SE. You can also choose that charity-supporting color for select iPhone and iPad cases, Apple Watch bands and Beats headphones.

Homelessness was already at crisis levels in many parts of the US and elsewhere in the world, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. Bombas supports the homeless community by donating socks to shelters — one pair for every pair you buy. There are colorful multi-packs and gift boxes available, and socks are pretty much the perfect gift. (Hint: Everyone has feet.)

Bridgewater Candle Company

Know someone who loves candles? Give him or her a Bridgewater Candle, because each one provides three meals to a child in need. Sold in small and large jars, they’re available individually or as part of a bundle.

Stephen Beacham

A LifeStraw is widely regarded as essential gear for hikers, campers, backpackers, even disaster-preppers. That’s because it’s literally a straw that strains harmful bacteria and parasites out of water as you sip it. Meanwhile, the company donates its Community Filters to schoolchildren around the world; the promise is that for every LifeStraw you buy, a child gets safe drinking water for an entire year.


Like Apple, Therabody (makers of the popular Theragun massagers) has partnered with Product Red to help support COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS relief in Africa. You can choose models from the Pro, Elite and Mini lineups, all promising percussive relief for sore muscles. (Trust me, that’s an incredible gift.)


Though founded on the idea of donating a pair of shoes for every pair purchased (much like Bombas), Toms has shifted to a model of giving away one third of net profits — the better to allow it to support a wider range of causes. The company is currently donating to to charities including Magic Bus, The Mix, Think Outside Da Block and its own COVID-19 Global Giving Fund.

Toms sells a wide range of footwear, everything from boots and sandals to slippers and dress shoes.

Read more: 6 free and easy ways to give to charity

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