Gifting that gives even more

What’s on your Christmas list?

Socks, a new iPod, Starbucks gift cards…all valid desires. But is the gift-giving frenzy of the holidays there is a great opportunity to give even more. We’re lucky (debate as you will) to live in a part of the world where we have enough money and food and resources to sustain good lives. More than that, even the most pressed-for-cash often have spare resources. Without falling into another “give all you have to the poor” rant that you’ve heard a hundred times before, I will just say: what better time than the holidays to give gifts that really mean something. Lucky for us, there are companies out there who make meaningful gift giving incredibly easy. With just a few clicks you can get a really cute pair of shoes for someone on your list an simultaneously provide a pair for a child in an underdeveloped country. Double the holiday spirit, double the joy!


Here are a few organisations that donate a good amount of their proceeds or follow the buy-one-give-one business model.

One tee that’s ‘just right:’ UP fifth-year senior starts business to aid students in Kenya

Recently, the University of Portland Beacon featured a senior student and his t-shirt company that is helping to educate Kenyan children:

“Lagom uses the “One for One” concept, popularized by the TOMS brand, which means every T-shirt sold will pay the fees and uniform required for one child to attend school for a year.

A unique aspect of the Lagom business is that each of the 150 T-shirts sold is printed with a number from 1 to 150, corresponding to a child in Kenya that needs to go to school. Those who bought these shirts will have the option of purchasing products with the same number on them each year, ensuring each child can continue to stay in school.”

update: Lagom has successfully sold their 150 shirts! Now, the owners, including a UP senior, are looking to continue their aid. New shirts are being printed now and will hopefully be back on the market soon. Follow their progress at Lagom on FB and keep an eye out for when the shirts are back on sale…maybe just in time for Christmas.



Jedidiah is a clothing company that partners with non-profit organisation each season to provide aid and raise awareness. 

Best of all, their products are really really cool! Think Urban Outfitters style…with a good soul. They even have a specil holiday collection, with great tees, jackets, hoodies and accessories.


No 1 Without and Common Threadz are two other clothing companies with a cause.


Toms Shoes

Tom’s shoes (I’m sure you’ve seen them all around) was probably one of the first companies to follow the Buy One Give One business model. You buy a pair, they give a pair to a child in need. Shoes may seem simple; they’re something we probably take for granted as we lace or zip or slip them on every morning. But for a needy child it means disease prevention, safety, and maybe even an education since they can’t attend school without shoes.



Companies the likes of Apples, Nike and Converse (plus lots of others) partner with this organisation to provide special (RED) edition products that donate proceeds to fight against AIDS.


Fledgling Wine

For those wine aficionados, Fledgling wine gives $5 of the profit from every bottle to a program that promotes literacy.



It’s the season for giving. And I firmly believe that that doesn’t mean gifts that are wrapped in boxes or ties with bows. It means the experiences with every person you love, the feeling of excitement, the joy of children (we should all be children at the holidays). As cliche as that may sound, the holiday season is more about what’s outside the box than in it. As Black Friday looms and the red Starbucks cups appear, maybe take a moment to look at your Christmas lists a bit differently this year. 


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