We’ve all got that one person in our life. You know, the person who literally has…everything.
With the holidays in sight, it can be tough to hunt down the perfect gift that doesn’t feel redundant. They don’t really need anything...right? Only a truly inspired gift will do. Don't stress, because giving a gift that quite literally, gives back, is a meaningful way to deepen your relationships and show your love.
With a strong desire to create a more sustainable planet and inspire positive social impact, we’ve pulled together a list of thoughtful gifts that also give back. Cue the fuzzy feelings.
PLASTIC FREE OCEANS
MIND + BODY
Gift some Zen with meditation. Vitality Meditation, a meditation studio in Philadelphia, offers a plethora of classes and workshops. They aim to offer practitioners a “renewed vitality that will help them engage mindfully and step in power.” Classes like Visualization x Healing offer tools to quiet the mind and focus on intentions, while Open Heart guides members to explore the ability to give and receive with compassion.
Yoga is another amazing gift that brings peacefulness and calm to both body and mind. Lumos Yoga & Barre Studio in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia encourages every client to focus on well-being, empowerment, and provides support in achieving fitness goals. This laid back, mega chill studio has something on the schedule for every level of yogi - Unheated Vinyasa, Sculpt Jawn, even Baby & Me yoga. Gift a unique event experience like their Gratitude Workshop Flow or Yoga for Neck & Shoulders, for an extra special treat.
Sometimes it just feels good to get out of the city for a few hours. Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA is a horticulturalists’ delight, housing over 11,000 different types of plants on 1,000 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens, woodlands and meadows. Take your loved one on a stroll through Longwood’s Christmas light displays and warm up by their fire pits with a hot chocolate in hand.
For a more physical excursion, Wissahickon Park Trail boasts 8 miles of lush forest and gravel pathways perfect for bike riding, hiking, or horseback riding. Bonus points if you bring along a picnic basket chock full of local Philly goodies like Insomnia Cookies, Yards Brewing Company Beer, and Honeygrow stir-fries for lunch.
For a more serious excursion, TripZero will offset your trip’s entire carbon footprint by supporting reforestation and other renewable energy projects. We Travel is a great resource to plan one of a kind vacations, whether an eco-safari in Kenya or a spiritual yoga retreat in Costa Rica. We dig how they place emphasis on traveling to off-the-beaten-path places that provide unique access to local art, food, and culture.
Loved one in search of their center? A weekend away at the world renowned Omega Institute may be in order. With campuses in New York, California, Arizona, and Costa Rica, choose from over 375 different workshops annually, with classes ranging from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Optimal Well-Being, and Women & Power. Check out their Center for Sustainable Living, which aims to care for the planet through innovative educational programing on sustainability.
Give the gift of giving back right here in the city of Brotherly Love. Philly’s Animal Care & Control Team is consistently in need of volunteer dog walkers, animal transporters, and event leaders. Loved one a budding photographer? Quality photos of animals are needed as they advertise their amazing personalities and increase opportunities to find a forever home. Let’s be real: volunteering to capture a portrait session of adorable pets with a good friend sounds like our kind of Saturday.
Other programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence empowers children to reach their highest potential through culturally diverse mentoring programs. With over 1,300 kids waiting for a mentor right now throughout surrounding PA and NJ counties, mentorship bestows an invaluable service providing support and guidance to children in need. In the spirit of thoughtfulness, these special relationships foster the ability to stop thinking about oneself all the time. But be forewarned: the life your loved one changes may ultimately be their own.
Disaster relief services are needed more than ever, and All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response effectively address needs of communities impacted by natural disasters globally. They accept spontaneous volunteers from any background, providing on-the-job training free of charge. If your loved one is interested in volunteering, AHAH will literally pay for a flight to one of their programs in the US Virgin Islands, Mexico or Texas. Even better? Sign up with them and volunteer together. Talk about the gift of a lifetime.
Does your loved one adore animals? Help them support the world’s most endangered species by gifting them the opportunity to symbolically adopt and support wild animals with the World Wildlife Federation. Choose an animal for your giftee (a tiger, penguins, even honeybees) and they’ll receive an adoption kit with a certificate including their name, photos, a gift bag, and a stuffed animal of their choice. They’ll feel fulfilled knowing they are supporting endangered wild animals and their natural habitats.
Project HOME in Philly’s Fairmount neighborhood is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides housing, medical care and education to homeless and low-income individuals and families. Donate a Tribute Gift in honor or support of a loved one, with options for one time or recurring gift tributes. In-kind donations such as feminine hygiene products, men’s and women’s underwear, and toiletries are appreciated as well. Learn more about other ways you can contribute on behalf of your loved one here.
Philly’s own Ronald McDonald House supports families with ill children by creating a warm and supportive community with affordable housing opportunities. Help support families in need by donating to the House, donating to Ronald McDonald Camp for children, or donating physical items from their Wish List that are in need at this time. There’s plenty of other ways to donate on behalf of your loved one. Learn more here.
Are you gifting with meaning this holiday season? Let us know how you're gifting with meaning and purpose this year.