November 18, 2016
Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Five That Give Back

With only a week left to shop before the big day, last minute Christmas gifts are on the mind of every holiday procrastinator. Alas, finding those gifts at the last minute can be a real struggle. Often, the "good" gifts have already been picked through. Either that, or the last few people on your shopping list are notoriously difficult to shop for. If you've found yourself in a last minute holiday shopping quagmire, here are five great gifts that will please even the pickiest person on your list. Not only that, they let you and their recipient "give back" during the holiday season.

5. FEED + West Elm

FEED/West Elm
[Photo by @FeedProjects/Twitter]

If you're looking for a last minute Christmas gift for the kitchen aficionado on your list, West Elm is one of the most trusted retailers out there. They sell everything from "aprons to spice racks," reports the Huffington Post. On top of that, this holiday season, your Christmas dollar will go even further, and so will the last minute Christmas gifts you purchase.

This is because West Elm is is not just feeding the creativity of the cook on your list. This season, West Elm is teaming up with FEED to put food on the tables of the hungry, too. For every gift purchased from this special FEED collection, up to 42 meals will be donated to families in need in the U.S.A. (Price: Varies)

4. (RED) + Gilt

Every year in the U.S., roughly 50,000 people are diagnosed with HIV, according to the CDC. While a diagnosis is not the death sentence it once was, and while HIV is not something everyone wants to talk about over the Christmas season, the reality of the situation is that 1.2 million Americans are living with the virus. Of those, 1 in 8 don't even know it yet. HIV impacts all of us in one way or another, from strangers to the people near and dear to us all.

Red Ribbon
[Photo by China Photos/Getty Images]

If you're looking for a last minute Christmas gift that contributes to treatment of and potentially even a cure for HIV, (RED) has teamed up with Gilt to help you make that happen. The site, which is members-only, sells unique, discounted gifts from top designers. Their inventory ranges from fashion to accessories and more, with prices up to 70 percent below retail. When shopping for your last minute gifts this holiday season, if you order from this sale, a percentage of each purchase will be donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. (Price: Varies)

3. Newark, NJ + The Caliber Collection

Gun violence is something we're hearing too much about in the United States. We're averaging over one mass shooting every day in 2015, reports Shooting Tracker, and nobody can seem to find a solution. If you're concerned with the loss of lives to senseless gun violence in the U.S., or have someone on your list of last minute Christmas gifts who is, check out the The Caliber Collection.

The Caliber Collection works with various cities in the U.S., including Newark. They sell gifts, mostly jewelry, made with the serial numbers of illegal guns and bullet casings taken of Newark streets. Twenty percent of the purchase price of is donated to the Caliber Foundation to help the victims of illegal gun violence. (Price: $160 - $1,325)

2. ASPCA + PB Teen

If your list of last minute Christmas gifts includes an animal lover or two, check out PB Teen and their Pet Pals pillow covers. These covers are whimsical, colorful, and come in different sizes and designs, so they're perfect for different decors and dog or cat lovers alike.

Best of all? Not only are they relatively inexpensive, $5 from the sale of every pillow cover is donated to the ASPCA (or American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The organization works tirelessly to protect animals from cruelty, rescue animals in unconscionable situations, and to ensure those who commit crimes against animals are punished to the fullest extent of the law. (Price: $16.99 and up)

1. Bears for Humanity

While our Christmas gift lists usually include people of all ages, the true magic of Christmas is in the hearts of children. Unfortunately, many children will wake up with nothing under the tree this holiday season. A last minute Christmas gift from Bears for Humanity can change that reality for a needy child.

For every certified organic stuffed teddy bear purchased for someone on your last minute gifts list, Bears for Humanity will donate a second bear to a child in need. The company has partnered with a variety of reputable charities to ensure that the donated Christmas gifts get to those with the most need of them. In addition, when you purchase a last minute Christmas gift from this company, you're supporting the U.S. economy and at-risk employees in the United States. It's a win-win-win. (Price: $19.99-$39.99)

Bears For Humanity
[Photo by @tisonlyme143/Twitter]

If you were unable to find suitable last minute Christmas gifts for the people on your list among these suggestions, don't forget the "Christmas gift that gives back" standby. You can always donate to your favorite cause (or the favorite cause of your recipient) at any time. Most charities accept instant, online donations. Couple the donation in your loved one's name with a beautiful card and voila! Shopping for last minute Christmas gifts can be completed in minutes.

[Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]