Want to give back to your community this holiday season, but feeling pressed for time or inspiration? During what’s often the busiest season of the year, the last thing anyone wants is another item on the to-do list—or for a loved one’s gift to fall through the cracks. What if you could maximize your impact and do good right where you are—even while browsing the aisles (or the internet) for the perfect gift?
With a little creativity, the right gift can inspire, encourage or empower. It can also support vital community programs in your neighborhood and around the world.
We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite gift ideas that do just that. Keep reading for simple options that spread holiday cheer and make an impact for the collective good.
Discover 20 cards, each featuring a good word from the good Word. Display a new card each day for a brief pep-talk and encourage your loved ones with Scripture.
Pair your cards with a stand like this one.
2. An inspirational read
Connect the people you love with powerful ideas, uplifting stories and practical resources. The perfect book can inspire and encourage—and that does a lot of good.
Here are some of our favorite books on faith:
- What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey
- To Light Their Way by Kayla Craig
- How to Hear God: A Simple Guide for Normal People by Pete Greig
And some of our favorite books on intentional living:
- Holy Hygge: Creating a Place for People to Gather and the Gospel to Grow by Jamie Erickson
- I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist
- The Anxiety Field Guide: Healthy Habits for Long-Term Healing by Jason Cusick
Want more inspiration? Discover all our favorite reads on Caring’s virtual bookshelf!
At 13 years old, Eden Wild founded her own coffee roastery, Buna Tarik, which means “coffee with a story.”
Eden, who was born in Ethiopia, wanted to start a project that would be meaningful to her birthplace. Her plan? Raise money to build wells by selling coffee beans.
With the help of her adoptive parents, Salvation Army officers Lt. Colonels Ivan and Jennifer Wild, the support of The Salvation Army and a partnership with Water to Thrive, Eden and Buna Tarik have funded the construction of four wells, providing clean water to communities in need.
Give your favorite coffee connoisseur a delicious brew, while supporting Eden’s vision to turn that coffee into water.
4. Something delicious in a thrifted baking tray
Head to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store and shop for second-hand baking trays and serving dishes. Then, fill your find with your favorite recipe and give it away.
Not only will you keep a dish out of the landfill and spread holiday joy, but you’ll support Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARCs) in your area.
These baskets are hand-woven in Kenya and can help stylishly store items in any space. Use them to organize snacks in your pantry, tuck cords out of sight or create a designated space for pet toys.
Made through The Salvation Army’s Others Trade for Hope, these products connect people experiencing poverty, particularly women and girls, to artisanal training and flexible, independent income sources. By investing in ethical trade, Others helps fight poverty and labor exploitation around the globe.
Designed by HGTV’s Erin Napier and inspired by Christmas memories, the Season of Hope Candle helps raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s mission, while filling spaces with the festive aroma of orange and cloves.
“It is such an honor to release this candle in collaboration with The Salvation Army,” Napier said. “This scent is very personal to me — it reminds me of the hope and comfort I felt in my home as a child during the holiday season making orange and clove pomanders with my mama. It’s a feeling that every child and family deserves to have this holiday season.”
Thanks to Napier, you can add some goodness to your loved one’s candle collection.
7. Framed recipe cards
Searching for a personalized gift on a budget?
Ask friends and family members to share meaningful family recipe cards, then head to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store to find picture frames. Frame each card separately, or use tape and construction paper to create a collage. Then give this unique, sentimental gift to a person you love.
These beautiful star ornaments are hand carved in Bangladesh by local artisans with The Salvation Army’s Others Trade for Hope. They’re not only eye-catching, but meaningful—the ornaments are another way to help fight poverty and labor exploitation.
9. Quality time
Not every great gift can be wrapped. An afternoon spent making a difference (and memories) might be the perfect way to show someone you care.
Consider supporting local artists by visiting a community art gallery or supporting conservation efforts by visiting a nearby state or national park.
You can even schedule a day to volunteer for a meaningful cause.
The Salvation Army serves more than 31 million Americans every year, assisting with food, shelter, rehabilitation, disaster relief, child protection and more.
This holiday season, you can support a loved one’s favorite cause. Donate time, money or goods in a loved one’s name to support The Salvation Army’s effort to do good all year long.
- Need some extra motivation to do good today? Follow Caring Magazine on Instagram for inspiring stories, podcasts and more to get you in the Fight for Good.