Holiday Gift Guide: Finds for Your Most Charitable Friend 

volunteers outside


You know those generous folks on your holiday shopping list—the do-gooders who make the world a better place? They’ll adore these handpicked “presents with a purpose.” 


It’s here: that time of year full of magic, wonder … and lots of shopping. But this year, we’re here to help with making that list and checking it twice. For starters, we’ve sussed out the best holiday gifts for charitable friends. Whether that means working to save the planet, speaking out for struggling local charities, or advocating for women’s and children’s issues, these friends and family members have a heart of gold. They deserve the best, and that’s what they’ll get when you shop off our handy of list of gifts that give back.  


For the Environmentalist:

Those who care the most about preserving our beautiful planet are often the ones who are out there enjoying it, always looking for the next adventure whether at home or abroad. That makes perfect sense, of course. Once the wonders of nature are experienced, one develops a desire to protect them. The explorers on your list will no doubt appreciate a sustainable, durable bag. 

TheNational Geographic Guide Series Utility Backpack 40L ($249) just might be the perfect pick. It avoids harm to the environment by being PVC free. Crafted of weather-proof Tarpaulin, it is easily wiped clean inside and out. A special front vertical zip compartment separates wet items, while an emergency whistle and reflective hits for low light provide an extra measure of safety. Plus, your gift comes with a bonus for your recipient: A subscription to National Geographic Traveler. How apropos. 

Wearing the Wayfinder Waist Pack ($30) keeps hands free and lightens one’s loads, but there’s still have plenty of room for adventure essentials. Perks include a fleece-lined electronics compartment, a key fob, and organizational compartments for tiny necessities. The main body is made of recycled plastic bottles (believe it!), which helps keep materials in the Wayfinder line out of our oceans and waterways.

A whole lot lighter than it looks, the Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel ($159) is the workhorse of any trip that goes off the beaten path. With huge wheels, an easy-to-access gear pocket, and tie-down daisy chains, it can nimbly handle whatever backroads journeys are dished out. It’s covered, like all Eagle Creek products, by the “No Matter What” Warranty—an expert repair team works hard to keep bags out of landfills. 

Experienced travelers have learned the value of staying organized and packing smart. The Pack-It Original Sac Set ($28) is a great gift thanks to its versatility. The different size pouches easily tuck away odd-shaped necessities of varying sizes, and it can just as easily be put to use back at home stashing toiletries, makeup, and more in the bathroom. Double-duty products like these are naturally planet-friendly. 


For Those Who Believe Charity Starts at Home

Collective Journeys ($30)—the mission-driven friendship bracelets dreamt up by actress and activist Candice Accola—support small, local charities based in the U.S. that do amazing work with very little funding. Each bracelet comes with the story of the local charity its purchase helped. Each bracelet is sophisticated and on-trend, one even comes in 70s-esque muted shades of pink, orange, and mauve.


For Women’s Health and Empowerment Advocates

The OOmg all-weather Boot ($200) features a patented footbed design to reduce pressure on ankles and lower backs—the parts that always seem to take a beating while doing a lot of walking while traveling. It’s a featherweight boot, with a thin shaft that can easily be rolled down for packing. And while most charity-related breast cancer products are pink, these chic black boots still aid in the fight. Each purchase helps find a cure for breast cancer. 

The Little Market, a nonprofit founded by actress Lauren Conrad to empower women around the world, specializes in handcrafted gifts with a global flair. One example: Layered Tassel Earrings ($30), the purchase of which supports female artisans in Cambodia.


For Folks Who Take a Global View of Doing Good

Through Heifer International—a nonprofit aiming to end hunger and poverty by providing agricultural training to impoverished communities around the globe—you can gift life-changing livestock in honor of a loved one. Or, if you have a child on your shopping list, Heifer’s Plush Animals ($13) can inspire her or him to learn about the needs of others around the world. A portion of that purchase helps families achieve self-reliance through the gift of livestock.

Now, with some of the toughest people to buy for taken care of, relax and enjoy the holiday season!


Related Products

National Geographic Guide Series Utility Backpack 40L

Wayfinder Waist Pack

Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel


Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Product Spotlight: Wayfinder Collection

Holiday Gift Guide: 20 Gifts Perfect for Millennial Travelers

Gift Guide: 10 Gifts for Women


By Christina Vercelletto

A New York mom of three whose favorite vacation memory is hot air ballooning with her teenage son in Albuquerque, Christina’s work appears in Travel + Leisure, Family Circle, Newsday, and on