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8 Great Valentine's Day Gifts That Give Back

These presents let you do something good when you do something nice

By Ashley Eneriz

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Valentine's Day
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How These Gifts Give Back

Shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts can be tricky, especially if you have been in a relationship for decades. Here’s an idea: Why not give your honey something that shares the love back to others in need?

When your wife, husband or partner “oohs” over one of the following eight gifts that give back, you can explain how the present will make an impact, too.


WeWOOD Watches

WeWOOD is an Italian brand that creates high-luxury looking, chemical-free watches out of 100 percent wood. Best of all: For every watch purchased, WeWOOD plants a tree. Since 2010, the company has planted 442,246 trees across the globe. The goal: 1 million trees by 2020.

WeWOOD has over 100 watch designs for men and women; prices range from $125 to $380.

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods' Deep Sea Sand Art

Forget giving a paperweight for Valentine’s Day. The Deep Sea Sand Art from Uncommon Goods is a desk sculpture that slowly shifts sparkling sand from one end to the other, creating a new work of art every day. Buying from Uncommon Goods means you’re supporting independent artisans and helping worthy charities. (The Deep Sea Sand Art and similar pieces are created by Austrian craftsman, “Sandman” Klaus Bosch.)

Through its Better to Give program, Uncommon Goods donates $1 of every purchase to one of four nonprofits; the company has given over $1 million to charities like RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. The other three groups: International Rescue Committee, which aids refugees and families devastated by conflict and disaster; American Forests, which protects and restores forests and the Reach Out and Read literacy and school readiness program for children.

Its 10.5-inch by 10-inch circle sand art costs $85; other design options include an oversized piece for $500.

LSTN Headphones

LSTN Headphones

If your significant other has ever thrown away earphones because they were uncomfortable or the cords tangled beyond repair, this gift might be in order. LSTN (“listen”) creates attractive, lightweight, adjustable headphones with no-tangle cables and a built-in mic.

Not only are the headphones designed to help the user hear better, LSTN’s mission is to help others hear better, too. Every purchase helps someone hear for the first time and the company has already given hearing aids to 22,000 people in nine countries through the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

The Cherry Wood Troubadour Headphones, retailing for $149.99, are housed in real cherry wood and made of plush vegan leather inside.

TOMS Shoes

TOMS Shoes

TOMS was started after its founder, Blake Mycoskie, traveled to Argentina in 2006 and witnessed the hardship of children living without shoes. (There was no “Tom;” the name comes from the abbreviation of Shoes for Tomorrow.) He created TOMS Shoes with the mission of giving one pair of new shoes to a needy child for every pair he sold; the program is called One for One. So far, TOMS has given away more than 60 million pairs of shoes worldwide.

TOMS has all kind of shoes —men’s, women’s and children’s — as you might imagine. The Black Denim Men's Brogues, modernized Oxfords ($98), give off a business-casual vibe. They’re made from vegan materials and are lightweight.

Love 41

Love 41 Leather Goods

Suzette Munson started Love 41, a high-quality leather goods site, after a trip to Rwanda in 2010. She was devastated by the poverty in the country — from children with hunger pains to moms selling themselves to prostitution to feed their kids.

Love 41 donates a portion of each purchase to the poor in Africa. However, 100 percent of the profits of the Limited Edition Leather Tote ($219), goes to educating, job training and feeding those in need there through Africa New Life Ministries.

The Love 41 motto: Where receiving is giving.

Conscious Step

Conscious Step Socks

Normally, it’s best to avoid giving the special person in your life socks for any holiday. But in this case, a box of Conscious Step socks can also provide three days of HIV therapy, nine months of safe water and three meals for those in need.

Conscious Step sells fashion-forward, organic socks made in fair trade conditions. Each design supports a different cause. For example, a navy and yellow striped pair pays for two children’s books through the literacy charity Room to Read. Other causes supported: tree planting; ending poverty; providing water; treating HIV and fighting hunger.

This boxed set of three socks goes for $39.95 and has already provided 26,748 meals to kids.

Starling Candle

Starling Candle

Set the mood by lighting a romantic Juniper + Saffron Sapling candle ($55; 6.5 oz.), from Starling, knowing that it will help provide a community with solar energy. The need is great: 1.3 billion people worldwide are without electricity.

The Starling Project, begun in 2015, has already raised $100,000 to help Chad gain long-term and sustainable solar power. Its motto: Light your home; light the world.

The candles come in four scents. Aside from Juniper + Saffron, there’s Vanilla + Hemlock; Orange Flower + Amber and Currant + Rosewood.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker Glasses

Warby Parker, which sells smart-looking eyeglasses and sunglasses for men and women (starting at $95 a pair, including prescription lenses), sends a purchaser — on this case, the gift recipient — five frames to try for free for five days.

With its “Buy a Pair, Give A Pair,” campaign, Warby Parker partners with nonprofits like VisionSpring to distribute a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold. So far, the company has helped distribute over 2 million glasses. The nonprofits also train people in developing countries to give eye exams and sell glasses there at affordable prices.



Ashley Eneriz is a staff writer at Wise Bread, a contributing writer at Investopedia and a freelance writer whose work has appeared on GoBankingRates, MoneyCrashers and elsewhere. Read More
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