Illustrated by Jihyang Lim.

Gifts That Keep On Giving Long After The Holidays

The holidays don’t have to be completely materialistic

It’s gift guide season on the internet. If you’re feeling a little helpless (or hopeless) coming out of this year, and if splurging to get your family members presents they’ll use a couple of times then forget about isn’t giving you satisfaction, we feel you.

In lieu of material items, consider giving in a way that’s more fulfilling. This can be anything from your time to your leftovers to monetary contributions toward relief funds and nonprofit organizations under threat of Trump’s upcoming presidency. We’re in the process of rolling out 31 days of present ideas for each and every person in your life. Well, here’s one more for the socially conscious of the group. Help build some progressive change this holiday season, why don’t you.

Give to nonprofits

A lot of nonprofit organizations will give you the option to donate money on behalf of someone else. Do it. Take into account what issues your loved one is passionate about and pinpoint what cause you’re going to contribute to. There are a lot, and it can start to get stressful if you’re not careful, so we decided to outline some organizations that could use a bit of extra loving. Of course, the choice is yours, and there are hundreds to choose from, but feel free to use this as a start.


Does your friend care about the constitutional rights of others, advancing freedom and justice, and the urgency to protect them both? Consider putting your money toward the American Civil Liberties Union and help in the fight against government abuse.


President-elect Trump has openly talked about his vitriol toward immigrants. Kind makes sure that no child appears in immigration court without representation and they do so pro bono. Another great organization with similar ethics is

Border Angels

, which advocates for immigration reform, focusing specifically on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Black Lives Matter:

Because this will always be relevant and necessary. Help make sure it sticks around for a long time. 

National Abortion Federation:

The news regarding abortions over the past month has been terrifying, imagine what hell we have in store for the next four years. Give in honor of your pro-abortion friend to an organization like NAF, which protects women’s reproductive rights and ensures they have access to safe and legal abortion care.

Tegan and Sara Foundation:

This is a new initiative, so it could use some funds. Started by the musical duo Tegan and Sara, the overall mission is to “support the work of other organizations who have been fighting for LGBTQ and women’s rights by raising funds and awareness for their initiatives.” 

NextGen Climate Action:

For the friend who’s conscious about their carbon footprint.

Council on American-Islamic Relations:

Fighting for the civil rights of American Muslims, the CAIR helps to create an understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, and counter misrepresentations.

Give to reliefs

Donating during tragedies can be difficult to navigate (here’s a


), but they’re no less important. Here are some jumping-off points options.


Hurricane Matthew might seem like the distant past, but the people of Haiti are still suffering. Fonkoze is an aid organization that has created a system to help combat poverty in the country.

White Helmets:

The war in Aleppo, Syria, has been all over your newsfeed, but have you taken any steps to help out? Because they could use it. The White Helmet volunteers have been doing amazing work for years (if you haven’t watched the Netflix documentary about them, you should) and they could use donations now more than ever. The

United Nations Refugee Agency


Doctors Without Borders

, and

Islamic Relief USA

are great places to allocate your money, also.

Oakland Fire Relief Fund:

If you want to give more locally, consider donating to the surviving victims and the families of those that passed during the Oakland Ghostship fire. 

Gift your resources

Simple gestures like giving your restaurant leftovers to the homeless person on the street or even giving them socks (

yes, socks

) could make a world of a difference. Of course, gifting items like canned goods to food banks, kids toys to organizations like

Toys for Tots

, and winter coats to drives are always an option, as well. 

Donating blood is also something to consider. Volunteers tend to go down during the holidays, but it’s actually a time when organizations like the Red Cross need them the most. Think about it this way, getting pricked just once could save the lives of three people. Bring a friend with you, and you have the potential to help out a whole family. Find your local blood drive



Gift your time

Grab a friend or family member and volunteer your time together. The website


is a great resource to help hone in on what exactly you plan on doing and where. Homeless shelters are always good, organizations like the Salvation Army often need help delivering meals during the holidays, and local hospitals are also always in need of volunteers. Make a day out of it.

The more than vanity gifts

For the loved one who just


to receive something physical this holiday, there are a ton of companies who donate a portion of their proceeds to nonprofits. Here’s a

good list

to sort through and some

designers who give bac


The holidays have become overhyped and Hallmark-driven (or, maybe it always has been that way), but it doesn’t have to feel completely materialistic if you don’t let it.