By SHERI RADFORD
Support charities with presents that make both the giver and the receiver feel great
1. Show your true stripes with Maud, the 10th annual Charity Heritage Bear from The Bay. The stuffed creature pays tribute to Maud Watt, Quebec’s first female game warden. Net proceeds go to the HBC Foundation, which supports charities such as The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Habitat for Humanity Canada. Don’t delay: only 15,000 bears are available, and they always prove to be a popular holiday gift.
2. We’d gladly walk a mile in these: for every pair of TOMS shoes sold, the company donates a pair to a child in need. The kids’ styles are especially adorable, in patterns such as plaid, polka dots and dinosaurs; find them at Hip Baby and Crocodile.
3. For its second Generation Art capsule collection, EQ3 asked Canadians of all ages to submit artwork that represents diversity. The seven artists chosen range from 11 to 59 years old, and their art—which now adorns pillows, mugs, ottomans and more—runs the gamut from simple to intricate, serious to whimsical. All proceeds go to the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which supports youth arts initiatives that transform lives and revitalize underserved communities.
4. Save the whales! For those who like to work up a sweat, Outdoor Tech’s new Orcas are the perfect wireless earbuds—lightweight, water-resistant and comfortable, thanks to the customizable fit. Bonus: $1 from each pair purchased goes to the Whaleman Foundation, a research, education, conservation and wildlife-film-production organization dedicated to protecting our oceans. Available at London Drugs.
5. In Lumine Luce (“Shine in the Light” in Latin) reads the diamond-set Inspiration Talisman from Pyrrha. For each one sold, the company donates $25 to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, which provides palliative care for terminally ill children and support for their families. Every Pyrrha talisman is handcrafted in Vancouver: designed using an original wax seal from the 1800s, then cast in reclaimed sterling silver or bronze. Available at Blue Ruby or online at www.pyrrha.com.
6. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades. AYA Eyewear has partnered with the OneXOne Foundation to create the Hope Belongs to Everyone Gift Set, which includes a pair of aviator sunglasses, an embossed hard case and a cleaning cloth, all decorated with First Nations artwork, as well as a donation to feed one child for one week. Available online at www.claudia
7. ’Tis the season to deck the halls and trim the tree. Add a heart-warming touch to decorating with Christmas Canadiana or 12 Days of Christmas ornaments made from recycled wood, handcrafted by at-risk youth and inner-city women with multiple barriers to employment. Tradeworks provides training in both life and employment skills, plus hands-on experience in trade carpentry. Order online at www.tradeworks.bc.ca.
8. Ancient First Nations techniques plus modern style equals Spirit Wraps, the result of a creative collaboration between Chloë Angus Design and Native artists such as Corrine Hunt (Tlingit) and Clarence Mills (Haida). Partial proceeds go to the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society.
9. Go Canada go! Hands stay toasty warm in fleece-lined Olympic Red Mittens from The Bay. For each $10 pair sold, the store donates $3.33 to the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which raises funds to help high-level athletes compete.
10. From graffiti to art to jewellery, the East Van Cross has come a long way, baby. It started decades ago as graffiti, then became a public art piece (“Monument for East Vancouver” by Ken Lum), and now has been turned into jewellery by Canadian designer Susan Fiedler (best known for her F Cancer Embrace Life initiative). For each pendant sold, $25 goes to the Pivot Legal Society, which uses the law to address the root causes of poverty and social exclusion in Canada. Purchase online at www.eastvancrossproject.com.
11. Put your hands together for Canadian company CherryT Knit & Co., which uses soft wools and plush sherpa linings to create snuggly, hand-knit mittens in vintage-inspired cable-knit patterns. For each pair sold, the company gives a pair to a child in need. Purchase online at www.cherrytco.com.
12. Several times each year, La Vie En Rose introduces an adorable stuffed critter. For each one sold, the store donates $5 to the Roses of Hope Foundation, which supports charities that improve the lives of Canadian women, in particular groups dedicated to breast cancer research.
13. Make your home sweet home smell even sweeter with Happy Spritz, an artisan line of natural, handcrafted aromatherapy sprays. Adding to the charm: beautiful packaging and whimsical names such as ’Tis the Season and Feeling Mighty Pine. Partial proceeds benefit animal-rescue organizations. Available at Delish General Store.
14. Listen up: LSTN headphones aren’t just great looking—they’re also made from reclaimed wood from high-end furniture and floor manufacturers, and each pair sold helps the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids to people in need all around the world. Available at Experience Headphones.
15. High fashion from Italy—and Tanzania? Lotusland Imports sells a range of meticulously beaded necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and belts that are designed by students at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, then handcrafted by 200 Maasai tribeswomen who used to live in poverty, subsisting by cutting down trees to make charcoal. Available at Bodacious and The Gallery Store, or visit the Lotusland pop-up shop, Dec. 1 to 21 in City Square.
16. Write on: make a stationery statement and raise money to fight AIDS at the same time with the Moleskine RED Special Edition Collection, which includes a hardcover notebook, luggage tag and 2015 weekly planner, each with a red elastic band closure, as well as a red pen. Five percent of each purchase goes to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Available at Target or online at www.moleskine.com or www.red.org.
17. Surprisingly, the right to a healthy environment is not guaranteed in Canada. David Suzuki wants to change that. The world-renowned environmentalist, who lives right here in Vancouver, has partnered with Canadian company Roots to create a line of t-shirts (made from organic cotton), along with hoodies and toques (made from recycled yarns), to help fight for environmental protection to be included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Available at select Roots stores.
18. Banish unwanted hairs and help sick children at the same time with the new limited-edition mini slant tweezers from Tweezerman. For each one sold, $1 goes to The Art of Elysium, a charity that encourages actors, artists and musicians to share their time and talent with hospitalized children battling serious medical conditions. Available at Sephora.