Many of us are lucky to be in a position this holiday season where we don’t really need more stuff. But while we’re doing all right, all things considered, there’s no avoiding the fact that 2020 has been a dire year for so many people and causes. With that in mind, there may never have been a better time to consider charity holiday gifts than right now. Here are nine ways to support local groups that are doing what they can to improve our community this season.
Golden State gift set, $53
The products-with-purpose line sold to support the Downtown Women’s Center, MADE by DWC offers an array of gift items perfect for the holiday season. Their Golden State gift sets, containing candles, soaps, and bath soaks in California-inspired scents is sure to comfort recipients both homesick and stuck-at-home.
$33 to feed a family of four for a week
No Us Without You has stepped up amid the pandemic to feed and care for the very people who so often feed and care for the rest of us–undocumented hospitality industry workers. Many have become unemployed due to shutdowns, and lack access to even the paltry assistance programs that exist for documented workers. Share what you might have spent on a single holiday dinner out with a friend at one of L.A.’s restaurants, and you’ll cover the costs of feeding a family for a week.
Photo prints, $50 – $75
Send your loved ones gallery-worthy photo prints from artists who have participated in Las Fotos Project over the last ten years, including Fabila Lopez and Anissa Murillo. Proceeds from sales support the East L.A.-based group, which works with teenage girls, helping them use photography to express themselves, document their communities, and build valuable skills.
$25 for a single tree, up to $1,000 for an entire grove
TreePeople has been planting trees in shade-starved sections of Los Angeles County for decades, works to help build back fire-ravaged areas, and has recently launched programs that offer at-home eco education for kids. You can help them make the region a little greener with a holiday tree dedication. Dedications come with a cute card for your recipient explaining the program–and a bit of celeb cred. Last year, no less than Kourtney Kardashian sent TreePeople dedications as holiday surprises to her BFFs.
$224 per month
When there’s not a pandemic afoot, Süprmarkt pops up in Leimert Park offering low-cost, wholesome grocery markets. For now, they’re focusing on CSA-style boxes, brimming with healthy, local, organic produce. A gift subscription covers two boxes, one for your gift recipient to enjoy, and a second that will be donated to one of the 2 million Angelenos living in a food desert, where they are at heightened risk of health complications like those that can increase the lethality of COVID-19. Upon request, Süprmarkt can put giver and receiver in touch to virtually share a meal made from the same box of ingredients.
Troubador headphones, $179.99
L.A. brand LSTN makes beautiful headphones, earbuds, and speakers that will instantly upgrade any WFH set-up and make for a beautiful charity holiday gift. But that’s just the beginning. The company works closes with the Starkey Hearing Foundation to develop and provide hearing aids for people in need around the world. So far, LSTN has used proceeds from headphone sales to help more than 30,000 people in 12 countries hear the world around them.
Suggested donation: $20-$250
Founded in 1986, L.A.-based CHIRLA provides direct services to local immigrant and mixed-status families, including legal services and representation, health and social services referrals, in-language education programming, and policy advocacy.
Four-piece bundle, $60
Buy this bundle of local brand P.F. Candle Co.’s Sunset Collection from Dublab’s Radio Mart and you’ll not only be saving money–the bundle is $36 dollars less than retail price–you’ll also be supporting the creative and community endeavors of Dublab. The pop-up Radio Mart is filled with a variety of other charity-minded holiday gift ideas to explore, as well, from vinyl records to professional music mixing services.
Suggested donation: $35 – $1,000
Cultural institutions have been decimated by pandemic closures and, until we can buy tickets to a show again, they need our support. A donation to the L.A. Phil will not only help one of L.A.’s most iconic destinations bounce back, but also supports the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra in their music education efforts. Make a donation now on behalf of a loved one to tell them you can’t wait to see a concert together again as soon as it’s safe.