There is no doubt that 2020 is the plot twist that nobody ever imagined coming. The onslaught of the pandemic and two catastrophic typhoons in the country have brought Pinoys to a standstill.
But at the same time, it made us look around and see everything we could be grateful for—having food on the table, staying healthy with our families, or perhaps having the time to reconnect with old friends.
And what better time to pay it forward than this Christmas season? The country has plenty of socially responsible organizations offering gift items that double as donations to charitable institutions.
So if you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet, read on and bookmark this page because PhilSTAR L!fe counts the ways you and your squad can give back as easy as buying gifts.
Whether your friend is a homebody or fashionista, you are sure to perk up their holidays with chic items from Rags2Riches (R2R). The fashion house offers eco-ethical clothes, bags, wallets, personal care products, and home accessories in partnership with local artisans across the country.
Aside from providing income for the marginalized workers, every purchase from Rags2Riches supports the organization's training program called "Artisan Academy," which teaches the artisans financial literacy, business skills, and other lessons for their personal development.
Check the rest of Rags2Riches' Christmas lineup here.
2. Lovehopefaith Group
Being in quarantine for eight months straight has made many of us lose track of time. Lovehopefaith Group is giving you and your buds a good reason to keep track of it with its LifeSaver Watches.
For only P300, you get to stay on time for your Zoom meetings and support the needs of cancer patients, as LoveHopeFaith is donating 50 percent of its proceeds to them.
The group is also feeling extra generous this holiday, that's why they're giving away two free watches for every purchase of their ten-piece Christmas Bundle.
While cut-off for provincial orders was last November 25, Metro Manila customers can still order until December 15 to make it to your delivery address before Christmas Day. Click here to get started.
3. The Good Store PH
"Being good starts with your personal choices," says The Good Store Co-founder JB Tan. And deciding to live and spread an advocacy-driven lifestyle doesn't have to be hard. That's why Tan and his team built The Good Store PH, an online hub housing several social enterprises that offer everyday products ranging from "food to personal care, from stationery to toys."
Doing your Christmas shopping on its website enables you to help not just one, but various organizations advocating local farming, wildlife preservation, autism awareness, sustainable living, good hygiene, and other outreach programs.
Start adding to cart here.
4. Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates
Christmas ain't complete without your yearly dose of sweets. Brighten up the holidays of your friends with a sweet tooth with Theo & Philo's award-winning chocolates. The homegrown brand offers unique flavors such as Dark Chocolate with Calamansi or Labuyo and Milk Chocolate Turon or Adobo (P115 each), recognized by the London Academy of Chocolates and the International Chocolate Awards.
Chocolate powdered drinks (P180-P400) and spreads(P225-P420), as well as Mango and Coconut Chocolate Crunch (P330), are also included in its lineup. Not only are they flavorful, but they also come in pretty packaging that makes receiving it special.
Theo & Philo is the first bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer in the Philippines. It partners with Gawad Kalinga farming communities in producing goods that support the organization's charitable projects and provide its farmers with a continued livelihood.
Place your orders here.
5. WWF Philippines
Surprise your friends with gifts that care for the planet with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Panda Gifts. The foundation offers a whole catalog of items, including tumblers (P799-P2,100) that help fund its initiative to make the world plastic-free in the future.
WWF also offers statement tees to raise awareness about different environmental issues. It includes the Endangered Stamps T-Shirt Collection designed in partnership with the Veterinary Student Achievers Society of the Philippines.
Additionally, the MAGWAI Reef-Safe Sunscreen and Shampoo Bars wrapped in plastic-free packing that, according to WWF, is "specially formulated to protect the ocean, as it protects us from the sun." A portion of the sales will be used for the organization's conservation initiatives.
6. World Vision Philippines
World Vision has been known worldwide for its child sponsorship program, aside from its emergency relief operations and sustainable development projects for urban communities. It is the largest non-profit organization in the Philippines, helping over 1.5 million children annually. This December, World Vision is sharing the art of doing good to the nation through its Holiday Collection.
It features earrings made out of discarded coffee capsules, as well as Christmas ornaments and framed artworks. Proceeds will be used to fund the learning materials and gadgets of the young Filipino learners supported by the organization.
Click here to view World Vision's Holiday Collection.
7. Plush and Play
Give the kids (or kids at heart) the warmth of a cuddle this Christmas with Plush and Play's stuffed toys. These huggable fruits and vegetable plushies are handmade by the underprivileged moms of Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm. Not only are these toys adorable, but they also come with witty names inspired by celebrities. We bet anyone would have a good laugh upon receiving a Manny Pakwan, Buko Martin, Apple D Ap, Okra Aunor, and Noli De Carrot for the holidays.
Click here to place your order.
8. Human Nature
After all the brouhaha that the world has gone through this year, it's about time that you and your friends take a few minutes off to pamper yourselves. Inspire them to start it at home with Human Nature's Kusina ng Kalinga Christmas Bundles. These gift packs come in five variants, including the Pocketful of Peace, consisting of a soothing balm, zesty pomelo sanitizer, invigorating hand & foot salve, and the Holiday Heartthrobs, which contains a hair sharper, oil-fighting facial wash for men, and shaving cream.
For every box purchased, one full meal will be donated to the marginalized children of Gawad ng Kalinga's Kunsina ng Kalinga (KnK) feeding program, which has been preparing up to 100,000 meals every day in its 160 kitchens across the country.
Photos from thingsthatmatter.ph, WWF Panda Gifts Catalog, World Vision Holiday Collection Catalog, and The Good Store and Plush and Play Facebook pages.