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SPY Guide: How to Give Back This Holiday Season

* Give back to a good cause this holiday season or make a gift donation in someone’s name
* Charities that benefit everything from needy children to AIDS research
* Ring in 2018 with a helping hand

The holidays are undoubtedly a time for giving, and while many of us have spent the last month trying to find the right gifts for our loved ones, friends, and co-workers (and emptying out our bank accounts in the process), it can be easy to let seasonal stress consume us, and lose sight of what holiday giving is actually about.

If the collective holiday shopping spree has dampened your spirits and left you feeling a bit materialistic, consider giving back to one of these great charities below.

Not only will donating a portion of your holiday spending budget help someone in need, but it will also stand in as a helpful reminder that the holidays are a time to give back and express our appreciation to loved ones. End the year—or start 2018—on a good note and give back to those in need by donating to one of these honorable charities.

 Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile donates a percentage of proceeds to select charities when you purchase eligible items. You can choose the organization that you give to, and there’s a wide range of options from the Boys and Girls of America, to the American Cancer Society.


Feeding America

Feeding America is a nationwide network of food banks and the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. You can donate monetarily online or bring in unopened non-perishable and canned foods to your local food bank to help feed those in need this holiday. Find a food bank or pantry location near you here.

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Shop for Canned Goods


Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots accepts unopened and unwrapped toys to benefit less fortunate children during the holidays. To donate, simply purchase a new toy and drop off at one of their many locations nationwide. Find a drop-off location near you here.

Find a Gift for Toys for Tots


Days For Girls

Lack of access to feminine hygiene products is a widespread global problem, and it’s become even more pressing in the wake of recent natural disasters this year. Days for Girls is an international non-profit organization that seeks to provide girls with access to sustainable feminine hygiene products and sexual education, with the ultimate goal of promoting gender equality and advocating for better sanitation policies around the world. You can donate on their website, or give the gift in the form of sending in hygiene products.

  Find Out More About Days for Girls


Red Cross

While the Red Cross is no longer accepting donations for the California Wildfires or Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria, this organization always accepts donations for disaster relief. Your contribution ensures they have enough funding to help those in need when other natural disasters strike.

  Donate to the American Red Cross


Fanatics Houston Strong T-Shirts

While Hurricane Harvey struck Houston months ago, the damage and impact on residents endures. In collaboration with the NFL, and the Houston Texans organization, you can purchase this Houston Texans “Houston Strong” women’s v-neck t-shirt with proceeds going to the American Red Cross.

  Houston Texans NFL Pro Line by Fanatics



(RED) was founded by U2 frontman Bono and Bobby Shriver to help “harness the power of the people and companies to help fight AIDS.” For the first time this year, the organization has partnered with Amazon to offer (SHOPATHON)RED – a special holiday shopping experience featuring several (RED) items that, with purchase, raises money for the fight against AIDS. For every dollar spent during (RED)’s Shopathon on, Bank of America will donate 30 cents to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

  Shop the (SHOPATHON) RED Collection



The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries to help children in need from all over the world. This organization has several ways to offer support to their cause, including monetary donations and shopping with one of their partners. Just in time for the holiday season, UNICEF has partnered with Minted to offer shoppers a collection of customizable holiday cards. 20% of proceeds will fund the organization’s efforts to ensure that every child has access to health care, nutrition, shelter and education.

  Shop the Minted + UNICEF Card Collection

There are endless ways to lend a helping this holiday season (and beyond). If you didn’t find a cause that sparked your interest, the website, Charity Navigator, also has a list of places where you can donate.