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Gifts with Heart: 14 gifts that give back

Source (gift box): Pure Pearls

Hello, darlings!

Here in Massachusetts, pretty much everyone is snowed-in yet again. So here I am, posting. Yet again....

Valentine's Day is (duh) all about love. However, what we usually call "love" on St. Valentine's is only the romantic kind of love. There are so many other definitions of love we are apt to forget, whether it's friendly love, familial love, furry love (shout out to my doggies and kitties! XOXO), or - what I'm here to talk about - love for the Universe. 

This narrow definition of love is the reason single people hate Valentine's Day, the reason we're inclined to say that Valentine's Day is a stupid, commercial, Hallmark holiday. But as soon as we broaden our definition to include self-love and love for life in general, I find that Valentine's Day looks a lot brighter and a lot more meaningful. And that's coming from a girl who is in a relationship, so I imagine the relief is much greater for someone who is lamenting their lack of a sweetie (Pro Tip: don't!).

One of the greatest ways to show love on Valentine's Day, but also one of the most cliched, is gift-giving. Yet this classic act of generosity (I take what's mine, my money, and make it what's yours, this beautiful diamond necklace or this half-price box of know, it's the thought that counts) is almost too classic: so classic that we tend to take it for granted - i.e. "It's Valentine's Day; where are my flowers?!", rather than "Oh, you got me flowers? How sweet!" Most of us probably appreciate getting flowers on any old day more than on Valentine's Day, because on Valentine's Day it's just the Thing to Do. So, I'm here to tell you how you can simultaneously expand your definition of Valentine's love to include love for the Universe and make gift-giving feel a lot more special - and that is through giving gifts that give back.

By giving a gift that gives back, you extend your love not only to the person receiving your gift, but to the broader Universe by sharing your inner love and kindness with the world around you. Giving a gift that gives back isn't entirely selfless, though - you can choose to support a charity of your choosing and you get a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that you've done a good deed - so it also encompasses self-love, too. You could also choose a charity your significant other would be thrilled if you supported, to step up your gift-giving game a bit. So, by giving a gift that gives back, you can kind of kill three birds with one stone: loving your spouse/date/friend/family, loving yourself, and loving the Universe. To me, that is what Valentine's Day is truly all about.

So, in the spirit of these Three Loves, I've compiled a list of fourteen (yeah, I know - real creative) Valentine's-themed gifts from charitable companies all around the globe. The organizations supported are truly doing amazing things. On this list, you'll find the perfect gift for everyone from animal lovers, to cancer survivors, to those dedicated to fighting world hunger. And, you'll get that special glow that comes from knowing you're doing good in the world, too! So, shop with a conscience this Valentine's Day - I dare you. You might just find that your soul is as happy as your heart come February 14.

A Candle With a Cause

I've never met a girl who didn't like candles. Never. Or a guy, for that matter. Now, thanks to Candles With a Cause, you can buy your honeypie a sweet scent for Valentine's Day, while also supporting the American Heart Association. 25% of the $20 you spend on this Strawberries and Lilac candle is donated to the Go Red for Women campaign, dedicated to education and outreach about heart disease, the number one killer of American women. Each candle has its own unique scent and cause - get yours from Candles With a Cause!

Chill. Philanthropy. Chilanthropy.
Source: Chilanthropy

Give the gift of bathtime this Valentine's Day while also supporting the fight against AIDS. A portion of the proceeds from these pink Himalayan bath salts goes to Broadway Cares - Equity Fights AIDS, which raises money for the fight against AIDS through the magical powers of theater. Chilanthropy (side note: who doesn't love saying that?! Chilanthropy) is also dedicating to offsetting its carbon footprint by "using local and recycled materials whenever possible." Do good and get clean (or dirty - your choice) on February 14th for just $24.00. Click to give the gift of relaxation from Chilanthropy!

Sweet Charity

Chocolate for Valentine's Day? Yes, please! (Chocolate every day = even better.) Rescue Chocolate's motto is, appropriately, "the sweetest way to save a life" - and what sweeter way than by treating your Valentine to a (vegan) mocha dark chocolate bar? This $6.00 Forever Mocha bar raises awareness about the importance of committing to your pets. 100% of Rescue Chocolate's proceeds are donated to local animal rights organizations and no-kill shelters. Try this bar or one of seven other flavors at! 

Lush Indulgence
Source: Lush USA

Lush's "fresh handmade cosmetics" are already dedicated to the fight against animal testing - but as if that wasn't enough already, they launched their Charity Pot lotion in 2007. 100% of the proceeds from this ylang ylang, rosewood, and cocoa butter concoction go to the SLush Fund, which supports grassroots organizations for environmental conservation and animal & human rights around the globe. Spend $25.95 and get 8.4 oz for your best-smelling friend at Lush USA!

I Heart Atiliay
Source: Etsy

Atiliay is an Etsy user whose tagline reads "paper goods that give." Honestly, I love all of her products so much; I simply couldn't decide which one to feature! In the end, this cute "I Heart You" card won out for its adorable typography and pink heart pattern. A portion of your $5.00 purchase will help to fight poverty, relieve hunger, defend animal rights, and more. Click here to shop Atiliay's adorable Etsy selection, and be sure to check out the blog and founder Olivia's vegan food blog, Vegan Chow Down

Cupid's Pet
Source: UNICEF Market

A post about charity would simply feel incomplete without featuring UNICEF and all of their amazing work. UNICEF Market partners with local artisans to do good for children all around the globe. This "Cupid's Pet" necklace is a special favorite of mine, from a talented Thai jeweler named Jantana. For $49.95, you can support Jantana's dream of owning her own jewelry workshop and immunize six children against polio. Give this necklace (and the gift of health) at UNICEF Market now!

A Giving Philosophy
Source: Philosophy

Philosophy has so many unique scents, but this French vanilla bean ice cream triple threat (shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath in one!) really caught my eye as a gift I'd love to receive this Valentine's Day. Again, this is a gift with versatility: get clean or get dirty; it's all up to you! 1% of every Philosophy purchase goes to their Hope and Grace Fund, which supports local mental health initiatives around the country. A 16 oz bottle costs just $18.00. Feed your best gal's beauty addiction and give the gift of mental health by shopping at!

Viva Glam
Source: MAC Cosmetics

The MAC AIDS Fund launched in 1994, with its original Viva Glam lipstick backed by the ever-sexy drag queen RuPaul. While I'm not the biggest fan of the campaign's current spokeswoman, Miley Cyrus, I love this hot pink shade almost as much as I love MAC's initiative. 100% of the proceeds go toward helping men, women, and children whose lives have been impacted by AIDS. So Viva Glam, and viva its rockstar precio, just $16.00 - a steal for a professional-quality lipstick and a save for AIDS victims everywhere. Buy the limited edition lipstick for your favorite beauty maven today!

Flowers for Good

Okay, so flowers are kind of a cliche Valentine's Day gift - but so is chocolate, and I wouldn't complain about getting that! Organic Bouquet's flowers are, of course, organic, as well as fair trade, fair labor, sustainable, and eco-friendly. To add to that lengthy list of qualifications, their Flowers for Good line also helps a wide variety of beneficiaries, from breast cancer victims to animal rights organizations. This $69.95 rose bouquet was a particular favorite of mine - 5% of the proceeds are donated to Amnesty International, an international organization that lobbies for human rights. Other shining gems include the Snow Leopard Roses for the Snow Leopard Trust and the orange Women for Women roses. Click to shop the entire Flowers for Good collection from Organic Bouquet!

Cute as a Cupcake
Source: Alex and Ani

Of their entire Charity by Design collection, this Alex and Ani cupcake bangle is my personal favorite - perhaps because the cause really hits home. 20% of your $28 purchase supports Race to Erase MS, which funds research toward a cure for multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. I have watched it affect a member of my extended family and can testify that life with MS is never easy. Please support this worthy cause by buying your favorite friend this adorable bracelet! She'll love it, you'll love yourself, MS patients will be that much closer to a cure...everybody wins!

You Buy, Yoobi Gives
Source: Yoobi

These brightly-colored notebooks are like the goodwill version of Moleskin - your favorite coffeeshop writer will most definitely appreciate the gesture. For every item you buy from them, Yoobi donates one to the Starlight Children's Foundation, which helps to "improve the life and health of kids and families." For $7.99, your Valentine will get three 40-page wide-ruled notebooks and one priceless smile on their face. Check out Yoobi, yo!

Dark, Bold, and Spicy
Source: TOMS

This sassy tote bag will carry your lover's groceries, library books, and travel gear in a jiffy - or simply hint at the night ahead? Buy it for $28.00 and fill it up with other goodies (candles, chocolate, and some lingerie, perhaps) to hardcore spoil your Valentine. For every tote bag purchased, TOMS donates a pair of their comfy shoes to a child in need. Spice up your love life at TOMS this Valentine's Day! 

Relax (Go Do It)

For a less subtle intimation about the night yet to come, buy your lover these sheer and sexy panties from Stella McCartney's Gemma Relaxing Collection. A portion of the proceeds from the collection are donated to the Linda McCartney Center at Royal Liverpool Hospitals, a state-of-the-art breast cancer diagnosis and treatment center in the UK. Right now, they're only available in a size large (they're also a lofty $40.00) but the matching bra, at $80.00, is available in sizes from A to DD. See the Gemma Relaxing duo at Stella McCartney's website (and for an even more thoughtful Valentine's gift, remind your sweetie to perform her monthly breast exam, too)!

I hope you guys loved my Gifts with Heart compilation - I had a lot of fun putting it together and am so excited to shop with some of these charitable companies in the future! Especially Rescue Chocolate...mmm.

Stay tuned here on the Chick Lit Kitchen for girl power book reviews, a romantic dinner recipe, and an exciting post about my Single Ladies' Tea Party in honor of Gal-intines' Day! And, don't forget to check out the CLK on February 15th for the first installment of my Holden & I series.

Happy lovin', touchin', and squeezin', everybody - hope you're as excited about V-Day as I am!

XOXO, Haley.

My blog is not a for-profit blog. This post is not sponsored, nor are any of my other posts. All of the companies featured above are featured because I personally support their work and their products. 


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