Gift Guide Inspired by Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday)

Giving Tuesday, the last of the holiday shopping theme days, is still so new that you might not have even heard about it, since #GivingTuesday only started in 2012.

Gift Guide Inspired by Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday)

Still, it’s hard not to feel funny about not having lots of big shiny boxes under the tree, even if you like the idea of spending a portion of the holiday budget on something that matters long after decorations are stored away.

We can’t possibly highlight all the great non-profits here, but my hope is that you’ll be inspired to pair a charitable gift of any size with a coordinating physical gift.


Gifts Inspired by #GivingTuesday


Donate to Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County, a favorite organization of mine. The mission of the local Habitat and its ReStore is to end substandard housing in our area. No, they don’t give houses away. Yes, they provide new homes, renovations, and repairs to qualified candidates.

Pair with an ugly framed art piece and a registration to our upcoming DIY Jewelry Frame workshop on December 13. Yes, we scheduled it for the date 12/13/14. Isn’t that cool? Go from this…

Old frame turns into DIY Jewelry Frameto this: DIY Jewelry Frame








Donate to Girls on the Run, which inspires girls from 3rd to 8th grade to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Pair with a super trendy  


Donate to The Joy of Sox with their clear and simple mission: to provide socks for the homeless in the Philadelphia region and beyond.

Pair with a practical and gift that I ask for every year (although my family thinks I’m joking, which I’m totally not) SmartWool Womens Socks

Donate to Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, a no-kill shelter based in Wayne, PA.

Pair with toys for your recipient’s own pooch or purr-pet. Or for something different, contact me to create a one-of-a-kind pet portrait tribute like I did here.

Photo to watercolor transformation

Donate to the brand new Plaid Pajama Project and be one of the first to support this effort, currently applying for their 501c3 status, but not letting that get in the way. Pamela Badolato is working on bringing new pajamas to children throughout the region this holiday.

Pair with the family pajamas that you were probably planning on getting anyway. True story, I did not realize until just now that some people also include the family dog and (God forbid) cat in the pajama tradition.


Donate to the Interfaith Hospitality Network on the Main Line, which provides a caring and positive environment for homeless families and their children while they design and implement a plan to break the cycle of homelessness in their lives. Using the energy of over 2,500 community volunteers we are dedicated to families who seek to be accountable, resilient, and strive for a better tomorrow for their families.

Pair with just about any home decor item your recipient would appreciate, or renew their subscription to their favorite home decor magazine, like HGTV Magazine or Better Homes and Gardens.

#Giveaway HGTV Magazines

Donate to the Breastfeeding Resource Center (BRC), a nonprofit corporation committed to providing expert clinical and educational breastfeeding services.

Pair with a gift card for yummy milkshakes from PinkBerry. Or for the DIY-er, pair with something to make your own milkshakes, like the ever popular Vitamix .

Thanks to Hilary from MyScraps for this suggestion.


Donate to The Shelter Pet Project or visit their site to adopt a pet this season. The Shelter Pet Project is the result of a collaborative effort between two leading animal welfare groups, The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, and the leading producer of public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, The Ad Council. Their goal is to make shelters the first place potential adopters turn when looking to get a new pet, ensuring that all healthy and treatable pets find loving homes.

Pair with…a kitten! No, wait. Just be sure that you have discussed a new animal with the person who will be receiving it, or the rest of your family members. Adding a pet is a BIG commitment. If you only like the idea of a pet (honestly, that’s how my life is right now), then I’d recommend gifting the classic movie Lady and the Tramp , one of my girl’s favorites. Lady actually is a Christmas gift, and it all works out in the end. Oh, and did you know there is a sequel? Of course there is.

Thanks to Debbie from Mamanista for this suggestion.


Donate to and keep the conversation going in Washington about how we can, together, improve the lives of children and families regarding everything from water quality to pay equity. There is no doubt that mothers everywhere banding together, even in small doses, can make a difference. Indeed, we already have.

Pair with the Motherhood Manifesto book and DVD available at From professional women who hit the maternal wall, to childcare workers who can’t afford quality care for their own children, this book captures what it means to be a mother in America today. This groundbreaking book also celebrates the successes of companies that have discovered the value of good family policies, families who are making it work, model childcare programs, and legislation that supports families.


Donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand and take a stand against childhood cancer. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is dedicated to realizing Alex’s dream of eradicating childhood cancer.

Pair with anything from the Alex’s Lemonade Stand online store. I’m getting the Christmas tree ornament, even though it makes me cry.

Alexs Lemonade Stand ornament image

Donate to, which is a national campaign under the guidance of the Empowered Patient Coalition non-profit with the vision that all patients and their loved ones have free access to the tools and the resources they need to be fully informed and participating members of their health care teams. This isn’t about what side of the health insurance debate you are on. We can all agree that being more informed about our choices is always good for our health.

Pair with a stylin’ medical ID bracelet from HopePaige. Yes, stylin’ and medical ID bracelet in the same sentence. And these are from a company based in Conshohocken, PA! According to them, these are the people who should be wearing ID bracelets:

diabetes | epilepsy | autism | allergies: food peanut penicillin medication | coumadin | warfarin

heart disease | pacemaker | asthma | COPD | stroke | cancer | multiple sclerosis | dialysis

lung disease | ADD/ADHD | alzheimer’s | high blood pressure | children with special needs

Really, check out their goods. They remind me of some of the trendiest jewelry out there.

Donate to your favorite public radio station or podcast to keep information end entertainment you love coming. Are you listening to the Serial Podcast like 1.5M other listeners? I’d rather listen to this than watch 99% of what’s on TV.

Pair with whatever you get for donating to your favorite public radio station. WXPN offers a CD of the newest music. WHYY offers classic fare, including the new mug that screams, “It’s not about the mug”. Serial won’t actually send you anything for donating, but you can always pair it with a new set of earphones, a stand for a tablet or phone, or a bluetooth speaker.


Looks like we have some clicking to do here at HeartWork Organizing for #GivingTuesday. Thanks to my friends for helping me come up with this great list. We’ll be making a donation to each group listed here.

Where do you like to make a #GivingTuesday donation, and what will you pair with it for your giftee?

Please comment below.


Gift Guide: Made in USA

Gifts that Aren’t Clutter for Kids

Gifts Anyone Can Make (And Be Proud Of)

And see if inspiration hits you from our previous list of 50+ Gifts that Aren’t Clutter.


The FTC wants me to keep this all above board and let you know there are affiliate links in this post, but that just means I’ve made it easier for you to click and buy those items that catch your fancy. None of these companies have approached me to hawk their goods. I only take the time to write about awesome stuff that I genuinely love so that you can love it, too.



This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. PKelmar

    Happy to see you encourage people to consider donating to the Your link doesn’t seem to work, but your readers should definitely support them. I know their leadership team and this a group of highly dedicated professionals working to keep patients safer. Check out their free resources pages so you can help family members stay safe in hospitals.

    1. Darla

      Thanks for the heads up. The link is fixed now. I appreciate your support of this and other worthy organizations!

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