Giving back: Charitable gift ideas in Vancouver

Sharing is caring and the holidays bring out the Christmas spirit in even the most hardened Scrooge. Buy your gifts from local Vancouver shops and charitable organizations that give something back to the community and you can feel warm and fuzzy about your splurges this season, and also help worthy causes at the most wonderful time of the year.

The Window Community Art Shop

1 Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1M9

Outside it looks like a cute boutique, a little diamond on Hastings Street; inside you’ll find carefully curated crafts ranging from housewares to clothing, all made by local artists. Pick up locally made spa products, handmade linen aprons or honey made from urban beehives. Makers consign their products for three months and 35 per cent of the profit goes to the PHS Community Services Society to provide housing and advocacy services for local people in need.

Second Nature Home Boutique

1326 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1N6

Shop for organic and eco-friendly homewares and products at Second Nature Home Boutique. Hidden away near Trout Lake, this sustainable store offers a wide range of Canadian-made products – everything from refillable laundry detergent to paintings by local artists. This specialty store is focused on helping the environment through its Clean for a Cause school program and bicycle delivery service for local customers. They also offer help for immigrant women with mentoring and skills development as part of a community initiative.

Ten Thousand Villages

1660 Duranleau St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S4

It’s not just the little guys and gals running social enterprises in Vancouver. Ten Thousand Villages is the largest and oldest Fair Trade business in North America and has a collection of global gifts that give back to international projects. Head here for handicrafts from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and pick up home accessories, holiday decorations and stocking stuffers from around the world.

3H Craftworks Society

340-1275 Venables St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2E4

Since the 1960s, 3H Craftworks has been helping people with physical disabilities and mental illness through craft therapy. Makers receive compensation for their time and the arts and crafts are sold through the storefront in order to fund the program. Here you’ll find everything from kids’ toys to felt books, clothing, yoga bags and toques.

Miscellany Finds

Take a trip to East Van to shop for festive finds at this carefully curated thrift store, which supports marginalized women and youth in the area by transitioning them back into the workplace. Amongst the racks you’ll find designer clothing, unique housewares and cool vintage accessories.

Blue Ruby

1089 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1A9

This popular chain of jewellery shops has partnered with Cause We Care for the 2015 holiday season. The Vancouver-based charity provides assistance to single-mom led families and kids in need through after-school programs and hamper drives. Ruby Blue’s limited edition bracelets cost anywhere from $20 to $150 and all of the proceeds go towards Cause We Care.

Whether you’re feeling creative or just want save some money this Christmas, Vancouver is home to plenty of craft stores that sell everything from wool and woodcuts to paper and patterned fabric. Check out these shops for all the materials you need to turn into one of Santa’s elves and make DIY delights for the holiday season. [Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]
Perhaps your pooch has a more active social life than you do and needs an outfit for that special holiday party or maybe you just want to treat your fashion-loving furry friend to a gift this Christmas season. Either way, here are the best places in Vancouver to purchase the perfect present for your pup. [Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]
Congratulations, you’re getting married! Now comes the fun part - choosing a cake. Whether you want a classic tiered cake, a gluten-free gateau, or a mountain of bite-sized cupcakes, there’s a cake shop in Vancouver that can help make your sweet dreams come true for your special day.
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