Give a gift that gives back this holiday season

Media Credit: Julia Abriola | Staff Photographer

Sydney Hale Candles donates 10 percent of all sales to animal rescue foundations.

Embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season and consider a gift that keeps on giving.

Add a twist to the gifts you’re already giving this holiday season – like candles and jewelry – by supporting local businesses and charitable causes all in the same purchase. Each of these locally made products also benefits a non-profit organization, meaning your gifts will do double duty this giving season.

Send children to school with Kicheko Goods
Along with handmade earrings, bracelets and necklaces, Kicheko Goods offers the gift of investing in education. Founder Sarah Bayot, who has lived in the District for 12 years, used her background in international affairs and development to start a business that addresses a lack of access to education for children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Each piece of handmade jewelry from Kicheko Goods funds one month of school for one child in the Congo. The purchases provide scholarships for “underresourced” children whose parents cannot afford school fees and other costs. Since Kicheko Goods’ founding in 2014, proceeds have been used to help construct a brick school building for the Mango Tree School in Uvira. The Mango Tree School educates more than 200 students and provides scholarships for 71 students to attend the school for two years.

You can support the cause by purchasing any of the brand’s jewelry – such as minimalist 16-karat-gold-plated leather necklaces ($45-50) or hypoallergenic quartz earrings ($36-40). You can shop online or check their website for various pop-up shops around D.C. throughout December.

Find homes for animals with Sydney Hale Company
For an ever-reliable gift, look no further than Sydney Hale Company for a classic candle and a wholesome cause. The company donates 10 percent of their proceeds to national animal rescue organizations. The organizations are locally based, including the Richmond Animal League and The Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation in Arlington.

Though the company is based in Virginia, you can find their candles across the District at Salt & Sundry in Union Market, Georgetown’s Onward Reserve or online. Their soothing scents like Coastal Juniper and Elderberry Rose (both $30) will be a crowd-pleaser for the 50 hours the candles can burn. But if you have a pet-friendly recipient in mind, consider the non-aromatic gifts like a collar charm for their furry friend ($16) or the practical natural bug spray for people and pets ($18).

Protect endangered species with the World Wildlife Fund
Surprise your friends and family this holiday with a gift they won’t expect – a polar bear or an African elephant. Help protect wild animals and their habitats while putting a smile on a nature lover’s face with a symbolic species adoption of your choice of more than 100 animals. Although they won’t receive the actual animal at their doorstep, the donation will support the worldwide efforts of WWF, which dedicates 85 percent of its spending to conservation activities.

For $55, your online donation will include a stuffed plush toy of your chosen animal, a formal adoption certificate, a color photo of the animal, a species spotlight card with facts about the animal and a reusable WWF tote bag. The recipient will also receive a note of acknowledgement from the organization for supporting their efforts to protect endangered species and fight climate change, deforestation, overfishing and other global threats.

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