Finding the perfect gift for your loved ones is a great feeling, which can be made even better if it also benefits a local non-profit.

My idea for this post started when I was thinking about what to buy my New Hampshire brother for Christmas. He and I have started a tradition of buying locally-made gifts for each other, in order to support local business. Last year, I sent him Bangor Police Lieutenant Tim Cotton's book, 'The Detective in the Dooryard.' (okay, Tim's not a local business, but my brother also writes so I knew it was something he'd enjoy)

That got me thinking about how great it would be to support local charitable organizations with my gifts. So I started doing some research about local agencies that also have online gift shops to support their individual missions. And I came up with more than few.

While your kids or grandkids may not care that the cute toy you bought helps support a local educational organization, the adults on your list just might find your gift extra special if they know that its' purchase is also helping others. So, I'd suggest including a note, or maybe some literature, to let them know the background behind the gift. It just might spark a holiday conversation that encourages others at your gathering to do the same in the future.

I hope these suggestions help you complete your holiday gift list. And, who knows? Maybe you'll find some cool things for yourself, as well.

10+ Cool Gift Ideas that Will Also Benefit a Maine Non-Profit

Giving these gifts to your loved ones would also support agencies that give back every day to our communities.

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Health officials say holiday gatherings can be good, as long as they're done safely.

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.


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