20 Unexpected Ways to Give Back (From Nashville's Style Blueprint)

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20 Unexpected Ways to Give Back This Season

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During this season of giving to the ones we love, we also find ourselves inspired to give to those in need as well. Meal donations, volunteering and fundraising are all surefire ways we can help serve Nashville’s many outstanding charities year-round. This season, in addition to our typical forms of giving, we plan to shop (and eat) with a purpose. These 20 businesses guarantee that dollars spent with them will give you more than just a perfect product or delicious plate of food. They will also support those who need help the most. Consider supporting these socially conscious brands and local restaurants this season as they partner with organizations for the betterment of all in local and international communities.

Give a gift.

This season, give a gift that gives back. Socially conscious brands are on the rise in Nashville, and your purchases can help them continue to grow. When shopping for your friends and loved ones, consider purchasing an item from one of these brands or businesses. It will be exactly what your giftee wants, and you will be giving back to these brands and their missions to empower, employ, house and feed people across the country. Below, we highlight local businesses and showcase gift options from each!

Nashville Artist Collective Art

A percentage of all online Nashville Artist Collective (NAC) sales goes back to a Nashville non-profit. For the months of November and December, NAC, which just launched in September, is partnering with Safe Haven Family Shelter, one of the only shelters in Middle Tennessee that allows families to stay together and provides services to each person to help end the cycle of homelessness. NAC offers access to affordable, original art crafted by local artists. Shop the collection of artwork here, including the Still Life No. 2 by Lisa Zager, for $525.

gifts that give back Nashville

Gift pick: Still Life No. 2 by Lisa Zager, $525, 24×41; watercolor, ink and graphite on paper; available here | Image: Nashville Artist Collective

Batch Nashville’s Taste of Music City Gift Batch

Batch is a go-to for holiday gifts. With batches for her, him, the snacker, the drinker and the chocolate lover, there is something for just about everyone. This year, consider giving the Taste of Music City Gift Batch, which includes Sunday Morning Pancake Mix, Nashville Jam Company jam, Haulin’ Oats oatmeal, Walker Feed Company Bloody Mary mix, Trubee honey, Willa’s hot cheddar shortbreads, Eli Mason cocktail mixer and a Batch tea towel. Each Taste of Music City box allows Batch to donate 40 meals to Second Harvest Food Bank, which fights hunger in Middle Tennessee. Purchase the box here for $79.

gifts that give back Nashville

Receive a jar of Nashville Jam Company jam in your Taste of Music City Batch box, which benefits Second Harvest. Purchase here.

The BRANDED Collective Signature BRANDED Cuff

End Slavery Tennessee works locally to end human trafficking and slavery and heal survivors. The BRANDED Collective employs these survivors to create jewelry that brings awareness to trafficking in Tennessee. Additionally, 25% of the profits from all BRANDED Collective items are given to the rescue and restoration of survivors. Each piece of jewelry (necklaces, bracelets and earrings) has a number that represents one of the millions being trafficked. Shop the Signature BRANDED Cuff for $25 at The BRANDED Collective

gifts that give back Nashville

Signature BRANDED Cuff, $25 at The BRANDED Collective | Image: The BRANDED Collective

Will & Ivey Bamboo Sweatshirt

Will & Ivey’s stylish children’s apparel is reason enough to purchase, but the contributions they make to The Forgotten Initiative, an organization that brings joy and purpose to the foster care community through resources and support, is the icing on the cake! Proceeds from all of Will & Ivey’s purchases support The Forgotten Initiative. Founded with the mission to inspire one to take on their day with purpose, Will & Ivey’s minimalist designs and super soft fabrics are some of the best. Additionally, Will & Ivey helped established a micro-sewing business in Mt. Olivas, Honduras, through a partnership with Nashville’s ToolLife.

Keep your kiddo warm in the Bamboo Sweatshirt for $35 at Will & Ivey. Shop additional Will & Ivey products at Arcademagpies: baby & children’s shoppe and White’s Mercantile.

Give a gift that gives back

Bamboo sweatshirt, $35 at Will & Ivey | Image: Will & Ivey

The Community Foundation’s Giving Card

Purchase a card that allows the recipient to support he 501(c)(3) charity or charities of their choice, anywhere in the country. The recipient of the card will be overjoyed to have the opportunity to support the cause of their choice. Cards come in increments of $25-$1,000 and can be purchased here.

cfmtcards

Giving Cards, $10-$1000 at The Community Foundation

Hester & Cook Paper Placemats

Hester & Cook’s paper placemats are perfect for entertainers. The playful designs instantly update any table setting, and their paper construction makes cleanup a breeze. Purchasing these (and all Hester & Cook items) benefits the Wonderful Life Foundation, which was established and continues to be directed by Hester & Cook owners, Robbie and Angie Cook. “Our mission at the Wonderful Life Foundation is to financially support families that have children experiencing life-threatening illnesses, primarily cancer. Our son, Will, developed a brain tumor when he was just 2. That journey made it very clear we were supposed to help other families going through treatment,” Angie tells us (read more here). A portion of all Hester & Cook sales benefits this non-profit (including the paper placemats available at Hester & Cook for $27-$29).

gifts that give back Nashville

Paper Placemats, $27-$29 at Hester & Cook

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Humphreys Street Coffee & Soaps Peppermint Soap

Humphreys Street employs and empowers youth in Wedgewood Houston through Humpreys Street Coffee and Humphreys Street Soap. The staff is made up of students in the South Nashville neighborhood, who craft the coffee and soap, which gives them a new skill set and mentorship opportunities. The profits from the soaps and coffees (see the flavors here) are reinvested in the students through programs and scholarship opportunities. Humphreys Street soap contains only natural ingredients and are available in a variety of scents (from lavender to pumpkin spice).

This season, we recommend giving a bar of peppermint soap (just in time for the holidays) for $6 at Humphreys Street Coffee & Soaps. Humphreys Street will be closed from December 17 through January 4 so order online or visit their store today!

gifts that give back Nashville

Peppermint soap, $6 at Humphreys Street Coffee & Soaps | Image: Humphreys Street Coffee & Soaps

Nisolo Owen Belt

All Nisolo leather goods and jewelry are crafted by employees around the world. Your purchase of all Nisolo products will help them continue to offer employment and empowerment to many. By working with artisans and craftsmen in Peru, Mexico and Kenya, Nisolo is making a social impact. Their collection has expanded to include bags, leather accessories and jewelry, in addition to their well-loved shoes for both men and women. When you purchase a pair of Nisolo shoes, you are changing communities in South America and giving the gift of accomplishment: lives are being positively impacted by the ability to earn a living income to provide for themselves and their families (read more here). When hunting for a gift for the guy in your life, look no further than the Owen belt for $44 at Nisolo.

gifts that give back Nashville

Owen belt, $44 at Nisolo

FASHIONABLE Zemen Leather Tote

FASHIONABLE works with women, locally and globally, and empowers them through work. The Zemen leather tote was handcrafted in Ethiopia with 100% Ethiopian leather and named for one of the women who helped make it a reality. Zemen is among the dozens of women who benefit from FASHIONABLE’s charitable model of business and this only one of the many products women create for the company. Through job creation, FASHIONABLE is empowering women in developing countries and contributing to the area’s economic growth. Shop from their selection of jewelry and leather goods and support their mission of empowerment.

One of our favorites is the Zemen tote for $188, which you can shop here or at FASHIONABLE’s new store at 5022 Centennial Blvd., Nashville, TN 37209 opening on December 3!

gifts that give back Nashville

Zemen leather tote, $188 at FASHIONABLE | Image: FASHIONABLE

Salemtown Board Co. Nova Walnut Cruiser

Salemtown Board Co. focuses on job creation. Purchase their boards and apparel to support their mission of providing employment within the community. Getting their start in Nashville’s Salemtown neighborhood, the company looked to neighborhood men in need of employment. Although they now call North Nashville home, they continue to offer a solution for economic rehabilitation through job creation.

Skateboards may not be a common gift, but surely there is someone who would appreciate a skateboard handcrafted by a local company that creates jobs for young men in Nashville. Purchase the Nova Walnut Cruiser at Salemtown Board Co. for $197, or shop their full collection of boards.

gifts that give back Nashville

The Nova Walnut Cruiser for $197 at Salemtown Board Co. | Image: Salemtown Board Co.

Crossroads Pets — Shop & Adopt Poo Doo Pouch

Crossroads Campus is a nonprofit focused on helping people and animals in need. The organization serves young people facing homelessness and provides shelter and adoptions for homeless dogs and cats. The Crossroads Pets — Shop & Adopt retail store, located in Germantown, sells pet supplies and all proceeds from the retail store support their mission of providing the youth and animals in our community with a better life. You can shop from a selection of leashes, collars, flea and tick protection, dog and cat toys, grooming supplies, health aids and pet food.

Purchase the Poo Doo Pouch by local company, Poo Doo Leash. The pouch snaps onto a leash handle and has separate compartments for bags, pet waste and personal items for $15-$17 at Crossroads Pets- Shop & Adopt.

gifts that give back Nashville

Poo Doo Pouch, $15-$17 at Crossroads Pets- Shop & Adopt | Image: Poo Doo Pouch

Thistle Farms Three Tree Candle

Female survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution are offered healing through Thistle Farms. Residents and graduates of the two-year residential program, which offers housing, medical care, therapy, education and job training, are employed by Thistle Farms. Natural bath and body products are created here in Nashville by 1,000+ women. In the spirit of Christmas, purchase this handmade soy candle, made with fresh fir, cedarwood and spruce essential oils, $22 at Thistle Farms.

gifts that give back Nashville

Three Tree Candle, $22 at Thistle Farms | Image: Thistle Farms

Project 615 Love Your Neighbor Shirt

Project 615 was founded as a fundraising and awareness effort for the homeless in Nashville. Since the business was started in 2010, they have been doing just that. Project 615 is a philanthropic apparel company. The majority of their apparel benefits Set Free Ministries.

Currently they are teaming up with Room in the Inn by donating 100% profits from their Love Your Neighbor shirts. Room in the Inn provides programs including shelter and meals for Nashville’s homeless community. Purchase a Love Your Neighbor shirt for $24.99 or a sweatshirt for $44.99 at Project 615. You can also shop Project 615 products at local retailers, including Pieces BoutiqueNative + Nomad and Music City Marketplace.

gifts that give back Nashville

Love Your Neighbor sweatshirt and shirt, $44.99 and $24.99, respectively, at Project 615 | Image: Project 615

Therapy Systems, Inc. Amazingly Gentle Scrub

Therapy Systems’ scrub is amazingly gentle (shocking, right?). The scrub cleanses and exfoliates, leaving your skin feeling fresh. With each bottled purchased, Therapy Systems donates a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer education and research. This scrub makes for the perfect stocking stuffer! Pick up a bottle at Therapy Systems for $38.

gifts that give back Nashville

Amazingly Gentle Scrub, $38 at Therapy Systems

Eat locally.

Nashville restaurants are no strangers to giving back to their community. Many of our local eateries have a long list of charitable causes and events to which they have committed their support. A purchase from these six restaurants and eateries will ensure your money is going into the hands of those in need. So eat locally and give back.

Christie Cookie Co. Folds of Honor Tin

Christie Cookie’s Folds of Honor tin contains 18 gourmet cookies. A portion of the proceeds from the Folds of Honor tin supports the Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to family members of those killed or disabled while in service. Christie Cookie also supports Gilda’s Club with a specialty tin. The Folds of Honor Tin is $36.99 at Christie Cookie Co.

gifts that give back Nashville

Folds of Honor tin, $36.99 at Christie Cookie Co.

Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. Coffee

A passion for coffee and a passion for dogs are at the foundation of this company. Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. sells 100% fair trade and organic-certified coffee, and 20% of all proceeds are donated to animal rescue partners (in Nashville they partner with Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue). Locally, you can shop the coffee at White’s Mercantile. Snag a 12-ounce bag for $16 for any coffee and/or dog lover in your life.

gifts that give back Nashville

Grounds & House Coffee Co. coffee, $9.14 at White’s Mercantile

Sprinkles Peanut Butter Pretzel Chip Cookie

Although not eating the cupcakes will do more good than eating them, we are more than happy to purchase sweets in support of a business that gives back to the community. Sprinkles donates all unsold cupcakes to local homeless shelters and food banks. In Nashville, all items are donated to the Nashville Food Project. Support Sprinkles and help them support our homeless community. We plan to do so by digging into the peanut butter pretzel chip cookie for $3 at Sprinkles in 12South.

gifts that give back Nashville

Peanut butter pretzel chip cookie, $3 at Sprinkles

Etch Roasted Cauliflower

Not only is the roasted cauliflower our favorite dish at Etch because of the truffle pea pesto, it is our favorite because it supports Second Harvest Food Bank. For each order, a dollar is donated to Second Harvest. Last year, Etch was proud to donate $17,000. That is a lot of cauliflower! The roasted cauliflower (served with truffle pea pesto, salted almonds, feta dip and red bell essence) is available during lunch and dinner for $10 at Etch.

gifts that give back Nashville

Roasted cauliflower, $10 at Etch

Fido Blue Monarch Granola

Blue Monarch assists women and children battling addiction, domestic violence and economic hardships. Through Out of the Blue Granola, these women are given onsite employment. The all-natural product is sold individually onlineand also appears on Fido’s menu. Try the granola in a parfait, with yogurt, bananas, strawberries, dried cranberries, walnuts and local honey ($8), or served with milk, bananas and strawberries ($6), at Fido.

gifts that give back Nashville

Blue Monarch granola, $6-$8 at Fido | Image: Blue Monarch

The Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop Cranberry Walnut White Chocolate Chip Pie

The Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop is located just down the road in Franklin and was started by a Tennessee couple with inspiration from their grandmothers. They use family recipes and traditional baking methods that have gained them recognition across the state. In addition to their classic pies, Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop creates a specialty pie each month for the Pie it Forward program. A portion of proceeds from the sale of one of these pies is donated to organizations in the community. To order from their Franklin, TN location, call (615) 721-5962.

gifts that give back Nashville

Cranberry walnut white chocolate chip pie is $28 for a 9-inch pie at The Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop. Image: The Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop

Embrace the spirit of giving this season! 

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