Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from your friends at Philadelphia magazine

Giving is the new Getting

Roll up your sleeves it’s time to do some good. And here’s how:


Make shopping a breeze at these local spots that give back.

Habitual Threads, an independent jewelry line inspired by bold, found objects, donates $5 of every sale to charities that help provide basic resources like food, water, shelter and mental health care. You can choose which cause you’d like to support at check out.

Analogue Watch Co. is a local watch company that works with The Schuylkill Center and other nonprofits that back environmental education and conservation, making it a great excuse to get that sleek watch your #1 dad deserves.

Looking for the perfect gift for the history buff on your list? The Historical Society of Pennsylvania offers a complete image archive that’s rife with photos of Philly neighborhoods circa a long, long time ago, and you can get these images printed and framed with the full cost going back to the organization’s preservation and research efforts.


Give a week, a day or even one hour to one of these very good causes.

The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House always needs help coordinating events, cooking meals and providing a community of comfort and hope for families with seriously ill children. If you can commit to two shifts per month or more, consider helping a less fortunate family.

Whether you’re looking for a one-time volunteer event experience or something more long-term, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey has a handful of opportunities they could use a hand with. Grocery shop, cook, chauffer, wrap gifts or tutor – whatever your talents or expertise, you’re needed here.

Big Brothers Big Sisters always needs volunteers to act as mentors for local kids. The long-term volunteer opportunity has a huge success rate; 81% of former Littles say that their Big gave them hope for the future. Go ahead, change a life. It’s likely they’ll change yours in the process.


Donate to local charities on your loved one’s behalf.

Covenant House provides housing, healthcare, job and education services for homeless youth ages 21 years and younger. Gifting a one-time or pledge-based secure donation online in a loved one’s name will help a young person find shelter and much needed resources.

Coded by Kids offers free technology education to local kids who might lack access to resources and mentors needed to succeed in the industry. By making a donation to this nonprofit, you’re investing in our city’s tech scene, one budding Steve Jobs at a time.

While volunteering your time with Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) can be a heart-warming holiday experience, the little kitties and pups could use your dollars, too. For every one you give, 91 cents is going back to lifesaving efforts for local animals.

Party prep

Host your holiday using mission-driven local fare.

Buy your baked goods from MANNA so they can continue to deliver meals and nutritional counsel for those battling life-threatening illnesses. For your holiday party crudites, pick up fresh, locally-raised veggies from Riverwards Produce, a fairly new neighborly-owned shop dedicated to providing affordable, healthy foods in Fishtown. Make your beer run to Philadelphia Brewing Company, the Kenzo-based brewery that’s been a community staple since 1885. If you’re looking for a bite out, Center City luncheonette Rooster Soup Co serves up 100% of proceeds to Broad Street Ministries Hospitality Collaborative, which provides meals and counseling services to the homeless.


Re-gift your holiday overstock.

Philly Aids Thrift is ready to take that ugly sweater off your hands, resell it and give the proceeds to locals in need.

Books Through Bars, headquartered in West Philly, has a wishlist of items including GED and trade training, dictionaries and small business tutorials that can help provide more than 700 incarcerated people with important reading materials each month. Go ahead, donate your dog-eared favorites.

Philabundance lists PB&J, canned vegetables and fruits and dry goods (think cereal, rice and whole grain pasta) as some of its most sought-after non-perishables. Donating the foodstuffs you didn’t get around to using this holiday season can help feed the more than 90,000 hungry folks each week.


Teach your children to grow up good by giving back.

The second Tuesday of every month is Philabundance’s Family Night. Volunteers eight and older can help sort and stock warehouse inventory with the help of a parent or guardian (and there’s pizza, crafts and games involved). At Cradles to Crayons, your children can help others by handing over their extra school and art supplies. Volunteers as young as six years old can also donate their time by working in the Giving Factory, where packages are distributed to local disadvantaged children. Teach your futureentrepreneur how to raise money by participating in their very own Alex’s Lemonad Stand. By hosting a local lemonade or bake sale, your child can collect money for childhood cancer research.