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November 23, 2022

Shop gifts that give back this holiday season

Between shopping malls and online stores, your gifting options are endless. But sometimes having all those options can be daunting. How do you decide what to get? Will the person you’re buying it for like it? Is the gift itself making a positive impact — supporting local artisans, offsetting its carbon footprint or benefiting people in need?

We know how hard it can be to decide what gifts to buy during the holiday season, so we’re making it a little easier. Shop from our curated list of holiday gifts that your loved ones will love AND that will benefit refugees and displaced people.

1. UNHCR x UNIQLO Keychain (and other MADE51 products)

UNHCR x UNIQLO keychain

Crafted by displaced South Sudanese women in UNHCR’s MADE51 initiative, these beaded keychains are handmade and one of a kind! Beading is a traditional craft in South Sudan, where patterns and colors carry cultural meanings.

UNIQLO is selling these limited edition keychains in support of refugee artisans in the MADE51 initiative. MADE51 gives refugees the opportunity to use their traditional craftsmanship to earn income, regain independence, support their families and contribute to their communities.

But that’s not the only artisan craft available from MADE51! Shop ornaments, home decor, jewelry and more at

2. Kin & Care Candle

Kin & Care candle

Hand-poured , small-batch, wonderfully fragrant candles are just what you need to give your home a warm, welcoming touch.

For Kin & Care, “welcoming” has an even greater meaning. Kin & Care candles are made by refugee and immigrant women in the Washington, DC area, empowering them to build a place of their own for themselves and for their families. The candles are made at home to provide security and accommodate flexible schedules, and the initiative is scalable so that opportunities for refugee women grow as the brand evolves.

3. 1951 Coffee

1951 coffee company

When you purchase a bag of rich roasted coffee from 1951 Coffee Company, you support the livelihood and well-being of refugees in the United States.

1951 Coffee Company is a non-profit specialty coffee organization that promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the United States. The company provides job training and employment to refugees, asylees and special immigrant visa holders while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.

4. Stroopies


Perfect to accompany that hot cup of coffee, is a stroopie! “Stroopies are a cinnamon waffle with a homemade caramel in the center designed to rewarm on your hot tea or coffee,” explains Jennie Groff, co-owner of The Lancaster Stroopies Company. 

As a certified B Corp company, The Lancaster Stroopies Company is recognized for its mission to balance profit and purpose. The company reinvests its profits into its refugee employees and is dedicated to cultivating a supportive work environment.

5. The Little Market

The Little Market

Get everything from toys to kitchenware, to accessories all at The Little Market!

The Little Market ethically sources products from artisan groups and social enterprises in underserved communities — including refugees and resettled individuals, people with disabilities, young mothers, survivors of sex trafficking and individuals living in extreme poverty. The company seeks to empower artisans worldwide  by extending their products’ distribution, supporting sustainable income opportunities, celebrating cultural techniques and traditions; all while bringing attention to social justice and human rights issues faced by the artisans’ communities.

6. Have a meal at a refugee-owned restaurant

Eat OffBeat

Cities across the country boast amazing refugee-owned restaurants, caterers and market-shops. This holiday season, find a refugee-owned chef near you and grab a bite to eat, host a catered meal or gift food and products to friends and family!

Right now in New York City’s Chelsea Market you can enjoy the flavors of Eat Offbeat, home cooking from around the world, made with love by refugee chefs in New York.

7. Giving Machines

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Giving Machines

Giving Machines are special vending machines in places like New York City, Houston, Denver, Seattle and other cities across the United States that give people the opportunity to purchase essential items like blankets, sleeping mats, tents and warm winter clothing for refugees.

Giving Machines are a fundraising initiative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “Light the World” campaign. USA for UNHCR is a proud partner of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is excited to support amazing activities like this that help refugees around the world.

“The Giving Machines makes it real and helps people understand that they too can contribute and play a role. It is daunting to think about how many people are in need across the globe. It is also hard to get your head around how your contribution will really help. Just as simple as using a vending machine, you can contribute and make a difference.” says Latrise Brissett, USA for UNHCR board member and Managing Director at Accenture.

Happy Holidays!