Anything you buy from a local merchant is a gift to the shop owner, the employees and the economy.
Manufacturers of some items are specific in their benefits, donating a portion of proceeds to a selected charity or cause. In those cases, you are essentially giving a triple gift – to the merchant, the charity and your gift recipient.
A few of the shops do the giving themselves, with purchased items or percentages of sales going to local nonprofit organizations.
Following are a few special finds from the local shopping area.
127 Main St., Los Altos
• jcoco chocolate bars. $3 each, or $9 for three in gift sleeve.
Available in approximately a dozen flavors, jcoco chocolate bars would delight a hostess or chocolate aficionado. The bars can be bundled in a jcoco gift sleeve featuring the woman-owned company’s giving mission: “Every time you purchase jcoco, we give a fresh, healthy serving of food to someone in need.”
295 State St., Los Altos
• “I love California” tote bags and T-shirts. From $20.
Items feature a bear in a firefighter helmet and benefit California wildfire relief efforts.
• Pinch Me Therapy Dough. $15.
Available in a variety of calming scents, the dough can be squeezed, kneaded or molded to relieve stress. A portion of proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
Adventure Toys & Teachers’ Supplies
173 Main St., Los Altos
• Creativity for Kids arts and crafts kits and supplies. Prices vary.
Part of the Faber-Castell brand, Creativity for Kids offers an array of educational and creative activities. Since 2001, the Graf von Faber-Castell Children’s Fund Foundation has been supporting humanitarian children’s aid projects, primarily in developing countries.
Cost Plus World Market
1910 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View
• Sackcloth & Ashes throw blankets. Buy one, give one. $99.
Cost Plus World Market and Sackcloth & Ashes are partnering to provide 15,000 blankets for homeless shelters in California, Texas, Colorado and Washington. Bring back the gift box filled with items shelters need, and Cost Plus World Market will deliver it to a local shelter.
151 Main St., Los Altos
• Ruthie & Olive necklaces. $37.
Working with the Oregon Food Bank, this Portland-based company donates three meals for every necklace sold. The jewelry cards are printed with inspiring messages.
342 State St., Los Altos
• Selected jewelry. Prices vary.
Ten percent of proceeds benefit the Los Altos Village Association, which sponsors more than a dozen downtown activities, including the Los Altos Farmers’ Market, the Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival, the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Easter Egg Hunt.
261 Main St., Los Altos
• April Cornell table linens. From $32.50.
April Cornell runs the Giving World Foundation, sponsoring projects in rural and urban areas in India. According to the April Cornell website, “The impact is nothing short of incredible. From slum schooling to micro-enterprising for widowed women, we reach out to those who are searching for a hand up, not a hand out.” The group has also provided assistance in Haiti and Vermont.
Linden Tree Children’s Books
265 State St., Los Altos
• Books. Prices vary.
While doing holiday shopping for friends and family, Linden Tree customers can buy an extra book or stuffed animal for a child in need. Linden Tree Children’s Books is involved in two local literacy projects. Project Night Night, with a target of reaching every homeless child on the Peninsula, provides tote bags containing a security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book and a stuffed animal. Peninsula Bridge helps break the cycle of poverty through academic assistance to youth from fifth grade through college.
296 State St., Los Altos
• Assorted gift items. Various denominations.
Through Dec. 10, Nature Gallery shoppers can earn gift cards to local shops and restaurants, or request that their rewards be donated to the Sempervirens Big Basin Recovery Fund.
“We feel that contributing to an effort to restore the forest after the devastating fire at Big Basin is critically important,” shop owner Carol Garsten wrote. “Nature Gallery features 220-million-year-old petrified wood tables and specimens, and we feel deeply connected with the majesty of the current and ancient forests.”
Rewards/donation levels are $25 for a $250 purchase, $50 for a $500 purchase and $125 for a $1,000 purchase.
Los Altos History Museum
51 S. San Antonio Road
• Assorted gift items. Prices vary.
The museum gift shop features a wide array of books on local and California history, as well as toys, jewelry, scarves and items for the home and garden. Proceeds support the museum and its many exhibitions and programs.