Give a Little Bit (More) with Gifts that Give Back

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December has barely begun and we already have retail burnout. But what if what you give someone gave back to the greater good? Revive your generosity with presents with a charitable bent for everyone on your list, and take your rightful spot on the nice list.


Snarkitecture + Dandelion Chocolate Break Bar

Local artisanal chocolate makers Dandelion Chocolate have partnered with Brooklyn-based design practice Snarkitecture to create the Break Bar—a 500-piece limited edition chocolate bar that’s an edible work of art. Conceptualized by Cool Hunting, the bar took a year to make, and it’s actually 3 regular Dandelion bars in one. “We were really impressed by Snarkitecture’s work and thought it would be fun to see their designs in another medium. Because we are always focused on making great chocolate in our own way, it’s inspiring to see what great designers can do with it,” says Dandelion Chocolate co-founder Todd Masonis. Five of the bars feature a “White Ticket,” which gets the bearer the Break Bar in sculpture form (you can’t eat this one, though). Proceeds benefit Southern Exposure, a Mission-based non-profit organization committed to supporting visual artists. $45, available online and at Dandelion Chocolate, 740 Valencia St. (Mission)

Arts & Eats Oakland Cookbook

Like the SF Mission edition before it, this cookbook is a collaboration between Creative Growth Art Center, a gallery in Oakland for artists with developmental disabilities, and 25 top restaurants, this time focusing on the up-and-coming culinary mecca of Oakland, with recipes from the likes of Duende, Hawker Fare, and Kronnerburger. Proceeds benefit Creative Growth and Creative Rescue (an animal rescue). $20, available online through Creative Rescue

Pastries from The Bread Project

Think a blueberry muffin can’t change someone’s life? Think again. The Bread Project, which supplies delicious pastries like buttermilk and cheddar biscuits with thyme and lemon almond poppy seed pound cake to Williams-Sonoma, has been helping low-income individuals get on-the-job training since 2000. Partnering with Berkeley Adult School and Oakland Unified School District Adult & Career Education, they offer ten-week bakery production programs at their facility in Emeryville, and in January, they launched a three-week intensive Bakery Bootcamp program to help clients with the most need get these skills even faster. $40-80, available online at Williams-Sonoma

Murphy-Goode 2012 Homefront Red

Drinking for a good cause? Yes, please. This blend of zinfandel, merlot, petite syrah, and petit verdot from Healdsburg-based Murphy-Goode, with juicy bing cherry and raspberry complemented by toasty vanilla notes with a long finish, is a tasty way to support our troops. Murphy-Goode donates 50 cents for every bottle sold to Operation Homefront, which provides emergency financial assistance to veterans and their families. $14, available online through Murphy-Goode

For Goodness Sake

Take your pick from a range of accessories and home goods at this newly launched online shop—For Goodness Sake curates goods, some private label and collaborative custom-made goods from select designers, and donates a minimum of 25 percent of net proceeds to its cause partners that focus on health, environmental, and educational initiatives that serve the Bay Area. $35-350, available online

Pour Les Femmes Pajamas

Robin Wright can do no wrong in our eyes, but now she’s making a real difference—the lauded actress of Princess Bride and House of Cards fame has teamed up with her friend and designer Karen Fowler to make jammies mean something. The two worked with socially-conscious sleepwear company Pour Les Femmes on a collection of sleepwear consisting of four styles, with 100 percent of the profits going to Action Kivu and Synergie Des Femmes, two organizations that support female victims of violence in the Congo. The shopping process is along the lines of a Kickstarter campaign, with degrees of swag based on your donation amount, from the classic solid pajama set to a spot at the House of Cards Season 3 premiere event (plus your choice of pj’s). $10-20,000, available online