The gifts that you give this season can give twice when you pair the people on your Christmas list with their favorite cause or local activity. A donation made in the recipient’s name is an ideal form of charitable giving. Here are 10 twofold ideas to spark your gift-giving creativity, all of which give back to the Memphis community.

Binghampton Christian Academy Christmas Card Honorariums and Ornaments

The Binghampton Christian Academy has been serving children from the impoverished Binghampton neighborhood at no tuition cost to their families for more than 20 years. Every dollar to operate the school is supported through generous individual donors, church partners and foundation grants. This season, BCA offers a special Christmas gift that allows you to honor your friends and family, while supporting the loving, holistic education of its 130 PK through eighth grade students. With a donation of $20, BCA will mail a customized Christmas honorarium card with a heart-shaped tin ornament on BCA-logo ribbon enclosed to the recipient of your choice. Plus, they will personalize each card on your behalf and handle the addressing and mailing. All proceeds support the tuition of BCA students, and orders must be placed by December 20 to ensure Christmas delivery! To learn more and place your order, visit them online or email [email protected].

Binghampton Christmas Card and Ornament

Binghampton Christian Academy ornament and Christmas card, $20 | Images courtesy of BCA

Local Museum Gift Stores

Local museum gift stores are a wonderful place to find original gifts that give back. Both Dixon Gallery & Gardens and Memphis Brooks Museum of Art have lovely shops brimming with finds for all ages. Proceeds generated by these gift stores help support special programs in each museum.

The Dixon’s museum store should be on your shopping path. They have exquisite jewelry, pottery by local potters, baby and children’s toys, garden accoutrements and much more. Proceeds generated by the Dixon store support the Dixon’s education programs. Plus, museum members receive a 10 percent discount.

The Brooks Museum store also offers fine art books, toys, unique jewelry, useful and decorative works of art, stationery and more. All purchase proceeds support the exhibitions, educational programs and artistic preservation efforts of the Brooks. Museum members receive a 10 percent discount.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens educational programs

Proceeds from the Dixon museum store benefit Dixon’s art education programs. | Image credit: Dixon Gallery & Gardens

Shop with a Cause at T Clifton

The Shop with a Cause project allows folks to shop and give to the community at the same time. From December 9 to 20, T Clifton Art is donating 15 percent of all sales to the Carpenter Art Garden, a partnership of neighborhood children, adults and local artists who are transforming what was once a blighted lot into a place of beauty. The percentage includes the sale of art glass, gift items and custom framing. The garden is a vital part of the Binghampton Community, which is where T Clifton Art is proudly located and is an active part of the Broad Avenue Arts District.

Art glass works at T Clifton Gallery

A few of the wonderful gift ideas available at the T Clifton Gallery | Images courtesy of T Clifton Gallery

St. Jude Gift Shop

When you shop at the St. Jude Gift Shop, 100 percent of the profits, after all related expenses, benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. They have everything from apparel to greeting cards. Two new pottery selections include this Merry Christmas Stocking Mug, $15, and stocking plate, $15. Many of the designs featured on St. Jude’s tabletop items are inspired by St. Jude patient artwork.

From the St. Jude Gift Shop: Merry Christmas Stocking Mug, $15, and stocking plate, $15 | Image credit: St. Jude Gift Shop

From the St. Jude Gift Shop: Merry Christmas Stocking Mug, $15, and stocking plate, $15 | Image credit: St. Jude Gift Shop

City Dining and Shopping Cards

A deck of City Dining Cards contains 50 $10 discounts to locally owned restaurants. The City Dining Cards organization donates five percent of sales to local food banks, and they only feature locally owned businesses; City Shopping Cards are also available. Shop at stores in your deck, and receive $10 to $20 off of your purchase. At the same time, local charities receive proceeds from the sale of each deck. The 2014-15 edition of Memphis City Dining Cards can be found at the checkout desk of numerous local businesses, as well as online. Each deck of 50 is $20. For a complete list of participating restaurants and stores, visit Memphis City Dining Cards.

City Dining Cards

City Dining Cards, $20 | Image credit: Memphis City Dining Cards

Ekata Designs

The Ekata Designs mission is to teach refugee women in Memphis how to make beautiful jewelry, which is a small step toward helping them become independent in their new lives. These Ekata cuff bracelets, handmade in Memphis, were found at the Bookmark shop inside Second Presbyterian Church. And recently, More Therapy added this line to their boutique in Chickasaw Oaks Village$18

 Ekata Designs mission is to teach refugee women in Memphis how to make beautiful jewelry, which is a small step to helping them become independent in their new lives. These Ekata cuff bracelets, handmade in Memphis, are $18 each at the Bookmark shop inside Second Presbyterian Church. And recently, More Therapy added this line to their boutique in Chickasaw Oaks Village.

Ekata cuffs, seen at the Bookmark and More Therapy, $18

The Good Ham Co.

The Good Ham Co. is a Memphis-based company that donates one ham to the Memphis Food Bank for every 10 hams sold. Each ham is five pounds of boneless, premium pork, and serves up to 15 persons. They are made just south of Memphis in Home Place Pastures of Como, MS. The hams are hormone- and antibiotic-free and pasture-raised. They undergo a slow-smoking process and are cured in a secret blend of spices from the Bryan family business, which dates back to 1936. That’s almost 80 years of deliciousness in every ham. Purchase directly from The Good Ham Co. online, but we also suggest ordering your ham from Farm Truck Organics. By purchasing hams through this site, you can get the ham delivered for free if you choose to subscribe. Prices start at $21.

The Good Ham Co. gives one ham to the Memphis Food Bank for every ten sold. | Image credit: Farm Truck Organics & Groceries

The Good Ham Co. gives one ham to the Memphis Food Bank for every 10 sold, starting at $21. | Image credit: Farm Truck Organics & Groceries

Dine and Donate

Some friends and family members go out for dinner as a holiday tradition in lieu of exchanging gifts. If so, dine and give back at the same time by choosing South of Beale in December. Upon checkout, you will be asked to donate any amount from $1 and higher to The Dorothy Day House of Hospitality, which provides temporary housing and support services for homeless families in Memphis. Support The Dorothy Day House and this local restaurant’s charitable effort by dining there this month.

Dorothy Day House

The Dorothy Day House is the charity featured at checkout when you dine at South of Beale in December | Image credit: Dorothy Day House

Adopt-an-Angel

For a $25 donation, you can get a handmade ornament featuring the photo of one of the adoptable animals at the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County. You take home the ornament, and your name goes on a kennel sign where the animal “thanks” you for being his holiday angel, a donation that helps fund his care during the holidays. You can also request a custom ornament with your own pet’s photo. Stop by the lobby to purchase an Adopt-an-Angel ornament or contact Katie Pemberton to learn more.

Adopt-an Angel, $25, at the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County

Adopt-an-Angel for $25 at the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County | Image credit: Humane Society on Facebook

Community Theater Tickets

How about season tickets or a gift card toward individual performances at one of our local community theaters? Check out the event calendars of your favorite performance venues. The Greater Memphis area has everything in the year 2015 from Beethoven with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Sleeping Beauty at the Germantown Performing Arts Center to An Evening with Elvis at the Orpheum and Stomp at Playhouse on the Square … the choices are innumerable! There will be something for all ages and interests available at your community theater, and your Christmas gift to a friend ultimately supports local performing arts.

Sleeping Beauty at GPAC

“Sleeping Beauty” at GPAC | Image credit: GPAC

Have an even merrier Christmas by giving gifts that give back to your community! Happy holidays!

Christmas House ad