Shopping locally helps employ neighbors and keeps dollars close to home. But many local businesses take it a step further by dedicating a portion of proceeds from some sales to good causes, from music to education to animal welfare. 

So when it comes to holiday shopping, you could load up your online cart and click the “Place Your Order” button. Or you could head to a locally owned business and buy a gift that benefits the entire community.

While the latter option does require a little more effort, have no fear — with this gift guide, we’ve done the legwork for you. 

Picassimo game ($44.95)

Available at eco-friendly toy store Little Pnuts, this charades-tinged drawing game is fun for kids yet challenging for adults. Twenty percent of proceeds from Picassimo sales benefit the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter. Little Pnuts Toy Shoppe, 209 Harrison Ave., (504) 267-5083;

Bonfolk’s Beignet socks ($19.99)

Adorned with one of New Orleans’ sweetest duos, beignets and coffee, these unisex, one-size-fits-all socks put a little pep in more than one person’s step. For each pair of socks sold at Bonfolk, a pair is donated to charity. Available at shops citywide or online at

Gift basket ($35 to $100)

From the pecan candy and jambalaya mix to the lavender soap and tea towel, everything in this gift basket is locally made — and all proceeds support operations at Eden House, a recovery home for female human trafficking victims. The gift basket also contains bracelets handmade by Eden House residents. Available at

Native Nail Polish ($11)

Locally made and owned, Native nail polishes are vegan and free of formaldehyde, parabens and other chemicals. Plus, they’re good for the community. A portion of proceeds from sales of TRIed & True, which commemorates New Orleans’ tricentennial, benefits NOLA4Women. Available at boutiques citywide or online at

Guitar string bracelet ($15)

Broken guitar strings get a second life with ReStrung Jewelry when creator Naomi Celestin makes them into bracelets. Five percent of proceeds are donated to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. Available at Miette (2038 Magazine St.) or online at

Sterling silver backbone cufflinks ($295)

These cufflinks are cast from alligator backbones, which gives them a raw, earthy quality that nicely juxtaposes a crisp shirt cuff. Five percent of proceeds benefit the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. Available at Porter Lyons, 631 Toulouse St. or

Art history coloring book ($15)

Rediscover the relaxing yet creatively stimulating act of coloring while brushing up art from the 15th through 20th centuries. Coloring books are handmade in New Orleans by artist Mattie Stratton, and all sales benefit programs for NOCCA students. Available at the NOCCA Marketplace online shop at

Recycled greeting cards ($10)

You wouldn’t guess by their appearance, but these block-printed, eco-friendly greeting cards are made from elephant dung. (It’s cleaned and processed first.) Each card is handmade by young adults in India with autism and other developmental disabilities, and all proceeds support their ongoing training. Available at Passion Lilie (3207 Burgundy St.) or online at

Bulldog T-shirt ($25)

Though it’s named for the most noble and wrinkled of breeds, Bulldog Rescue of New Orleans is a nonprofit dedicated to rehabilitating and advocating for all dogs. Ten dollars of every T-shirt sold goes to pay vet and medical bills at Bulldog Rescue of New Orleans. Available at Pop City (940 Decatur St., 3118 Magazine St.) and Fun Rock’n (1125 Decatur St., 3109 Magazine St.).

Handmade felt doll and teepee ($45)

Designed in Australia, fair trade certified and handmade of New Zealand wool by Nepalese women, this colorful felt doll is a sweet companion to children of all ages. A percentage of proceeds benefits the doll-makers’ children’s educations. Available at the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Museum Shop (1 Collins Diboll Circle).

Cookbook ($40)

A cookbook celebrating America’s food culture wouldn’t be complete without several New Orleans recipes — and this one includes a gumbo by Leah Chase, red beans and rice by Pableaux Johnson and poached chicken with pepper sauce by Tunde Way. Proceeds from the book will provide 200,000 meals for children via No Kid Hungry. Available at Blue Cypress Books (8126 Oak St.) and Kitchen Witch (1452 N. Broad St., Suite C).