05/07/2013 07:08 EDT | Updated 05/07/2013 07:11 EDT

Last-Minute Mother's Day Ideas: 11 Tried-And-True Gifts That Also Give Back

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When Mother’s Day arrives, many of us are left scrambling for ideas on what to get the one person who doesn't think twice before giving. A mother's generosity is hard to match, and this could explain why we often end up relying on traditional gifts like flowers and chocolates, despite our best last-ditch efforts.

And it turns out that even on Mother's Day, moms are thinking of others: A poll commissioned by World Vision in 2012 found that of 2,199 respondents surveyed in the U.S., nearly two thirds of mothers (or 64 per cent), said they preferred to receive a more meaningful gift that would help someone else, instead of conventional gifts like cards or flowers.

But if, like last year, you find yourself in a panic and reaching for an old faithful like chocolates or perfume mere moments ahead of Mother's Day on May 12, there's good news -- you can combine your last-minute tendencies with Mom's desire for a gift that benefits others with our picks below. So go ahead, order those flowers. Just make sure they're eco -- Mom'll love you for it.

LOOK: Check out 11 traditional Mother's Day gifts that give back:

Mother's Day Gifts That Give Back


Chocolates are a staple for many holidays -- Mother’s Day included. But instead of sticking to typical chocolates, let your mom indulge in a box of Godiva chocolates with a FEED 10 tote bag. Each gift combo provides 10 school meals to children in cocoa-producing regions in conjunction with FEED the United Nations World Food Programme. How sweet.

Spring Ballotin and FEED Bag, $70.

The Bag

Your mom, like all moms, is probably a master multitasker. To that end, Dee Ocleppo’s 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 handbags are the perfect option for a woman who leads a busy lifestyle. All proceeds from each bag goes to autism science and advocacy organization Autism Speaks.

Prices start at $19.

The Beauty Product

Though often understated, mothers could not do what they do without being comfortable in their own skins. To keep moms feeling beautiful, LUSH’s Charity Pot hand and body lotion, infused with fair trade cocoa butter, ylang ylang oil and almond oil, donates 100 per cent of its proceeds to grassroots organizations committed to environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.

LUSH's Charity Pot, $23, available at LUSH stores across Canada

The Cookbook

Everyone loves their mom's food and what better way to satiate her love of cooking (and your palate) by giving her a copy of The Food Collective. All funds from this go to Montreal-based Santropol Roulant an organization that brings together different food cultures to “break social and economic isolation.”

The Foodie Collective Book, $25 US, available on

The Perfume

For the mothers who like to keep things close to their hearts and well, smell good, check out The 7 Virtues perfume collection. The Canadian company works to ethically source essentials oils with legal suppliers in regions like Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and Haiti to encourage fair trade in those areas. Plus, the fragrances are vegan-friendly, pthalate and paraben-free, not tested on animals, and made in Canada. Mom would be so proud.

Vetiver of Haiti, $70, available and in stores at The Bay

Greeting Cards

Whether or not your mom allowed you to have pets in the house, she would always root for the underdog. At, customers can send gift or greeting cards with pictures of dogs and cats up for adoption at local shelters and rescue organizations. Ten per cent of proceeds goes to shelters and animal welfare programs in the U.S.

Prices start at $3.50


Flowers don't last but what they symbolize can last an eternity. From carnations to forget-me-nots, make those feelings heartfelt and socially conscious by ordering Eco Flowers, which are independently audited to meet social and environmental standards to uphold fair working conditions, remaining eco-friendly, and ensuring that all farms remain socially responsible.

Prices vary

The Gadget

There’s supposedly never a bad time to invest in an Apple product, so why not Mother's Day? These (PRODUCT) RED iPod cases and devices donates a percentage of proceeds to the Global Fund to combat AIDS in Africa.

Prices start at $50

The Book

Finding a gift might be classified as a “first world problem,” but this Mother's Day, make light heart of this meme by giving her a book that pokes fun at these so-called problems. For every purchase of First World Problems, Me to We sends 500 litres of water to families overseas.

Prices start at $4.

The Jewelry

Mothers deserve to be rewarded for all their hard work, and that means moms around the world too. sells a variety of ethically sourced and fairly traded goods, including self-produced jewelry, accessories and scarves, made by artisan groups in close to 20 countries.

Prices start at under $10

The Donation

Moms are the heart of any family, so what if you could help a mom support her family with just one purchase? Oxfam lets customers buy gifts of beehives, chickens and even safe water for families in developing nations.

Prices start at $25