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Where to buy gifts that give back this holiday season

There are many ways to give and get this holiday season, but some gifts keep on giving.

Jay Aaron Roy’s vision for his store in Lower Sackville, N.S., is to make a difference.

Seventy per cent of craft art sales at Cape and Cowl Comics and Collectibles return to the artist.

T-shirt sales also help fund a charity for the homeless, or the storeowner’s youth outreach program.

A corner of the comic book store is a counselling office where teenagers can connect with a social worker in a safe space.

“Just part of what I believe here is to remove those barriers,” Roy said. “A lot of youth might find it kind of intimidating to access some supports through a medical system or medical facility, so we try to offer some free youth counselling.”

At UbU4U’s new location in downtown Halifax’s Scotia Square, Jessica Bowden sells clothes and shares her business expertise with young entrepreneurs to teach them how to run their own stores.

“Our whole objective is to be able to give back. And not just be the individual itself, but become the conduit so others can actually be the change,” Bowden said.

Proceeds from sales go toward programs such as mental health initiatives, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre or backpacks for youth filled with school supplies and hope.

“On top of all that, there’s this gorgeous letter in there that I write each individual and it says ‘inside this bag is more than just paper and pencil it’s your opportunity and dreams,’” Bowden said.

At The Tare Shop in Dartmouth, a package-free grocery store, customers are encouraged to spend thoughtfully.

“Gifts that are good for the environment that will help them eliminate some plastic in their life are a great option,” said owner Kate Pepler.

Pepler believes gift cards are always a good choice so people buy what they need.

“When you buy from shops like The Tare shop you’re not only buying items plastic free or package free, but you’re also supporting a different way of shopping and a different way of thinking.” Top Stories

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