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Gifts that give back

Using your shopping dollars to help veterans

Special Forces Bourbon, produced by the Heritage Distilling Company, has donated over $60,000 from the sale of this product to Special Forces charities. Photo credit: Heritage Distilling Company

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With the holidays upon us, it's the peak gift-giving time of the year. With veteran suicides at an average of 22 a day, wouldn't it be nice if your present could also help a veteran? Well it can. Here are some great options everyone is sure to love.

A gift of spirits is classic, especially in military circles. Heritage Distilling's Special Forces Bourbon can check the box on many gift lists. "HDC is proud to have donated over $60,000 to Special Forces charities and will be donating another $25,000 this fall," said Hannah Hanley, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Heritage Distilling Company, Inc. "The Chapter 16 SF charities are super important to our region and we're proud to be involved. Bottles of SF Bourbon are available in limited supply in Heritage Distilling Company's Washington tasting rooms and online at"

Growing Veterans is a nonprofit that supports veterans and provides peer support through farming. The online store offers Growing Veterans PTS - Teas for $10. The Evening Blend contains herbs that are said to help induce relaxation and restful sleep. The Daytime blend is said to reduce anxiety. The group encourages civilian volunteers to spend a day in the fields working side by side with veterans. A day on the farm helps remove stereotypes about veterans and allows civilians to live out the phrase "Thank you for your service". Teas, mugs, T-shirts, hoodies and more are available at their online shop at

Stottle Winery in Lacey will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from purchases of their Red Super Tuscan Style Blend wine to the Semper Fi Fund. For more information, visit

Have you heard of ETSY, the site that sells handmade crafts and unique gifts? War Paints, a similar concept, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit marketplace for veterans and first responders to showcase and sell their products and artwork. Unlike other websites, 100 percent of what you pay for the item is returned to the veteran or first responder (less a small fee for processing payments). War Paints believes in the power of the creative process. Rusty Noesner is a U.S. Navy Seal veteran and the founder of War Paints. While on missions in Afghanistan, he sustained multiple head injuries. During his recovery, he participated in art therapy and found a new passion. He founded War Paints to give his fellow veterans an online space to sell their work. For more information, visit

Oscar Mike Apparel is a company that uses its proceeds to fund the Oscar Mike Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. The foundation provides support to injured veterans by helping them to participate in adaptive sports. They offer a Lifeline Flex bracelet made from seven feet of usable parachute cord. It's a great survival tool and looks good on your wrist. The American-made material is braided by a U.S. veteran and the sale of each one supports an injured veteran. For more information, visit

These are just a few of the many options for gifts that give back to veteran charities. So make your holiday gift giving more meaningful by selecting a present that not only brings joy to the receiver but also helps make a veteran's life better.

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