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Holiday Gift Ideas that Give Back to MIND

It’s that most wonderful time of the year! We’ll start with a big meal, follow it with carols and lights, and finish up by saying hello to 2019. This season always goes by in the blink of an eye, but it’s my absolute favorite! The family reunions, parties with friends, delicious treats - what’s not to love? Well, there is one thing…

Holiday shopping. Did anyone else just hear the “Jaws” theme music start to play? Some people are very gifted gift givers, but I am not. “Give me lists! Tell me what you want,” I cry at loved ones from Halloween on! And you know what they give me? Nothing. Nada, zip, zilch, bupkis. Over the years, I’ve become prepared for this scenario though and get by with a little creativity and the power of online shopping.

Amazon has saved my gift-giving reputation on more than one occasion. Their selection is enormous, their shipping is quick, and I can browse for gifts from my couch while wearing PJs. What I love most about Amazon though, is that I can support my organization while I shop through AmazonSmile.

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products and prices. The difference is that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price on eligible products to MIND Research Institute when you designate the organization as your AmazonSmile beneficiary.

Doing so is easy! Just follow these three steps:

  1. Sign in to

  2. Find the Your Account page under Account & Lists. Then, select the option to Change your charity under Shopping programs and rentals.

  3. Search for “MIND Research Institute” and select.

MIND’s had an incredible year of forwarding its mission. ST Math® now reaches more than 1.2 million students and we released MathMINDs Games: South of the Sahara this fall - just a few of the ways we’ve been working to empower the next generation of problem solvers. Your support helps us to continue research and development, and to expand our reach to more students, teachers, schools and communities.


I hope you’ll consider designating MIND as your AmazonSmile beneficiary. Together, we can mathematically equip all students to solve the world’s most challenging problems.

And now, some fun! I’ve rounded up our MIND colleagues’ favorite things from 2018 to share with you. Maybe they’ll inspire your own gift giving.

For Game Enthusiasts

Games are definitely part of everyday life here at MIND. We’re constantly playing, creating or writing about them. These are some of our favorites.

  • ColorKu - A hit in our offices! Colleagues are often found playing this colorful take on Sudoku during work breaks.

  • Foosball - Another popular game around here. We think this compact mini tabletop foosball table would make a great gift while not taking up too much space.

  • Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe Edition - This one makes or breaks working relationships! But that doesn’t stop us from playing it. We love to bust this party card game out at team get-togethers.

  • Bean bag toss - There’s a bean bag toss game set up in our office courtyard and we can’t stop playing it. This portable version looks like a lot of fun.

  • And almost every game listed in our Big List of Board Games that Inspire Mathematical Thinking can be found on AmazonSmile.

For Bookworms

Did you know that we have a book club at MIND? This year, we read everything from self help books to graphic novels! Take a look at the club’s recommendations.

For Educators

Many of our colleagues spend their days visiting schools to train and check in on our ST Math teachers and coaches. Here are some items we find those educators using again and again.

  • Large lunch bag - One big enough to carry a full meal, snacks and a water bottle on long days. This option comes with plenty of space, insulation and ice packs.

  • Handheld label maker - To label all the things in a classroom! We like that this one has 5 font sizes, 7 print styles and 8 box styles.

  • The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series - Even the most prepared teacher can’t always anticipate a rainy day. When recess is cancelled, it’s nice to have a backup activity!

  • Planner/organizer - A new year means a new planner to keep track of assignments, lesson plans and everything else! We also like this faux leather one.


For JiJi Fans

Finally, what would a list of MIND colleagues’ favorite things be without a contribution from JiJi? While our penguin friend mostly focuses on giving the gift of math during the holiday season, we did find one item that JiJi can’t get enough of - Swedish Fish! They’re JiJi’s favorite snack and also make a great stocking stuffer.

Wishing you a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday and a happy holiday season!


Kelsey Skaggs

About the Author

Kelsey Skaggs is the Communications Manager at MIND Research Institute. She enjoys highlighting the work of colleagues and partners who champion MIND's mission.


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