“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” ‘Tis the season for giving and it’s my favorite newsletter of the year! Every year I dedicate my December newsletter to finding the best “Gifts that Give Back” and I have found some excellent ones this year! We all do a little bit of Christmas shopping, why not buy a present for your loved ones that also benefits a wonderful cause at the same time? These suggestions below are great ways to do just that – they are two gifts in one!
BeadforLife has had an incredible impact on many women and their families. They believe that in order to end poverty, they must have the ability to empower women to transform their lives. BeadforLife has 15 years of experience helping women build sustainable futures, having worked with the very poorest, yet hard-working women in Africa. They employ talented artisans who are earning income to feed their families, send their children to school and want to create better lives.
If you have someone on your list that loves jewelry, these beautiful hand-made beaded creations will not disappoint. There are a wide variety of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, giftbags and loose beads for sale on BeadForLife.com. By purchasing a fair-trade product from BeadforLife you are not only providing increased income for the artisan to meet their immediate needs, it also allows them to offer their business training to other women. You can find all their products for sale on their website here.
This next gift is for the kid on your Christmas list and although it is a cool gadget, it will get any kid moving and caring about the impact they are making. The UNICEF Kid Power Band was created to help solve the global challenge that almost 1 in 4 kids around the world is malnourished, while only 1 in 4 American kids is getting enough physical activity.
The UNICEF Kid Power Band gives kids the power to save lives by connecting their physical activity to social impact. The device syncs with an app that encourages kids to take steps and earn Power Points. The more points kids earn, the more food they can help UNICEF deliver to malnourished children around the world. It helps kids become more aware of the world around them and are empowered to solve the challenges they face in their own communities. You can purchase online here. $10 of every purchase goes to directly to UNICEF.
The Citizenry has something for everyone on your list. There are beautifully handcrafted home goods. From kitchen and bath, textiles to furniture – every dollar you spend supports fair wages, safe working environments, and a direct investment into artisan entrepreneurs. They have a wide selection for everyone on their holiday 2018 collection. You can shop online here.
The Citizenry believes their collections are only as beautiful as the environments they spring from. They invest 10% of all proceeds directly back into artisan communities through Entrepreneur Development Grants. These grants help their partners take their businesses to new places. You can read more about the company’s philosophy and their social impact here.
Parker Clay founders, Ian and Brittany Bentley, wanted to help mothers who were being lured into prostitution as a way of supporting themselves and their families. Parker Clay, named after two of the founders’ children, partners with the non-profit Women at Risk to help women in Ethiopia. With every apparel or accessories purchase, Parker Clay sends one Ethiopian woman through a prostitution prevention training program.
They hand select each piece of leather to ensure the best quality, using and often exceeding fair trade practices. They source directly from rural farmers and work with traditional tanneries that have been perfecting their craft for generations. They have a wide variety of gifts and I thought this beautifully made wallet would be a wonderful choice for the special someone on your Christmas list.
Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that helps empower others to live independent lives — free from poverty, disease and hunger. To date, Convoy has helped more than 100 million people throughout the world. They provide food, water, emergency supplies and agricultural know-how to those who need them. They partner with churches, businesses, individuals and other humanitarian organizations who are intent on doing good work among the impoverished and suffering. You can read more about the organization and what they do online here.
They have an online shop that has apparel and jewelry that have great impact for each purchase. You can purchase feedOne merchandise and Convoy of Hope will ensure that a child in our that program will receive warm, nutritious meals for an entire month. Making a purchase through Convoy:Women supports ardent advocates striving to bring strength and dignity to women all over the world. You can browse all their merchandise online here.
The Convoy of Hope also has volunteers helping in response to the California wildfires. If you are looking to simply donate to a worthy cause, you can find more information about that here.
The last gift idea on my list is from Feed Projects. Feed Projects was started in 2007 and a portion of each bag is donated to the United Nations World Food Programme to feed children around the world.
FEED states that by delivering nutritious meals and micronutrients, they invest in the health of local families and communities and that consistent access to nutrient-rich food and supplements helps children learn, grow, and thrive. Each purchase also helps provide school meals and helps invest in education. By doing so not only do guaranteed nutritious meals give children the energy they need to focus and learn, but these meals also incentivize parents to send their children to school.
The really incredible thing about these gifts is that they let you know exactly how many meals your gift is providing. Take for instance the Harriet Tote. This tote provides 100 school meals and is such a beautiful gift. You can find this lovely tote and many other bags, gift sets and more for Christmas online. Don’t forget to read more about the impact that FEED Projects has made around the globe here.
If you aren’t looking to buy a gift that gives back to charity and want to simply donate directly to a great cause, don’t forget about the link to the California wildfire donations through Convoy of Hope above. This has been devastating for many families and they are having to rebuild from scratch during the holiday season. There are also two organizations that I’d like to highlight and often work directly with through the JDFF Foundation; they rely on the support of donations to continue their incredible work:
Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides
“Lions Foundation of Canada’s mission is to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them Dog Guides at no cost.” You can learn more about them here.
You can donate directly to them by going to their donate page here.
The Dream Center
“The Dream Center is a faith-based charitable organization that finds and fills the needs of struggling people from all over the United States. Since 1995, thousands of individuals and families have found hope and healing through the programs that only the Dream Center offers. The Dream Center aims to not only meet the immediate needs of communities like providing food and clothing, but also focuses on the full successful transformation of people’s lives, all free of charge.” You can learn more about them here.
You can donate directly to them by going to their donate page here.
May you be blessed
With the spirit of the season, which is peace
The gladness of the season, which is hope
And the heart of the season, which is love.