Thirdeyemom

2015 Gifts that Give Back Holiday Guide

As today marks Black Friday in the US and people are scrambling about for the perfect gift for the holidays, why not consider a beautiful gift that also gives back to someone in need?  I have worked hard over the years curating an ongoing list of Gifts that Give and even keep a permanent page on my blog under the same name. Why? Because I know people like to give gifts year round, not only for the holiday season, and why not give a gift that also helps someone in need.

The following list includes some of my absolute favorite gifts, many of which I’ve given myself and have supported. There are many gifts that I have already featured on my blog too. New additions this year include beautiful products from : Bloom & Give, Kurandza, Society B, Mission Belt, Seattle Chocolates, Rwanda Path to Peace, Sevenly, and Thistle Farms. 

As this list is continually growing please let me know if you have any gifts that give that I should include. Thank you!

“For it is in giving that we receive”. – Francis of Assisi

By selecting to purchase a gift from one of the organizations below, your gift will not only give delight and joy to the recipient, it will also give back to someone in need. I can’t think of a better way to give than that!

Here is a list of some of my favorite gifts that give! Feel free to contact me if there are other organizations that should be included in this ever growing list.

Products that help women and girls:

fashionABLE (scarves and leather goods)

www.livefashionable.com

“Your purchase of a fashionABLE scarf creates sustainable business for women in Africa.  Our commitment as a non-profit is to the development of people — fashionABLE works with women who have been exploited due to the effects of poverty.  So, when you purchase a scarf you are providing jobs, and then we send the net profits back to holistically rehabilitate more women”. 

To read my post regarding my visit to fashionABLE click here. 

Anchal (scarves, pillows and quilts)

www.anchalproject.org

Designing Change Stitch by Stitch” Anchal creates absolutely stunning scarves, pillows and quilts each handmade out of recycled saris by Indian women rescued from prostitution.

Bloom & Give

www.bloomandgive.com

Bloom & Give sells beautifully handcrafted scarves and bags made in India using techniques passed on from generation to generation. Each product is designed in the US by one of Bloom & Give’s designers, and made in India with love.Bloom & Give donates 50% of their profits to support girls education programs in India through their partner Educate Girls to improve the lives of girls in Rajasthan.

Kurandza

www.kurandza.com

Kurandza is a purpose-driven fashion company that creates handcrafted jewelry and accessories with women in Mozambique. Their mission is to empower women, the majority of whom are HIV positive, through education and employment opportunities. In addition to receiving fair wages for their work, profits from sales go back to this community to fund development projects.

The name “Kurandza” is the word “to love” in Changana, the local language of our women in Mozambique.

31 BITS (fashion and jewelry) 

www.31bits.com

31 Bits uses fashion and design to empower people to rise above poverty.  We connect artisans in Uganda to the international market so they can earn an income and provide for their families. Every purchase you make can either have a positive or negative impact on the world. 31 Bits is part of a movement revolutionizing the way people do business. We value both the creator and the consumer. The artisans in our program are receiving a sustainable income and holistic education, empowering them to rise above poverty. Our accessories are marked by fresh colors and crisp design. To view all the products, click here. 

TO THE MARKET

www.tothemarket.com (apparel, bags, jewelry, home goods, and shoes)

TO THE MARKET | Survivor-made Goods (TTM) combines the powers of commerce and storytelling to empower the world’s most courageous survivor populations, in the belief that resilience is more powerful than suffering. TTM showcases handmade goods made exclusively by proud and passionate artisans who have overcome the perils of abuse, conflict, and disease. By assisting local partners around the world in bringing these goods “to the market,” we take an active role in equipping the survivor’s they employ with economic independence, while raising awareness of the challenges that they face.

To read my exclusive interview with CEO and Founder Jane Mosbacher Morris of To the Market, click here. 

SOCIETY B

www.societyb.com

A beautifully curated marketplace for good that offers socially good products for men, women and children while also donating 10% of sales to a different charity and cause each week.

To read my interview with one of Society B’s founders, click here. 

Sevenly: Designs to Inspire Positivity and Change

www.sevenly.org

Sevenly was founded in 2011 by four people who shared the mission of leading a generation toward generosity. Based on a core belief that “People Matter,” they began a journey to do their part in helping to change the world for the better. Activating the “cause art” movement worldwide, Sevenly began by creating 7-day cause campaigns, inviting customers to purchase products that gave $7 to a weekly charity. Now widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading “social good” companies, mashable.com just named Sevenly “America’s most social small business” and “one of the Top 10 Stories in the First 10 Years of Facebook.”

MADE BY SURVIVORS (jewelry and handicrafts)

www.madebysurviors.com

Made By Survivors is an international nonprofit organization which employs and educates survivors of slavery and other human rights abuses, including many women and children living in extreme poverty. Products include jewelry, bags, gifts and cards and prices range. 100% of profits go back to the survivors who made them.

Global Wonders Jewelry

www.safoundation.myshopify.com/collections/all

Global Wonders is a part of SA Foundation (SAF) Canada, whose goal is to stop the sexual exploitation & trafficking of young women through implementing their unique recovery model. All Global Wonders Products are handmade in Nepal by women who’ve been rescued from Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. Each purchase helps to support another woman’s journey to freedom from a life of slavery! Make your gifts count this season with some socially conscious shopping! Ships products worldwide.

Kate Spade “On Purpose” (handbags, purses and bracelets)

www.katespade.com/on-purpose 

Kate Spade has launched a program in Rwanda teaching women to make their handicraft bags and jewelry for the On Purpose line which helps lift women out of poverty by providing sustainable income and economic opportunities.

Macy’s Heart of Haiti and Path to Rwanda Gifts (handcrafted gifts)

Heart of Haiti gifts

Rwanda Path to Peace

Designed to improve and enrich lives, Macy’s offers an extraordinary collection of art and gifts to promote change in hope in Haiti and Rwanda. I have personally visited the program in Haiti (to read posts, click here) and it is phenomenal.

I also wrote this post on the Rwanda Path to Peace program.

Macy’s Path to Peace products:

Heart of Haiti products:

Alex and Ani (jewelry)

www.alexandani.com/charity-by-design/

As the heart and soul of ALEX AND ANI, CEO, Founder and Creative Director, Carolyn Rafaelian, created Charity by Design, which serves as a unique division focused solely on giving and making the dreams of charitable organizations come true. Charity by Design empowers non-profit organizations both on a national and local scale to reach their goals by sharing their mission through the power of positive energy and creative design.

Krochet Kids (handmade sweaters, scarves, hats and other apparel items for men, women and kids). 

Krochet Kids intl. a non-profit social capitalism brand that empowers people in Uganda and Peru by creating, selling apparel knit & crochet hats for babies men and women. Through a unique model we are empowering the women of Northern Uganda and Peru with the assets, skills, and knowledge to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
The result is long lasting and sustainable change. To view al their offerings click here.

All Across Africa  (handmade jewelry, bags, baskets, home decor)

www.allacrossafrica.org

All Across Africa currently works with over 3,000 artisans in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, paying artisans up front for the goods at many times what they could sell them for in a local market. This sustainable income allows them to send their children to school, feed their families and even create savings accounts (something that is unheard of in this part of the world). In addition, money goes back into the communities in the form of education and training programs. All Across Africa believes that job creation is the solution for the rural poor in these countries. Check out their beautiful handmade and fair-trade goods here. You are bound to love the products and the amazing work All Across Africa is doing.

Noonday Collection (jewelry and accessories)

www.noondaycollection.com

Noonday offers you the opportunity to use your purchasing power to create change in the world {while looking really good along the way}. Your fashion sense can now restore dignity to abandoned women in Ethiopia, empower communities in Ecuador, and create business opportunities for Ugandans. Check out our story here.

1000 Shillings

1000 Shillings is an international development organization that provides microgrants to impoverished women enabling them to start their own businesses and provide for their families.  1000 Shillings gives each woman a microgrant in exchange for a product they make that is sold on our website. Each woman then takes that grant and starts their own business that is sustainable in their home country (becoming a seamstress, selling casava root, etc) with the help of dedicated business mentors. The goal of 1000 Shillings is to give these ambitious women the opportunity they need to become self sufficient and independent and support themselves and their families.
For more  in depth view of our products available, please visit 1000 Shillings’ shop page.

WE’VE (jewelry, purses, accessories, home decor)

www.wevebuilt.com

WE’VE features consciously crafted artisan goods from around the globe. All items are collaboratively designed, consciously crafted and honestly produced. WE’VE provides independent makers and artisan communities with a sustainable and fair way of doing commerce, while sharing the compelling stories behind their craft. This way of working promotes job stability, strengthens communities and ultimately changes lives. Find WE’VE online at wevebuilt.com 

General-gift-guide copy

Thistle Farms

www.thistlefarms.org

Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of women survivors of prostitution and drug addiction that would provide an opportunity for a sustainable income and life for the women. Based in Tennessee, Thistle Farms houses a natural bath and body care company, Thistle Stop Café, a paper and seeing studio and a global marketplace called Shared Trade. Today, Thistle Farms employees more than 50 survivors and benefits over 700 women a year.  Proceeds support Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene. The community provides housing, food, healthcare, therapy and education for two years, without charging residents or receiving taxpayer money.

WaterAid

www.wateraid.org

Every minute, every day, people suffer and lives are lost needlessly because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Help us end this global crisis and transform lives.
WaterAid is the leading provider of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene worldwide. You can donate to provide a drinking well, training on sanitation and training for a village pump mechanic. To see the complete list, click here. 

I have written extensively about WaterAid and have even seen their work in country in India. To read more of my posts on WaterAid, click here. 

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Products that help kids go to school:

READ Global

www.readglobal.org

READ Global works in rural communities in India, Nepal and Bhutan to provide reading centers , educational and skills-training to help empower women and girls through education. Through their “empower” page, you can donate books, training and/or even a reading center (like I did in 2009) to a woman, a family or an entire community in Nepal, Bhutan or India, a place where illiteracy is disproportionately high for women.

I have donated to and written about READ Global. To see my posts, click here

World Bicycle Relief

www.worldbicyclerelief.org

World Bicycle Relief is an innovative organization that brings rugged, specially designed, high quality bicycles to girl students in rural Africa. You can choose to donate a wheel set, a mechanic’s toolset, one bike or many! You can also donate to help the environment, provide skills training and more. To view the list, click here

Here is a guest post about World Bicycle Relief’s work in Zambia.

Products that help hunger:

Heifer

www.heifer.org

Why not give a family in need a goat, a cow or some chicks? Giving the gift of livestock creates everlasting livelihoods for people living in extreme poverty around the world. Click here for “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World“.

Feeding America

www.feedingamerica.org

Give the gift of healthy food to families in communities across the nation. Your gift will help Feeding America in our efforts to supply nutritious, fresh foods to the millions of Americans who struggle with hunger through our network of 202 food banks across the country. You can donate monthly, once, and for a virtual food drive, a memorial or to help a family in need.   Click here to donate.

FEED Projects (bags, accessories and apparel)

www.feedprojects.com

Every product sold has a measurable donation attached to it and, to date, the social business has been able to provide over 85 million meals globally through the WFP and Feeding America. FEED has also supported nutrition programs around the world, providing over 3.6 million children with Vitamin A supplements through the WFP and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Oxfam America

www.oxfamamerica.org

Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. Oxfam saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty, and campaigns for social change.

Has unique gifts that give such as a donation for safe water, to help with global health and natural disaster emergencies, livestock, and sustainable farming training. To view all gift ideas, click here. 

The Global Foodbanking Network (fights global hunger and food waste)

www.gfn.convio.net

The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to alleviating world hunger through food banking. GFN creates, supports, and strengthens food banks and food bank networks around the world, in countries other than the US. GFN currently supports existing and developing food banks and national food bank networks in more than 25 countries, home to more than one-third of the world’s nearly one billion undernourished people. There are many ways to give including tribute gifts, planned giving, matching gifts and more. To see entire list, click here.

Feed My Starving Children (a variety of different gifts for the holidays that fights hunger)

A Christian non-profit founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children tackles world hunger by sending volunteer-packed, nutritious meals to more than 70 countries, where they’re used to operate orphanages, schools, clinics and other building blocks of healthy communities. Last year, FMSC produced more than 191.6 million meals at seven sites and through a nationwide MobilePack program. The Minnesota-based charity has earned the highest four-star rating from Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years placing FMSC in the top 1% of ranked charities.

Each year, non-profit Feed My Starving Children sells a variety of hand-crafted gifts to help fund meals that are sent to hungry people all over the world and this year is no exception with a stunning group of items to choose from. The gifts range from home décor to children’s toys,  beautiful scarves to jewelry and delicious coffee. Items are well priced from $12 to $100.

Shop online at www.fmscMarketPlace.org or at Feed My Starving Children meal-packing sites in Arizona, Illinois and Minnesota.

Seattle Chocolates

www.seattlechocolates.com

Seattle Chocolates offers a variety of delicious, high quality, ethically sourced chocolates and truffles for the true chocolate lover. What I love so much is that with every chocolate purchased, one serving of food will be donated to a person in need. Seattle Chocolates are thoughtfully crafted from farm to finish. You can feel good about eating the bars and truffles from Seattle Chocolate Company because every aspect of their craft – from the origin of our cocoa beans to the innovative flavor inclusions – is carefully curated and chosen to meet our rigid quality standards. All cocoa is ethically sourced and sustainably grown (Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa, no GMOs, and no palm oils).

Products that provide micro financing:

Mission Belt

www.missionbelt.com
Mission Belt Company makes no-hole leather belts, nylon belts and an assortment of licensed NBA, NHL and NCAA belts that give back. Giving back has been part of Mission Belt since day one and is the reason behind the company name.  A dollar from every belt sold goes to fight global hunger and poverty. To date, over 28K Kiva (peer-to-peer micro lending) micro-loans have been funded from the sales of Mission Belts.

Whole Foods Foundation 

www.wholefoodsfoundation.org/donate

Whole Foods Markets, an international specialty food chain based in Austin, Texas, has an amazing NGO called Whole Foods Foundation that provides micro financing to Whole Foods suppliers in the developing world. Since its founding, Whole Foods Planet Foundation has provided micro loans to over 764,937 women enterprises in 61 countries. 100% of your contribution to one of Whole Foods Foundation’s initiatives  goes to micro lending projects. US Stores also offer products and fundraisers throughout the year that contribute to micro financing opportunities.

Opportunity International

www.opportunity.org

Provides micro finance work in 22 countries. By providing access to financial solutions, Opportunity International empowers people living in poverty to transform their lives, their children’s futures and their communities. You can fund a loan, start a monthly donation or give a gift card to help lift a family out of poverty. To view all opportunities to give, click here. 

Pro Mujer (micro loans to women)

www.promujer.org

Pro Mujer is a leading women’s development organization.
Since 1990 they have been providing women in Latin America with the vital services necessary to become financially independent, healthy and leaders in their communities. To donate, click here.
Kiva
Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. I have been giving out loans to kiva for years! It is great! You can even pick who you want to fund. To see the list, click here.

Products that help children:

Save the Children

http://www.savethechildren.org

Save the Children continues to impress us with their “Holiday Gifts of Joy” catalog containing 63 unique, life-changing gifts such as Bees that’ll keep busy feeding families, cows that create income opportunities, Early Childhood Education to enhance a child’s potential, Newborn Care Packages that help babies start strong and much more.

To view their complete catalog, click here.

UNICEF

http://www.unicef.org

Shop UNICEF contains over 8,000 gifts including cards, handicrafts, business gifts and “inspired” gifts like a polio vaccine or a blanket to keep a child alive and warm. All the proceeds helps save children’s lives. Check out the collection here. It is quite impressive!

SOS Children

www.sos-usa.org

SOS Children’s Villages is the world’s largest organization providing loving, stable homes for orphaned and abandoned children. Our mission is to build families for children in need, while helping them to shape their own futures. Our vision for the world’s children is that every child should belong to a family and grow with love, respect and security. We are raising over 82,000 children in 540 Villages worldwide, with a presence in 134 countries and territories, including the U.S.

Help us provide a loving home for every child. You can do so by sponsoring a child or making a donation. You can also help spread the word about SOS Children’s Villages by sharing our free eCards with friends and family.  Here are the links to give: Child sponsorship, Donation, or Ecards. 

Products that help fight AIDS:

(RED) products:

A wide variety of gifts that all go to support The Global Fund and ending AIDS.To check out all the (RED) products click here on my most recent post.

Designers Against Aids 

www.designersagainstaids.com

The Designers against AIDS Online Charity Store sells brand new and selected pre-loved designer items, contemporary labels and DAA T-shirts, books and underwear.
All sale proceeds benefit  our international education center. in Antwerp, Belgium and our new project ‘Asia against AIDS-Back To Zero’.

Products that give a free product back with each purchase:

TOMS (shoes and eyeglasses and coffee)

www.toms.com

With every purchase you make of either a pair of shoes or eyeglasses, TOMS will help a person in need. One for one. It feels great to know that when I buy a pair of TOMS shoes, someone else far away who who really needs shoes is getting a pair as well! TOMS also supplies fair trade coffee. If you buy one bag of coffee, TOMS supplies one week’s worth of clean water to a family in need.

Fair Trade Products:

Uncommon Goods (jewelry, household items and gifts)

www.uncommongoods.com

UncommonGoods is an online specialty marketplace that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted products created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. Founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1999, UncommonGoods strives to provide gifts that are unique and made by local and international artisans.

Do you know a great organization that has gifts that give back? If so please let me know so I can add them to my list. I’m constantly trying to update this list! Thanks in advance!

14 comments

  1. Thanks for a great list, Nicole. We support several ministries that have Christmas gift catalogs and we’ve bought rabbits, chickens, a sewing machine, and all sort of things that give a living to people in poor countries. It’s so much fun!! I don’t know that we’d qualify for your list, but my husband and I have a small Christmas project to give new bicycles to children whose parents can’t afford them. We find families in need, generally through churches, then buy and donate the bikes. We don’t have tax-exempt status, but we do use every penny donated for bikes. Here’s our website: https://2wheels2kids.wordpress.com/. Last year we gave three bikes, I think, or maybe four. To see the expressions on the children’s faces is just a joy.

    janet

    • Wonderful Janet! I love your ideas and the bikes sound fantastic. We do a simile program at our school where we bring in our old bikes and they get donated to kids in need. It is wonderful!

  2. I really like Paper Clouds Apparel. The founder, Robert Thornton, picks a new campaign every month or so with half the money raised going to whatever the fundraiser for that month is. It can be a certain family with an ill family member that needs help paying bills, or go to autism programs- a lot of different things. His newest side venture is a t-shirt design that for each shirt bought, he donates one to the homeless where he lives. Best of all, he employs people with special needs to help with processing the orders. And the designs, usually done by someone involved with the current campaign, are adorable!

  3. A great idea for creating double happiness when giving presents. Unfortunately I am in Norway right now and can’t make us of your ideas here (for time reasons), but will think about my own way of doing something similar. 🙂

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