What better gift is there than teaching your child the spirit of giving this holiday season! Why not create a family tradition that gives back by supporting one of these amazing organizations with holiday gifts that help people around the world?
A few years ago, I began highlighting different organizations that offer wonderful gifts that also give back to a cause. Given how popular the posts have been, I created a permanent Gifts that Give Back page on my blog and last holiday season that page alone received 10,000 views in the months of November and December! I was thrilled to know that these amazing organizations and causes were getting more customers from my blog. Without further ado, here is my updated 2016 Holiday Guide of Gifts that Give Back. I hope you enjoy and please comment if you know of any I’ve missed and please share with friends. Happy Shopping!
Gifts that help women
Anchal Project recently launched The Narrative Collection, their latest evolution in textiles goods. By partnering contemporary geometric design with an aggregated stitch pattern, Anchal is revolutionizing traditional kantha quilting techniques. The result is a collection of quilts, pillows, scarves and ponchos handmade from layers of 100% organic cotton. The Narrative Collection is handmade in Ajmer, India by a group of 100 women participating in a holistic artisan program. Using design thinking to create innovative products and sustainable employment, Anchal empowers exploited women worldwide. www.anchalproject.org
Here are some of my favorites for the holidays:
Bloom & Give
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.
Bloom & Give just released a new fall line with lots of beautiful products. Here are some of my favorites for the holidays. www.bloomandgive.com
Bird + Stone
A made-in-NYC jewelry start-up that invests in female entrepreneurs in the developing world. Bird + Stone uses jewelry as a funding vehicle for micro-loans and financial training and invests in single mothers in Kenya to start farming businesses, lift their families out of poverty, and follow their dreams. www.birdandstone.com
Five | Six Textiles
Five | Six Textiles is a home decor brand that honors the heritage of traditional woven textiles from Côte d’Ivoire. They produce home goods and bags in collaboration with the artisan collective of Waraniéné. Founded in Brooklyn in 2015, Five | Six Textiles embraces time-honored weaving techniques, blending them with a modern aesthetic, and translating them into products that reflect your well-traveled home. It’s art with a function and all sales goes to support the artisans and their families. www.fiveandsixtextiles.com
This December, Humanity Unified – who works with women farmers in Rwanda – is building a Harvest Haven. The Harvest Haven will protect the crops the women have worked so hard to grow over the past several months. The crops are the women’s livelihood, the very source of their income. With the income they will earn from healthy, protected crops, 100 women will be able to give their children a better future. Girls will be able to stay in school and entire families will be lifted from poverty. Donate at Humanity Unified to help build the harvest haven. www.humanityunified.org
You can also purchase one of Humanity Unified’s Malas.100% of profits support Humanity Unified’s projects in Rwanda.
Kurandza makes beautiful jewelry, totes, accessories and more. Each purchase helps empower women in rural Mozambique to earn a steady income and provide for themselves and their families! All items are made by hand from capulana, a traditional african fabric. Here are a few favorites for the season. www.kurandza.org
The Red Sari
The Red Sari is a socially responsible fashion design company with a mission to create and sustain jobs for women in Nepal. Their beautiful products are made by artisans and women’s handicraft groups in Nepal, using old pieces of saris and creating lovely masterpieces that give the women financial independence, opportunity and pride.
The Obakki Foundation is a small Vancouver-based foundation, created and run by local fashion designer (Obakki), mother and wife, Treana Peake, contributes 100 per cent of all public donations to their humanitarian projects. The foundation has drilled or rehabilitated more than 850 wells in the war-torn country of South Sudan, bringing clean water to an estimated more than one million people. And they have just promised six remote villages in the country that the foundation will help them to build a better future by providing each village with a much needed fresh water well. All that Obakki Foundation needs to do this is to sell 500 of each of the new, stylish colours of scarves – as a part of their Scarves for Water program. www.obakki.com
Preemptive Love Coalition
Preemptive Love Coalition brings emergency relief and medical care to families on the front lines of the world’s most polarizing conflicts—in places like Syria and Iraq. But we don’t leave once the fighting is done. We stay and empower refugees to reclaim their future from the ashes of war.
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. 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. Thistle Farms has lots of wonderful new products and ideas for the holidays including a number of grab & go/ready to ship gift sets, a beautiful new thistle necklace, Holiday Candle & Room Spray, a new Three Trees fragrance, new (fabulous) Shave Gel, and a new Winter Kit. Too see all holiday ideas click here.
To the Market
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. www.tothemarket.com
Here are some of To The Market’s best bets for the holiday season:
As a mission-driven brand, each and every detail has been thoughtfully planned to marry purpose and responsibility with practicality and, of course, beauty both inside and out. The company furthers this idea through its partnership with She’s The First, an organization that helps to provide education, mentorship, supplies and training to girls in developing countries. Every step taken in VEERAH is one stylish step closer to ensuring women everywhere can make their mark. www.veerah.com
Gifts that help families/children
b.a.r.e. soaps is an all natural, socially conscious soap & candle company. b.a.r.e stands for “bringing antiseptic resources to everyone”. Proceeds from the sales are reinvested into social causes such as a soap rebatching initiative in India and a program to help children with essentials in Uganda. www.bare-soaps.com
Gifts that help survivors
AWE: Alive We’re Empowered
AWE: Alive We’re Empowered was founded by Jill Johnson, 3-time cancer survivor, successful entrepreneur and jewelry designer. AWE is working to change the conversation around survivorship with their line of fine jewelry developed to unite, celebrate and empower survivors. 20% of all sales go to their incredible charity partners, selected because they directly impact the lives of survivors – The Trevor Project (at risk LGBTQ youth), RAINN (sexual abuse survivors), CancerCare (cancer survivors), and Fisher House (veterans). www.aweinspired.com
Gifts that Help Children
Ames & Oats
Ames & Oats is gift company whose mission is to celebrate moments, people, and daily life. They carefully source and curate products from artisans who take pride in their work and those who embody our mission. They are also passionate about giving back and donate 10% of each order to Pencils of Promise, a for-purpose organization that focuses on building schools and training teachers to ensure children everywhere have access to quality education. www.amesandoates.com
This holiday, spread more than just joy and inspire the special women in your life with Ritzique portable smartphone chargers. Each of the lightweight, macaron shaped chargers are uniquely designed with empowering messages that provide faith, hope and love to “charge” one’s spirit. Take the charger anywhere you go and feel positive energy all in the palm of your hand! Aiming to spread love and positivity, Ritzique has joined forces with Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), donating a portion of their net proceeds to assist families with their children’s transplant expenses. Retailed at an affordable price of $23.99, purchase a Ritzique and uplift everyone to have the giving spirit even when the holidays are over. www.ritzique.com
Story Shares (Books)
Story Shares is making its award-winning books available to the public. The nonprofit organization is adopting a “Give One, Get One” model that will allow people to purchase a paperback while also providing a book to be donated.
By purchasing the paperbacks that give back, the public can help get these needed books in the hands of teachers and students—while also getting a book to give as a gift to a child or teen. Story Shares provides books to teachers who work with students reading below grade level, mostly in middle school and high school. The teachers can then offer them to their students as more engaging choices to read. Books can be ordered online only at http://www.storyshares.org/books/paperback.
Gifts that Fight Hunger
Action Against Hunger www.actionagainsthunger.org
Shopping for the person who has everything? Hoping to include a gift that gives back? Look no further than the leading international humanitarian organization, Action Against Hunger, with holiday gifts that help bring nutritious food, clean water, and a sustainable future to children around the world.
Action Against Hunger’s Virtual Gift Catalog allows holiday shoppers to honor a friend or loved one by buying a virtual present to support our work – from Help Build a Wella $45 Emergency Therapeutic Food Treatment Kit, or a $1,500 Health Center Renovation – and something for every price point in between.
You can find all gifts to give from their current partners at Action Against Hunger’s 2016 Gift Guide.
Roost Crate is your “Farmer’s Market” in a box, delivered straight to your door. Carefully curated artisan items such as soaps, scrubs, candles, jams, honey, good-for-you snacks and unique kitchen gadgets; perfect for bath & body, home and more will fill each box based around a monthly theme. Through Roost Crate, you will discover some of the best products found at local stands and shops from Upstate NY and surrounding areas. Roost Crate makes a great gift for anyone who loves to shop at the farmers market and support local small businesses. A portion of all proceeds are donated back to local food banks like Capital Roots. www.roostcrate.com
Siestas for Fiestas
Siestas for Fiestas is a boutique blanket shop that sources textiles directly from Mexico and handcrafts all products in Los Angeles, CA. For each blanket sold a Christmas meal is provided to a family living in poverty in Cancun, Mexico. www.siestasforfiestas.com
Gifts that fight disease
Goodbye Malaria, an initiative by African entrepreneurs who aim to eradicate malaria in our lifetime. Malaria is a disease that is completely preventable and treatable, although it kills more people in Africa than HIV/AIDS and is the biggest killer of children on the African continent. Goodbye Malaria enables Africans to raise funds and advocate against malaria, whilst creating employment across the continent. Their beautiful online shop which sells products that “save a life in your sleep” offers African-made pajamas, bracelets, slippers, pencil boxes and teddy bears, all which employ local women and protect families in Mozambique against malaria. www.goodbyemalaria.com
Gifts that help the planet
Cool Effect is a non-profit and digital platform that curates the world’s best carbon reduction projects making it easier than ever to support a project that verifiably reduces carbon pollution from the atmosphere.
From global travelers, to climate activists, to the active nature lover, the gift of Cool Effect is simple: the sender simply chooses one of the nine projects to support or a dollar amount to support the “Coollection” which spans across all of Cool Effect’s projects. www.cooleffect.org
Other brilliant ideas and organizations to look into:
Heart of Haiti
Designed to improve and enrich lives, Macy’s offers an extraordinary collection of art and gifts to promote change in hope in Haiti. I have personally visited the program in Haiti (to read posts, click here) and it is phenomenal. Click here to see products.
Give a cow, a sheep or a flock of chicks to fight hunger and empower women and communities. Send a girl to school, fight poverty and hunger and more. www.heifer.org/catalog
The Passport Party Project
A National Geographic award-winning grassroots global awareness initiative for underrepresented American girls 11-15. Help an underrepresented girl get a passport and see the world. www.passportpartyproject.org
A wide variety of gifts that all go to support The Global Fund to help end AIDS. To check out all the (RED) products click here on my most recent post.
Save the Children
Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours. Shop their amazing gift catalog or give a donation, and helps kids around the world. www.savethechildren.org
World Bicycle Relief
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.