Category Archives: Gifts

Hearts That Help; Gestures of true Love

Hearts That Help; Gestures of true Love

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I was a stranger among them, warmly welcomed with offers of soup and tea.   We spoke mostly about matters of the heart.  I was having trouble, but luckily found my new-found friends around the table were more than happy to help. Read the rest of this entry

#(RED) Hot Gift List

#(RED) Hot Gift List

This holiday season (RED) products make a red hot gift list while offering a great way to really make an impact with your purchasing power. When you choose a (RED) product proceeds go directly to The Global Fund where 100% of that money is used to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

These are fabulous finds you would want to give anyway because (RED) partners with the world’s most iconic brands to produce super cool products, that happen to save lives. Here are a few of my favorites:

(RED) Hot Gifts! Read the rest of this entry

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Are Over: 5 Ways To Give On #GivingTuesday

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Are Over: 5 Ways To Give On #GivingTuesday

Today,December 3 is #GivingTuesday, a movement inspired by The United Nations Foundation & 92Y to create a national day of giving that kicks off the giving season on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here are just a few of the ways you can give back this year:

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1.  ONE thinks the perfect #GivingTuesday gift is Heifer and ONE’s Limited Edition GoatGiving just one goat to a family in need can be enough to change their entire lives. One goat can provide up to one ton of milk a year – and that translates to milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products a family can sell on the market for income. And not just temporarily – the benefits of livestock are long-term and only grow over time. Just take a look at this infographic .

diapers copy2. Shop on #GivingTuesday at Diapers.com or any of these sites  and  they will be donating one life-saving vaccine through the Shot@Life campaign with every $50 purchase when you use code SHOTATLIFE50.

 

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3. For #Giving Tuesday every dollar donated to WaterAid for safe water and toilets will be matched. If Water Aid can raise $50,000 by midnight, that amount will be doubled! Sip it, quench it, save it, give it, #doubleit with WaterAid for #GivingTuesday.

4. Support Every Mother Counts For as little as $5, you can help provide transportation for a pregnant woman in Uganda, so that she has access to life saving care when she may need it most.  100% of every dollar that is contributed will be directed to programs on the ground.

every mother countsOr order your  custom holiday cards with Minted, where 10% of every purchase made here will go directly to Every Mother Counts. 

Or Purchase some Oiselle EMC running gear here, where 40% of the proceeds go to support Every Mother Counts.

 

 

5. Give while you shop by purchasing from companies that give back.

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Happy #GivingTuesday!

10 Mindful Gifts To Give

10 Mindful Gifts To Give

Here are a few of my favorite Gifts to give this year:

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” -Mother Teresa

1. I Just love the idea behind The Giving Keys , AND the necklaces & bracelets are super cool!

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“When you get this Key, you must give it away at some point to a person you feel needs the message, then write us the story of why you gave it away.

We employ those looking to transition out of homelessness.” -The Giving Keys

2.  Along with being a hot trend, Alex & Ani Charity by design products donate a percentage back to designated non-profits, their products are made in the USA from recycled materials, and spread the message of positive energy! They have branched out from bangles to key chains, and candles, wine charms & more!

Alex & Ani Bracelets

Alex & Ani Bracelets

3. I constantly get compliments on my Mielie bag and love the mission of the company, I love it even more so after my visit to a couple of the townships in South Africa.

Mielie Bag Made in South Africa

Mielie Bag Made in South Africa

Our mission is to design and produce innovative, export-quality hand-crafted products using reclaimed materials – with the aim of creating employment and restoring dignity and financial independence to South Africans.- Mielie

4. I am obsessed with Babs felted bags that are  made by a local artist in Rhode Island, so many beautiful styles to choose from!

Babs Handbag

Babs Handbag

 

5. The Anchal Project Mission  merges design, business, and education to empower marginalized and exploited women living in India. Their scarves are gorgeous and the company was founded by two Rhode Island School of design Grads!

Anchal Scarf

Anchal Scarf

Anchal is an Indian word that means shelter, or refers to the edge of a woman’s Sari used to provide comfort and protection for loved ones.-Anchal Project

 

6. Ethiopian Textiles are stunning and FashionABLE Scarves drape you in style while helping to support women and families in Ethiopia.

Photo Credit: Hornick/Rivlin

Photo Credit: Hornick/Rivlin

“Through your purchase, you are ABLE to provide opportunity, and a woman is ABLE to have a new choice.”-LiveFashionABLE

7. Give the gift of music with the new Dance (RED) Saves lives Album. The 9.99 you pay will can provide 25 days of life saving medication.  100% of proceeds from all (RED) Products goes to support the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria.

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8. When you purchase gifts from UncommonGoods , which is a B Corporation (and my favorite gift catalog) you can choose which charity from their Better To Give program they will automatically donate $1.00 to on your behalf at checkout.

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9. Kids Books from Little Pickle Press, also a B Corporation, with the BEST books for kids!

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10. And for that person who has everything, Give A Goat! Two of my favorite organizations ONE & Heifer International have teamed up for a limited opportunity:

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Goats can help pull families out of extreme poverty by giving them milk to sell at the markets, providing a much-needed source of income.

Heifer International and The ONE Campaign have joined forces to help end extreme poverty. Heifer International works with smallholder farmers to promote economic self-sustainability and good health.  ONE is an advocacy organization of more than 3 million people who use their voices to influence policies that fight extreme poverty and preventable disease.

Happy Giving!

For more ideas Visit My Mindful Giving Gift Guide For The Foodie!

X-Box or Nintendo? It depends of your taste for violence.

X-Box or Nintendo? It depends of your taste for violence.

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I am not a big fan of violent video games, so clearly I’m not about to support a company that produces a product that feeds into real life armed conflict. The question is not about which company makes the most violent video games, and the X-box or Nintendo question is no longer about which has the better graphics.  It’s about which company has a conscience and how much it bothers consumers that people across the world may be harmed in the making of the toy they are about to buy.

The Enough Project’s Raise Hope For Congo campaign wants to raise consumer electronics awareness in time for the Black Friday shopping frenzy. According to the  Conflict Minerals Company Rankings List  they have released the X-Box is the clear choice in this selection.  The consumer electronics products we use daily rely on certain minerals to function, the source of those minerals in some areas fund violent conflicts that have lasted decades. Companies are aware, and some have acted responsibly to make sure the resources they purchase are not part of the problem.

I only learned the truth about Conflict Minerals when listening to Photographer Marcus Bleasdale give his incredibly powerful National Geographic presentation at the Social Good Summit in NYC this past fall.  The images he showed opened my eyes to the source of elements of the very cell phone in my hand.  Suddenly I was connected to those people in the photographs.

Over 5.4 million dead. Over 2 million displaced. Congo is home to the deadliest conflict since World War II.-www.enoughproject.org

I can honestly say I never thought I’d feel the emotion of gratitude when thinking about my son’s X-Box habit, but now that I know what I know,  him playing the X-Box compared to the Nintendo, is a relief.  Turns out  according to the research done for the rankings, Nintendo is the worst company, dead last,  in terms of accountability along the supply chain. Basically, they don’t care where they get them, or who gets hurt along the way, as long as they can make and sell their products. Microsoft, the maker of the X-Box, on the other hand has a green light ranking on  The Conflict Minerals Company Rankings List   marking it as one of the companies that has taken proactive steps to trace and audit their supply chains, pushed for some aspects of legislation, exercised leadership in industry-wide efforts, and started to help Congo develop a clean trade.

Our consumer dollars give us the power to hold the quality of  lives of others in our hands. I am not talking about crushing fellow customers in the black Friday rush into Wal-Mart here.  I am talking about becoming aware of how things are made,  and choosing to be a conscientious consumer .  When we have money to spend, we can choose to spend it on those companies who are actually making a positive impact in this world, as opposed to those who are just out to make a buck.   You can see how the companies you are planning to buy from are rated here in this chart and then purchase accordingly, yes we do have a say in what goes on across the world. Our consumer dollars speak volumes on these issues, and the pressure on companies to take responsibility has turned the tide of the conflict in the Congo.

Last week, Alysha Atma of the Atma Foundation put it beautifully. We were on a conference call with ONE, ENOUGH Project, and JWW, all organizations working towards, preventing genocides, improving accountability and transparency from governments, and large companies.  Alysha told us she was inspired to make a difference by her young son, when she realized that every action has a personal story behind it.  she explained;

“He inspired me to put dinner table talk into action. I realized that every day is an opportunity to give back. I wanted him to learn that a responsibility comes with the good fortune of him having been born here.”

I love that sentiment, every day is an opportunity to give back. So what can we do?

-Share the message on Social Media to help raise awareness about the issue.

-Use the power of your consumer dollars wisely and with good conscience by check the The Conflict Minerals Company Rankings List  before you buy so you know if you want to support that company or not.

The Raise Hope For Congo movement needs your help to increase demand for conflict-free electronics products. As a consumer, you can influence electronics industry leaders as they weigh whether or not to invest in making their supply chains transparent and producing verifiably conflict-free products. Tell companies that if they take conflict out of their products, you’ll buy them.

-Send an e-mail right now to electronics companies letting them know you care where they source their materials.

-Get involved in campaigns with organizations such as Enough, JWW, Atma Foundation and ONE that are working towards conflict free products in the Congo.

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