Here are a few of my favorite Gifts to give this year:
1. I Just love the idea behind The Giving Keys , AND the necklaces & bracelets are super cool!
“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!
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.
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!
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 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.
“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.
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.
9. Kids Books from Little Pickle Press, also a B Corporation, with the BEST books for kids!
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.
For more ideas Visit My Mindful Giving Gift Guide For The Foodie!
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.
10 Gifts That Give Back:
1.FashionABLE Scarves: The scarf pictured here was exclusively made for ONE by fashionABLE out of 100% light weight African cotton. The Feleku scarf was created when the ONEMoms (Including my amazing sister-in-law Jeannine Harvey) were on their recent trip to Ethiopia. ONE has partnered with FashionABLE, a company that works to create economic opportunities for women in Ethiopia by creating handmade scarves. Each style is named after the woman that designed it and includes a tag describing what she is able to do as a result of having a job. This scarf is named after Feleku, who is now ABLE to face new challenges.
2.Lollie Beads Bracelets are created from fair trade recycled glass beads made in Uganda. So they are not only gorgeous (the glass beads look and feel like sea glass) but they are good for the environment AND help support sustainable livings in a developing country.
3.I first heard of The Anchal Project at the Rhode Island School of Design Student and Alumni Art sale where I bought a small moleskin notebook to support it. Since then they have branched out into an incredible array of crafts including these beautiful quilts to support their mission: “Anchal merges design, business, and education to empower marginalized and exploited women living in India.”-Anchal Mission Statement
4.These Tom’s wedges are at the top of my teenage daughter’s wish list, so you know they are cool! Tom’s keeps its designs fresh while still managing to provide shoes and glasses to those who need them. I know I’ve said this before, but I love their One for One business model (and pledge to support it with as many shoes as I can get away with!)
5.Whenever I carry my FEED bag I get compliments and inquiries about it, and I love promoting their wonderful program. Products from
FEED Project make perfect gifts that give back, each product tells you how many kids you are feeding by purchasing it, and you can choose the product based on what efforts you wish to support. This season I’m lusting after the DKNY collaboration Survival Tote and NYC hoodie sweatshirt that supports relief efforts for hurricane sandy victims.
6.Sari Bari Sari Bari is a safe place of employment where women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to trafficking can experience a new life in the making. Gorgeous Indian textiles are woven into clothing, accessories and home goods. Tee-shirts, bags and jewelry all help these women live free lives of restoration and hope.
Alex & Ani jewelry is a favorite gift of mine to give, not only is it made from recycled materials, locally owned and founded by a woman, but has a Charity By Design division where a percentage of proceeds from each Charity By Design bracelet goes to a specific cause.You can also customize your gift to the recipients personality or interests with their amazing selection of charm bracelets and charm necklaces.
7.1000 ShillingsUgandan Paper bead necklaces. The women artisans earn capital for their own small businesses by making limited-edition products for 1000 Shillings. Each product sold through 1000 Shillings helps a woman establish a small business, which enables her to support her family. We also aim to tell the in-depth story behind each artisan. The company works with six single mothers in the Namatala slum, Uganda.
A Gift As A Gesture:
Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect gift for someone who has every material thing they desire. Still you want to give something as a token of your appreciation to them and the below gifts are the perfect solution that everyone can feel good about.
8. Heifer International :
“Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. It all started with a cow. Moved by the plight of orphans and refugees of the Spanish Civil War as he ladled out meager rations of powdered milk, Dan West, an Indiana farmer, volunteer relief worker and Church of the Brethren member, grasped that the people needed “a cow, not a cup”—cows that could produce milk so families would not have to depend on temporary aid. From that simple idea, Heifer International was born.” – From the Heifer International Website
9. Save A Life This Christmas with Maternity Worldwide : “No mother should die while giving birth. By ordering a Safe Birth Certificate you will enable a mother in a developing country to safely give birth to her baby. Long after the bubble bath has been used and the Christmas hampers have been eaten you will have given a lasting gift which will save a mother’s life and enable her baby to grow up with their mum.”- From the Maternity Worldwide Website
10. UNICEF Child survival Food Pack: “One amazing gift, that does it all. The Child Survival Food Pack has everything needed to save a severely malnourished child, from the time they are brought into an emergency feeding center on the brink of death, till when they are healthy again. Therapeutic Milk and Therapeutic Food are the miracle supplies that treat severe acute malnutrition. Water Purification Tablets provide clean and safe water and prevent water-borne diseases. Multiple Micronutrient Powder and High-Energy Biscuits give a child the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy. Your precious gift can bring a child back from the brink of malnutrition, with enough supplies to nurture them to good health for several months.”- UNICEFUSA.org
I am a proud member of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health. Some of the suggestions for this post came from the Global Team of 200. Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children. Follow along with us here on Tumblr, on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook for the latest Global Team of 200 news.