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. I began to curate these lists of Gifts that Give Back because I realized that we too as a consumer have a responsibility to make the world a better place, and there is no easier way than purchasing a gift that gives to your loved one and also gives back to someone in need. From purchasing a scarf that sends girls to school in India or a bar of homemade all natural soap that provides economic resources to communities in Africa, there is so much you can do. With the holidays right around the corner and millions of dollars being spent on gifts, imagine the difference we can make as consumers if we use our money to do good while giving. It is fabulous that so many amazing organizations exist today to help improve the world.
Here is a list of some of my favorite gifts that give back for this holiday season. Enjoy!
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
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
Heart of Haiti
Designed to improve and enrich lives, Macy’s offers an extraordinary collection of art and gifts to promote change and hope in Haiti. Each purchase supports that artisans on the ground so they can have a sustainable income. http://www1.macys.com/shop/featured/heart-of-haiti
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. www.preemptivelove.org
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
Cotopaxi (adventure outdoor apparel and gear)
Cotopaxi is an outdoor company that funds sustainable poverty alleviation, moves people to do good, and inspires adventure through innovative outdoor products and experiences. Their unique business model enables their grantmaking in developing countries and represents a commitment to sustainable product design and charitable giving. The Luzon Del Dia backpack is created with salvageable materials that would otherwise have been headed to the landfill, and no two backpacks is alike.
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.
Health 2 Humanity
Health 2 Humanity goes beyond soap. Every H2H purchase helps fund international vocational programs that create jobs, grant scholarships, develop skills, and improve the lives of people around the world by offering hygiene solutions in developing countries. Through the development of these programs, the company plans to put an end to global health inequality.
TOMS (shoes and eyeglasses and coffee)
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.
For the Kids
Happisnappi kid’s accessories are the perfect way for your little ones to accessorize with ease! Happisnappi accessories have interchangeable pieces, making matching different outfits as easy as can be! Simply choose an embellishment and snap it on to the hat or headband! For every hat sold, Happisnappi gives another to a children’s hospital. www.happisnappi.com
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
Bureo makes skateboards and sunglasses from recycled fishing nets. Operating a recycling program in Chile, ‘Net Positiva’, Bureo’s programs provides fishing net collection points to keep plastic fishing nets out of our ocean. Preventing harmful materials from entering the ocean, these recycling programs protect wildlife and supporting local fishing communities through financial incentives. Bureo is on a mission to find innovative solutions to prevent ocean plastics, and inspire others to join them in the movement to protect our oceans. www.bureo.co
Love your Melon
Love Your Melon began with a simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America. Since 2012, they’ve donated over 80,000 hats to children battling cancer and with each product purchase, they donate 50% of net proceeds to their select charity partners to help end the fight against pediatric cancer. Over $1.5 million has been raised so far! One of the biggest days of the year for Love Your Melon in terms of raising money for their nonprofit partners is Cyber Monday. This past Monday $414,095 was raised, over double that of last year. www.loveyourmelon.com
Pals Socks are socks for kids that come mismatched on purpose, because it’s fun to be friends with someone different than you. They are all about inspiring kids to keep an open mind to all kinds of people and new ideas/experiences. Pals Socks also give a percentage of their profits to an organization that also helps make our world a better place. They support anti-bullying, animal rights, the environment and more. www.palssocks.com
And of course World Moms Network’s very own mini-shop!
Here in the United States of America, on Sunday, June 21st, we will celebrate Father’s Day. I thought for the occasion I’d put together a list of gifts that World Dads would love, but that also give back in some way. There are so many great companies that give back to choose from these days, but below are a few World Moms favorites.I had the pleasure of visiting the FashionABLE factory in Ethiopia last year and have been writing about and wearing the gorgeous scarves made in Ethiopia for years. That made it such a thrill to finally meet founder Barrett Ward at the ONE Girls and Women AYA Summit this past fall where he participated on the Change Through Economic Opportunity panel. I am also excited that they are expanding their operations to include products made in Kenya including a beautiful line of leather products. Some of which are perfect for him! All products contribute towards social service programs of health care, education in a trade, and assistance with child care for their artisans to help build better, sustainable futures for the artisans and their families.
Wine can be a great gift to share, and one with a meaning behind it is even better. Of course I was introduced to One Hope wines by none other than World Moms Blog founder Jennifer Burden when she served it at a gathering of World Moms for the Social Good Summit a few years ago. A portion of the proceeds of each bottle of One Hope Wine goes to the organization that that wine selection supports, be it saving the environment, fighting heart disease, or supporting our troops among others.
For every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold, another pair is given to someone in need, along with funding the training of eye care professionals in developing countries.
The Men’s styles of Tom’s Shoes are hot! Let’s face it, what makes them even hotter is the fact that each pair bought gives a pair of shoes to someone without.
Whoever curates the (RED) shop ROCKS! They have the most amazing product selection and all funds from (RED) purchases go to The Global Fund to help the fights against AIDS.
I also met Jane Mosbacher Morris at the AYA Summit where she participated in the panel on Change Through Economic Opportunity. I love her story from policy to retail and was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview her a few days ago and get more insight into her path to founding To The Market. To The Market is a marketplace for survivor made goods, whether it is from war, disaster, or abuse, To The Market provides a market for the beautiful handcrafted goods that give women survivors a chance to support themselves and their families. The website has an entire section of goods for men.
Please share other great gift ideas for the man in your life that also give back. We’d love to hear from you!
Is there a “Father’s Day” celebration in your country? If so When?
This is an original post written by Elizabeth Atalay for Word Moms Blog. Her writing is also found at documama.org.
In October, several #WorldMoms attended the ONE Girls & Women AYA Summit at the Google Headquarters in Washington, DC. One of the many powerful panels we heard from was entitled Change Through Economic Opportunity, where both major fashion companies and small start-ups weighed in on how they impact the lives of women through economic empowerment. With the holiday season upon us, World Moms decided to share some of the ways we love to use our purchasing power to give back, and how you can too.
Sydney Price of Kate Spade NY spoke about the Kate Spade On Purpose line at the AYA Summit panel. Each piece in this collection is handcrafted in Rwanda creating sustainable economic opportunities for women and reshaping their community.
Jane Mosbacher Morris , founder of To the Market, also participated in the panel on Change Through Economic Opportunity at the AYA Summit. To The Market provides a marketplace for the beautiful handcrafted goods that give women survivors of war, disaster or abuse a chance to support themselves and their families.
World Moms Elizabeth Atalay and Nicole Melancon had the pleasure of visiting the FashionABLE factory in Ethiopia this past summer and we have all been writing about and wearing the gorgeous scarves made in Ethiopia for years. It was great to finally meet founder Barrett Ward at the AYA Summit this past fall where he participated on the panel as well. FashionABLE is now expanding operations to include products made in Kenya and a beautiful line of leather products, all while providing social service programs of health care, education in a trade, and assistance with child care for their artisans to help them build better lives for themselves and their families.
“Through your purchase, you are ABLE to provide opportunity, and a woman is ABLE to have a new choice.”-LiveFashionABLE
The Giving Keys provides jobs for those transitioning out of homelessness, giving them the opportunity to rebuild their lives. The necklaces & bracelets are super cool as is the message of the Giving Keys:
“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
You can read Giving Keys stories of those who have given and received keys on their site.
Shop the ONE Campaign store Holiday Gift Guide for some fabulous items where you know everything is fair trade and ethically sourced. By doing so you support the ONE Campaign in it’s goal of eradicating extreme poverty.
Alex & Ani Bracelets
Alex & Ani Charity by design products are another of our favorites. A percentage o profits goes 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!
From South Africa, The Mielie bags employ women of the townships 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
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
Kids Books from Little Pickle Press, a B Corporation, are some of our favorite books for kids!
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 living in a developing country.
Tom’s keeps its designs fresh while still managing to provide shoes and glasses to those who need them. We love their One for One business model (and pledge to support it with as many shoes as we can get away with!)
1000 Shillings Ugandan 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. They 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.
Photo by Elizabeth Atalay
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
Save two lives, those of a mom and her newborn baby, with CleanBirth.org and the perfect holiday gift of Bags of Love and Miracles, a handmade bag with a beautiful full-sized honor card inside ($20) and 4 mothers in Laos will receive birthing supplies and safe birthing education.
Mom2Mom Africa is a Canadian Not-for-Profit Organization, established to help empower women and children through education. The benefits of education and global awareness apply to us all. Your gifts this season will help to buy books, school uniforms and school supplies for the Mom2Mom Africa students in Tanzania.
Wishing Happy Holidays to You All,
May You Give As Good As You Get!
Do you know other organizations or shops that belong on this list?
This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Kyla P’an. She asked our writers,
“How do you expose your kids to, or educate them about, serving others and volunteerism?”
Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…
Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA writes:
“I think the best way is to lead by example and bring the kids along so they can understand better. They can join in and you will have great opportunities for conversations about helping others with them.
For example, I recently threw a party for the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign at my house. We raised awareness for vaccinations to save the lives of children in developing nations, and we also collected school supplies for a local charity, too.
I let my daughter stay up a little later that night, and she helped collect the school supplies at the door. I took her with me later that week to drop off the items, so she could see where they were going. She had a lot of questions!” (more…)
As the holidays approach, we asked our World Moms Blog writers to…
“…tell us about a holiday/cultural tradition that you are excited
about sharing with your child(ren) this year.”
Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…
Kyla P’an of Massachusetts, USA writes:
“There are two things I get really excited about each year:
1. setting out our family creche. We add one piece each night until Christmas Eve, saving the baby. On Christmas morning, baby Jesus magically appears and the kids get excited about discovering him there.
2. Advent calendars, my mom has devotedly given me an advent calendar every year of my life for the past 39 years and now she sends them to my kids too…this year we have a chocolate one and a Playmobile one to look forward to.” (more…)