HOLIDAY GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
My son’s second Christmas (our first without our family, just the 3 of us in our home) we waited until the last minute to shop and we tossed a bunch of stuff in two shopping carts at Babies-R-us. Funny enough, our son was with us when we were shopping so none of it was a surprise. We felt so guilty waiting until the very last second (a day or two before Christmas) that we overcompensated by just buying a bunch of crap. It was a horrible feeling, and what felt even worse was when our son barely played with any of the things we bought. It was a complete fail and a complete waste. I promised myself that we would never have a Christmas like that again.
So the following year we participated in the Baby2Baby, Family2Family program where you get matched with a low income family and buy gifts, clothes and essentials for Christmas. They provide you with the child’s first name, age, interests and a suggested list of things to buy. I explained to my son that there is a little boy whose parents needed a little extra help buying some gifts for him and asked him if he’d like to help this little boy so he has presents under his tree too. He was so excited and talked about this little boy over and over again. Literally everything we purchased for the next few weeks he would ask if it was for that little boy. So this became a yearly thing we do, whether it’s with Baby2Baby or with another charity, we make sure to give back with our son so he understands the joys of giving and has a better idea of what the holidays are really about!
It has since been my mission to give gifts that have a meaning or purpose and that I’ve actually thought through before buying for people. That seems logical, but how many of you are guilty of just buying a candle, or bottle of wine because it’s something that can be picked up quickly and last minute and enjoyed. Say it with me, GUILTY. So I wanted to provide you guys with a list of some wonderful gifts that give back that you can refer to in order to make this holiday season a little more meaningful! No excuses, there’s something here for everyone…
For the children on your list:
Stella.Phoenix, Tammin’s new girls clothing line, gives a portion of their proceeds to World Vision. These clothes are all mix and match, durable, and gorgeous. They are the perfect outfit for any occasion for your little girls. Stella.Phoenix will make your little girls light up on Christmas morning.
Each doll comes with 10 tokens that children can give out to people as an act of kindness that say “Pay it Forward”, encouraging your child to spread kindness around. Also, with each doll purchased one is donated!
A beautiful piece of fine art for a children’s room, which 20% of the proceeds go to Baby2Baby charity. You can tell your child a little story about how some of the money used to buy this piece of art, was given to someone in need so when they look at it each day, it’s a little reminder of how you as a family helped and how it’s important to give back!
The most exquisite body lotion for babies and kids, 100% of proceeds from the family pack go to Alliance of Moms which supports babies born to teens in foster care.
The Jane collection is designed with interchangeable cotton-braided straps. Reminiscent of a friendship bracelet, the Jane is a true symbol of love — $2 from each sale is donated to one of our charity partners, listed on their website.
All of their products are carefully crafted by hand by skilled artisans in Uganda and Indonesia. The beaded products are made in Uganda from rolled up paper, sealed with a water-based varnish. Making beads from paper is a technique found throughout Eastern Africa. Their metal products and accents are made in Indonesia by skilled artisans who have spent years learning the craft. Metal jewelry used to be a much bigger industry in Indonesia, but has significantly decreased over the last decade. By giving artisans access to the global market, 31 bits is helping preserve this beautiful, traditional technique.
The Starling Project provide development of solar power systems in countries such as Chad by supporting organizations like UNICEF through the sale of hand poured candles made in Brooklyn, NY.
Sudara’s mission is to provide safe working environments for women in India most of whom have escaped sex trafficking or who were living in severe poverty. “Stitch by stitch, the women gained confidence not only in their newfound trade, but also in their newfound hope and freedom. Since that time, our relationships have grown into multiple sewing center partnerships and hundreds of women gaining a new community and safe place to work and heal.”
These are really fun jewelry pieces and accessories, a good portion of the employees at this company are individuals that are transitioning out of homelessness. Recipients of the accessories are encouraged to one day give their key away to someone who needs the message more than they do. A beautiful gift that keeps on giving…
My husband swears that these are the most comfortable socks on the planet! The best part of that statement is that this company works on a one item purchased, one item donated system so someone in need will receive these amazing socks too. They have engineered a very specific sock that they donate to homeless shelters, designed for those that don’t have access to clean socks daily. Therefore, they are made with anti microbial treatment to prevent fungus from not changing socks daily, they are made in dark colors such as black to show less visible wear, and they have reinforced seems for longer durability.
This is a really beautifully packaged gift of face and body lotions in which the funds from this sale equate 415 meals for people in need. “100% of net profits from the sale of “Collection For A Cause” benefits Feeding America®, up to $100,000. $1 helps provide 11 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.”
For the world traveler:
“A supremely useful gift for the hiker, camper, or general outdoor enthusiast, the LifeStraw makes dirty water drinkable (it removes 99.9 percent of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella). For each straw purchased, one school child in a developing community receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.”
The Little Market is an online fair trade shop where customers can purchase beautiful products handmade by artisans around the world. The Little Market practices fair trade principles, and every purchase generates meaningful income for the artisans and their families.
Send a child in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to school for $99 for the year. “As in the developed world, the school year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) lasts about nine months. Unlike in the developed world, most children in the DRC don’t get the chance to attend school – they don’t have the money and resources for basics we take for granted: school fees, school uniforms and shoes, something to write with and something to write on. On top of that, years of conflict left many kids with the scars of being child soldiers, refugees, and wanderers among the internally displaced. For less than $99, a child in the DRC can go to school for a year. That’s less than $7 a month to escape the uncertainty and turmoil. That’s less than 25 cents a day to gift a child with a year of learning, a better future for the Congo, and a better future for Africa and the world.”