This season, I have made a vow that I will try to buy gifts for people that have some greater purpose. No, I don’t mean a multi-tasking kitchen gadget (although those are great) but rather a gift that gives back in some way. The truth is, my family and friends, we have all that we could ever need. While everyone likes new things, wouldn’t it be nice if those new things also helped out someone who does need more than we? I am so inspired by programs that help women work. These are not handouts or charities in the way that puts someone in a superior position. Instead, they take what we’re already doing, spending money, and moving it toward someone who just needs a bit of support to do the hard work they want to in order to support their communities.
I know not everyone is completely on my same page in its extreme nature, so I’m not going the route of buying a new cow for a family in Sudan for all on my gift list. But I will try to find tangible presents here that are also gifts somewhere else in the world. So far, here are a few of my favorites. I hope you’ll consider gifts that give back, at least for a part of your gift list this season.
Rwanda Path to Peace Baskets: A few weeks ago I went to Macy’s to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Path to Peace partnership with women artisans of Rwanda. I was so honored to meet the women behind these gorgeous baskets andj hear their stories about how the Macy’s partnership allows them to provide stability in an otherwise unstable environment. Knowing that our purchases helped these women take care of themselves and their families makes these gifts even more special. You can find these baskets in some Macy’s stores but there is a greater selection online here.
Heart of Haiti: I’ve written about the amazing products offered through Heart of Haiti. There are handcrafted pieces for home, jewelry and textiles that will please even your pickiest gift list-er. The beauty of these gifts really is the fact that the sales of each item go toward women and families rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes that rocked much of Haiti. You’re empowering women artisans, helping families recover and gifting someone a unique and gorgeous trinket all at once. How can you beat that? Heart of Haiti products are also available at Macy’s and other retailers that have similar global partnerships.
100GoodDeeds Bracelet: Spoiler alert to my kids’ teachers, I think this makes an excellent teacher gift. The bracelet itself is such a fun concept because you are meant to track your own good deeds on the beads of the bracelet. It helps that the bracelets themselves are adorable. The giving back part comes from the artisans themselves. One bracelet can keep one woman employed and others supported through the 1Gd foundation that helps get the bracelets to us.
Save the Children: If you’re really ready to GIVE this season, you can choose to educate a young girl for $75 with the Save the Children gift catalog. Your donation buys all the books, materials and any tuition needs a girl may have in areas like Africa and Central America. You make the donation and the recipient you choose to honor gets a card telling them of the power of their gift. Education not your thing or is $75 out of your price range? Check out the Save the Children Gift Catalog for more options at various price levels.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.