Kristen Thomas Photography » Northern Virginia Portrait & Wedding Photographer

Gifts that give, share love, and show hope

This year as you wander the malls looking for that perfect gift for loved ones, I encourage you to think of others.  People in this country and overseas who may not have all that you have. Shelter, health, food, family.  And as you give gifts, remember to support charities who are helping others.  There are so many organizations who give to people less fortunate, through the gifts you can purchase from their companies.  This is a great way to give to those you love around you AND know that you’re making a difference to help others.  Here are a few amazing companies I have found…  The first three I have personally bought products from and I have friends who have supported the others.  I’ve heard wonderful things about all of these organizations….

  • Sseko Designs –  Sseko Designs hires young women in Uganda to create their beautiful sandals, live and work together, to earn money that will go directly towards their university education.  I have a pair myself and can vouch for the quality and comfort!  Love my Sseko’s!  There are also several videos on YouTube demonstrating a ton of different ways to tie them to create different looks!  They have straps for casual, dressy and even weddings!
  • TOMS shoes -TOMS is a great company that matches your purchases to help children overseas.  For every pair of shoes purchased, a pair of new shoes is given to a child in need.  I bought a pair of TOMS for my brother a few years ago and he wore them all the time! So I’m pretty positive that they’re comfortable, and I love that a child benefits from each purchase!
  • Night Light International – Night Light is an amazing jewelry company in Bangkok, Thailand, which provides hope, intervention, rescue and assistance to women and children exploited in the sex industry.   They offer alternative employment, vocational opportunities, and life-skills training to women seeking freedom from trafficking and prostitution.  I have several pieces and love the jewelry and the company’s amazing mission.
  • 31 Bits –  31 Bits assists women in Uganda with a way to market and sell their beautiful paper bead jewelry.  Now employed with 63 women, your purchases provide an income to these amazing, talented women.
  • Global Goods Partners –  This company provides fair trade products, hand crafted from 24 different countries to support artisans all over the world.  You can seriously find a little bit of everything on this site!
  • Made by Survivors – This organization helps survivors of slavery rebuild their lives after rescue.  They provide sustainable income, education and help reintegrating back into society.  Purses, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, clothing and lots more!
  • Show Hope – Awesome clothing for men, women and kids which help support orphans around the world and gives financial grants to adopting families.
  • Ten Thousand Villages – Similar to Global Goods Partners, Ten Thousand Villages also provides fair trade products made from many different countries.
  • Feed Projects –  Feed Projects provides food for hungry children through the sale of their canvas grocery bags, book bags, bracelets and clothing.
  • Feed Rice –  Just discovered Feed Rice.  What an awesome idea!  It’s a game, not a store.  You sign up, join a group and play by answering trivia, vocab and various questions on different topics.  It applies to all different skill levels, and for every answer you get right, they donate rice to hungry people all over the world!
  • Falling Whistles –  Amazing cause.  PLEASE do not skip the intro video.  This is extremely powerful, and it explains the cause of Falling Whistles better than I could.  Through donations and selling their whistles and clothing, 100% of the proceeds is used to restore the lives of war-affected children in the Congo.

If you know of any amazing organizations like these, please share and leave a comment!

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