Kristen Thomas Photography » Northern Virginia Portrait & Wedding Photographer

Gifts that Give

Still looking for that perfect gift?  As the last few shopping days before Christmas are counting down; instead of fighting the crowds and wandering the malls, 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 to your loved ones (for the holidays or even gifts for birthdays throughout the year), 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, the first five 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….

* Sari Bari – Provides a safe place of employment for women in India who have been exploited in the sex trade.  They make beautiful quilts, scarves, and purses out of gorgeous Indian sari’s.

* Krochet Kids –  Allows women in Uganda to break the cycle of poverty.  By crocheting hats, they are able to provide for their families.

* 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.

* Stop Traffick Fashion , Not For Sale , Wonderfully Made Jewelry , Freeset Global , Made by Survivors–  These organizations provide opportunities and hope for survivors of human trafficking (slavery) by rebuilding their lives after rescue.  They provide sustainable income, education and help reintegrating back into society. Purses, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, clothing and lots more!

* Divine Chocolate – Fair trade chocolate company which invests its income in building schools, sinking wells for clean drinking water to villages, providing mobile medical clinics for farmers in remote growing regions, and fostering women’s income generation projects to help women earn additional income for their families when the cocoa season is over.

* Just Love Coffee – Fair trade coffee company which donates a portion of all proceeds to help families adopt precious children around the world

* Serrv , Trade as OneRepair the World Now , Light Give Heat ,   Amani Africa,   Global Goods Partners , Ten Thousand VillagesFeed Projects – These companies provides fair trade products, hand crafted from many different countries to support artisans all over the world to break the chain of poverty. You can seriously find a little bit of everything on these sites!

* Show Hope – Awesome clothing for men, women and kids which help support orphans around the world and gives financial grants to adopting families.

* Free Rice – Just discovered Free 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.

* Pamba Toto – By purchasing jewelry and African crafts, you can help support orphans in Kenya


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

  • December 22, 2011 - 7:45 am

    Melissa - I bought alot of our christmas presents from this year. Each product gives a story of the people it is directly helping. All fair trade and lots of beautiful stuff.
    Thanks for posting this list!!ReplyCancel

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