Can We Talk About Gifts?
‘Tis the Season of holiday shopping, of searching to find meaningful gifts for one and all. Aside from antique and vintage shops, my preferred avenues for holiday shopping take me to the support of artists and creatives, to purchasing from fair-trade and sustainable businesses and ministries, and to donating money in honor of family and friends.
If that scratches an itch you have, I have curated a list of some of my favorite discoveries. I have purchased from many of these vendors, and I have the privilege of knowing a few of the proprietors. Most of these companies and missions offer products for purchase; some offer products and the option to donate; and some accept donations alone.
As my Christmas shopping is not complete, I'd love to learn of your favorite places and sites in the comments.
"Thistle Farms' mission is to HEAL, EMPOWER, AND EMPLOY women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. We do this by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners.
We believe that in the end, love is the most powerful force for change in the world."
Harvest Hands - Humphreys Street Coffee/Merchantile
"Harvest Hands is a catalyst for Christ-centered, wholistic community development working alongside our neighbors to further education, healthy living, spiritual formation and economic development in South Nashville."
"Through our partnership with Water for Good, every product you purchase provides one week of clean water to someone in need. The Central African Republic is a country in desperate need of hope, love, and basic necessities. Access to safe, clean water has the power to transform communities and save lives."
"Poverty & the Arts (POVA) is a social enterprise nonprofit that provides supplies, studio space, training, and a marketplace for artists impacted by homelessness to create and sell artwork, as well as gain valuable entrepreneurial and social skills which helps them earn creative income, access higher-waged employment, increase their housing stability, and build the necessary security nets to remain out of homelessness."
"For every item purchased, we give an equal quality item to someone in need and take pride in employing the transitioning homeless to get each and every style packaged up and ready to go."
"We provide life-changing job opportunities to women in need. With each purchase you make we introduce you to the woman who made your product and invite you to visit her online profile to learn more about her."
Products that "represent the colorful spirit of Bolivia that would tackle two key social components of beyondBeanie: 1. to create meaningful work for female artisans in a place that recognizes and respects them. 2. to provide meals, dental care, school supplies, and school uniforms to the impoverished children."
"Today, we employ 15 women who meet at our headquarter facility in The Minefield Village to receive an education as well as earn a full-time wage working from the safety of their own homes. ...Landmine Design is a catalyst for life and an advocate for who people are designed to be."
"We are actively reinvesting our profits back into the local community and around the world to provide education, empowerment and employment."
"You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style to make a difference. PURPOSE Jewelry is beautifully crafted by young women rescued from human trafficking. By Purchasing with Purpose® you are providing freedom, dignity and hope for these amazing artisans."
It's Only Fair - this store is located in Covington, Kentucky. If you live in the Cincinnati area or are passing through, please stop by and tell Reegan that I sent you. You can see products online and follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see their inventory as it arrives in the shop.
Pact Apparel - I discovered this company when I bought a tank top on clearance at my grocery store. They sent me a free pair of socks with my proof of purchase. Their site is full of all kinds of comfy clothes. I've put some things on my own Christmas list from Pact Apparel.
"What we wear, matters: I started Pact with a lofty goal: to create the comfiest clothes in the world without destroying the earth, or harming people. I believe that what we wear, matters. So, I set out to do things better."
"The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation."
"our mission is to empower women and girls in marginalized and vulnerable communities, by partnering with them to create programs and pathways that ensure equitable access to resources and services targeting their mental and reproductive health needs."
"AFRIpads’ exists because we believe menstruation should not be a barrier for any woman, anywhere. Women are the backbone of our societies and they deserve access to safe and dignified solutions to managing their periods, and the freedom to rise to their dreams and achieve their true potential."