My friend Rachel wrote this awesome article for our MOPS newsletter and I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you all.
Shop It To Me
by Rachel Spies
I LOVE the Christmas season – the decorations, the smells, the parties, and of course, the shopping in crowded malls lugging lots of bags while balancing my sentimentally bought chai latte from Starbucks while keeping track of at least one of my kids that I had to bring so my husband could stay home and watch the football game, I mean “finish a project.” Errr, I really do like shopping for gifts. The last couple of years, however, I have found more meaning in buying them from vendors who produce a great product and also serve the community in some way as well. Some of these businesses call themselves not-just-for-profit companies, some ask you to “vote with your dollar,” some call it “capitalism with a cause;” I say, call it whatever you want, its just plain smart. I have gotten amazing and unique gifts that say way more than some generic coffee mug or bath salts I grabbed last minute because I couldn’t think of anything else (we’ve all been there, no judgment). This year I am doing the vast majority of my shopping for the grown-ups in my life through these vendors and companies – join me and together we can make a real difference not only in the lives of a lot of kids, but in our stress levels this holiday season as well!
Noonday Collections – I am OBSESSED with this company. Not only did my friend Jessica Honegger found this company, she sells the most amazing products on it, with prices starting from just $10 for some really cool earrings and then running all the way up to $200 to for hand knit alpaca wool scarves. You can find something for every lady on your list on this site, and help fund adoptions in the process.
Funky Fish Jewelry – More jewelry I love! The ladies of Funky Fish have been busy and have several collections to shop from including some Christmas ornaments! Depending on which collection you buy from your money goes to support a different ministry, but regardless it goes to support marginalized women and girls living in poverty in Africa.
Sseko – Shoes!! Sandals, to be exact. These sandals are too cool to explain, you have to check them out for yourself, but there is definitely a style for every personality. They are made in Uganda by girls getting ready to go to college. The money and business experience they earn running Sseko provides them the means by which to go to college and continue their education in a male-dominated society.
TOMS shoes – Well, if you haven’t heard of TOMS shoes you might be hiding under a rock, but lately they have been doing some really cool cross-promotions with other companies. They have a charity:water shoe right now for which proceeds go towards building a well in Ethiopia in addition to their one to one shoe giving mantra (for every pair of shoes that is bought they give a pair away to a child that needs them). Its like double giving in one!
Rwanda Baskets – These baskets are a beautiful tradition that is being restored in Rwanda as the country rebuilds itself after its genocide in 1994. They work directly with the weavers to return the most amount of profit possible back to the country. There are so many styles and sizes to chose from!
Bridgewater Candle Company – This company has a line of candles that sends money to feed hungry children; its tag line is: light a candle, feed a child. One candle can feed one orphaned for one week, plus make your house smell great in the process. These would make great little gifts as well.
Veritas Clothing Company – This company is cool, if you know what I mean. It might be too cool for me, but perfect for my younger sister who is a sophomore in college, or that teen on your list who you never know what to get for them. The coolest thing about them is that they give 20% of their proceeds to support several humanitarian efforts around the world, including a children’s home in Kenya.
Create for Haiti – This is a collective blog by three Aggie grads who are teaming up to make a difference this Christmas using their creative gifts. They have a large collection of the cutest handmade cards, purses, fabrics, as well as a gifted photographer for you to check out. Proceeds are going to Heartline Ministries in Haiti.
Just Love Coffee – For the coffee enthusiast in your life, or just to have around during the holidays, Just Love Coffee offers amazingly good fair trade coffee. Even if you don’t know a vendor personally to support for an adoption, you can still buy from them to fund the school in Ethiopia that they support.
Gobena Coffee – More coffee for your brewing pleasure. Gobena works deeply within the village of Zeway, Ethiopia in many areas of community development alongside of Lifesong for Orphans in addition to making a standout coffee. Consider ordering some bags of Gobena next time you need hostess gifts to give out.
Music For the City – Awesome music, awesome artists, and awesome cause. Download it on itunes or buy the CD; the money goes to SafePlace and Austin Children’s Shelter.