If you’d like to add a little more altruism to your gift-giving this holiday season, consider purchasing items with a charitable tie-in. Many charities have holiday shops with products that support their efforts, while others allow you to donate sponsorships, food, or vital necessities to people in need in other people’s names. Charitable gifts are a great option for dog walkers, teachers, babysitters, postal carriers, and other people who help us in our daily lives. Here are a few good options if you’re looking to do some good with your gifts:
10,000 Villages: Around since 1946, this store offers fair trade artisan crafts from developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. You’ll find a bevy of cool and unique gifts in one of the many brick-and-mortar stores and online, and can feel good knowing your purchase supports disadvantage people in 38 countries, paying for food, education, healthcare, and housing. Items range from home décor to jewelry and clothing.
Save the Children: This international organization is at the forefront of providing relief and support to children in need and promoting their rights around the world. Started in the UK in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb and her sister Dorothy Buxton, it was reborn in the U.S. in the 1930s to support children in Appalachia. Today, the NGO works in the U.S and around the world to provide food, education, emergency response, healthcare. You can support the organization during the holidays by either gifting a sponsorship of a child in the U.S. or abroad starting at $28 a day, or purchase “a gift” from the holiday catalogues. Gifts include an education for a girl in a developing country, mosquito nets, and orphan care. Or, you can purchase Save the Children merchandise, like ties, scarves, and jewelry.
Heifer International: Dedicated to ending poverty and hunger around the world, this 70-plus-year-old global organization is about more than just handouts. It works with disadvantaged communities to develop sustainable agriculture and commerce and has a core philosophy of “passing on the gift” meaning families it work with must pass on the first female offspring in their livestock to another needy family. Through the organization’s gift catalogue, you can purchase livestock for impoverished families, promote female empowerment, support sustainable farming, or provide basic necessities in another person’s name.
World Vision: An international Christian charity, World Vision works with children and families to eliminate poverty and promote social justice. The group focuses on emergency relief on communities impacted by natural disaster and conflict, and also sets up long-term to promote sustainable development (with a focus on supporting children) in underdeveloped regions. Like other charities, World Vision offers honor gifts, donations like clean water, animals, and education, as well as handcrafted gifts to support emerging artisans.
The Brave Collection: Inspired by Jessica Hendricks, an American teaching English in Southeast Asia, this jewelry collection is handcrafted by underprivileged female artisans in Cambodia. Each piece is made using traditional techniques and include brass, silver and gold vermeil materials on hand-died cotton threads. In addition to supporting the artisans in Cambodia, 10 percent of the profits go towards fighting human trafficking.
Oxfam: An international confederation of 17 organizations working in 94 countries, Oxfam works to fight world poverty and social injustice. In addition to providing food, medicine, and basic necessities, Oxfam has grown to promote sustainable agriculture and commerce. Through Oxfam America, you can purchase meals, honey bees, pigs for disadvantaged communities, or support entrepreneurial efforts, like helping a female entrepreneur or irrigating a field.
Girl Rising: Based around a documentary of the same name, this global movement promotes girl’s education around the world and partners with multiple NGOs, including CARE, World Vision, Girl Up, Plan International, and Partners in Health. Through the Girl Rising store, you can purchase jewelry, t-shirts, totes, iPhone cases, and the movie to help keep the movement going strong.
Global Girlfriend: Founded in 2003 by humanitarian Stacy Edgar, this online global marketplace supports female artisans in developing countries. The fair trade site offers unique, eco-friendly products that make great gifts, from jewelry and handbags to handmade papers and body products. The charity royalties from each product goes to GROW (Girls’ Right To Opportunity Worldwide) an GreaterGood program dedicated to promoting Girl’s Education.