Friday, December 4, 2009

Gifts That Give Twice

I wanted to put together a list of gift ideas and companies to shop from that can really make a difference. Gifts that are not only fun to give and receive, but also support a good cause, are produced by fair trade standards, or send a great message. So here are my suggestions for terrific Christmas gift ideas. And yes, I would love to get any of these gifts for myself!!!

  • The Invisible Children Project has a line of products that are produced in Northern Uganda and benefit children in that country. My favorite a some bracelets that come with a DVD highlighting a particular child's story. Two of them are called Green is for Grace and White is for Innocent (Innocent is Haven's birth name). The bracelets are cool, trendy enough for a teenager and the DVD's are very moving.
  • Bead for Life has a gorgeous line of beaded jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc) that are hand made by women in Uganda. The profits all go back to help these women become independent entrepreneurs. I love the 5 strand necklace in blue, the Katogo bangle bracelet, and the 3 bead earrings. Any of their products are great for any female, and they are very reasonably priced so a good jewelry choice for even littler girls.
  • Shop the One Store--ONE is a grassroots organization founded by Bono, committed to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, especially in Africa. I LOVE the new ONE T-shirt design. They even have some super cool onsies and kids shirts for the little activist in your life!
  • Buy (RED)--every time you choose to buy a (RED) product, at no extra cost to you, the company who makes that product will give up to 50 percent of its profit to buy and distribute antiretroviral medicines to our brothers and sisters dying of AIDS in Africa. From shoe laces to IPods, there is really something for everyone.
  • Buy a Wild Olive T-shirt. They are great designs and part of the proceeds support Love Without Boundaries, a wonderful organization supporting orphans in China. My favorite shirt is the long sleeve "Transform Your Mind". They also have some great kids T's that I am dying to dress Grace and Haven in--"Chosen"--how perfect is that!!!
  • Shop Amani--a store full of great hand made products--bags, aprons, toys--made in marketing-training workshops by women from Congo and other neighboring countries. I love the dolls for your littles. Grace would go crazy for the Elephant Backpack and I what woman wouldn't love the Original Satchel Bag. A bag that goes with anything in your wardrobe!!!
  • Grace got this really cool present from her Aunt Cathy. It is a Fur Real Elephant named Zambi. It is such a fun toy. It raises its trunk, trumpets, blows kisses. Grace LOVES this elephant. It is sold as part of the Project Zambi-- a program to support children orphaned by AIDS in Africa. Fifty percent of the profits from Zambi the Baby Elephant go to this great cause. Zambi can be purchased online from places like ToysRUs, Target, etc.

Well, those are a few ideas to get you started. If you know of other great products or organizations with goods to sell, drop me a note in my comment box and I will do a follow up post in a few days with all of your great suggestions.

UPDATE: Another really great gift and super great cause is Just Love Coffee. I mean who doesn't LOVE a good cup of coffee this time of year. My blogging friend Debbie is fundraising to bring home a baby girl from Ethiopia. Please, please, please, if you're a coffee drinker, help support this family by visiting their personal Just Love Coffee page and purchasing some coffee straight from Africa. The have run into a series of unexpected expenses and got their referral sooner than expected, so they need to raise money quickly to make it all happen!!!

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