It's the most wonderful time of the year! What is better than Thanksgiving and Christmas? There's not much, in my book.
The hard thing about this time, though, is buying gifts. Firstly, there's the fact that some people are just hard to buy for! They have everything they could want or need. The other side is thinking of all those people around the world who are struggling to obtain even basic needs like food or water.
So if we are going to be spending money buying things to love on the people around us, why don't we double that effect and love on people around the world in need? People who may not even have basic needs such as food or water, much less extra stuff on Christmas.
Here are some places I love where you can shop to buy awesome and unique gifts for people. The extra awesome bonus is that your dollar isn't just going to some business...it is going to businesses that free slaves, provide clean water, share the Gospel, and take care of orphans. Win win win win, right?
Click on the picture for the source (which are all from the individual shop) and the information to buy!
Freeset employs women who have worked in Kolkata's sex trade. Freeset gives women a choice, and works to free those who feel as if they do not have one. I got a Freeset bag at a conference and I was amazed. The jute bag is super sturdy, and I use it to carry my laptop and school books to school just about every day. They aren't flimsy things, and I think the price is great! The colors are bright, too. I also got this fabric iPad case from them, and I am impressed with the thickness of the fabric. Bonus: use the little jute bag as a gift bag for the little stuff you're buying! Such a cute buy.
Feeding the Orphans is, of course, so close to my heart. Their work truly changes lives. An awesome way to support this organization is to shop in their store. They employ widows and single moms to make these things, which empowers those women to provide for their families. Their stockings are super cute, and their shirts are some of the softest tees ever. Love them! From jewelry to bags, FTO's got you covered.
Looking for unique Christmas decorations? Ornaments 4 Orphans has nativity sets and ornaments for all your decorating needs. Profits go to Pearl Ministries, which works with orphans and street children in Uganda through the Gospel and meeting physical needs.
Know any babies? These adorable shoes are too cute! They're a little pricey, but they are going to remove jiggers in feet, an epidemic in Uganda that can keep people from walking. Definitely worth it!
I started following the She Does Justice blog last year, and I love the passion of Megan's work. Her heart for others is evident, and her shop donates some of its profits to a different cause very month, which she highlights on the blog. I love learning about each month's cause, and her stuff is just so cute. You better believe if I ever have a kid of my own they will be decked out in her SDJ Littles line!
Global Mamas is a fair trade store, based out of Ghana, that sells just about everything. Their products can be found in stores across the country, so click here for a list of where to find this gorgeous stuff near you! I love the patterns and variety of products for women, men, and kids. Bonus: They sell shea butter in bulk. Awesome!
NS Pottery is an Etsy shop that sells really unique gifts from mugs and spoons to beautiful jewelry. The warm colors are my favorite part, besides the fact that they donate 20% of their sales to Gospel in Asia to build clean water wells.
If you are looking for a new bag, but can't find one that is completely your style, look no further! BLB has a build your own bag option, including many fabric and leather options. You can design anything from a messenger bag to a wristlet. There are SO many options! They donate some of their profits to Kiva.org, where you can loan a small business owner money in order to empower them (and most likely be paid back!). They also love on people at their home, in Detroit, by giving them a job.
I LOVE NOONDAY. I basically want everything on this website. For real. Jewelry, journals, hand towels, and purses: they pretty much have it all covered. Everything is made by women in developing countries, and it is ADORABLE. Getting a theme here? Empowerment is where it's at.
I found Mudlove one day and have bought all my friends presents from their shop. Affordable, sturdy, and beautiful. I even know someone who ordered a band with their wedding date on it and used it in engagement pictures (sooo cute). They also have necklaces and mugs. They donate money to build wells in Africa, and they also support fundraisers. Our Ghana group sold our 50 bands within a week just by posting a picture on Facebook. Another awesome bonus is if your band breaks, you can send it back and get the exact one for free!
This is just a small sampling. I've been learning more and more that I can choose to spend money on things that aren't necessary in a way that matters. A birthday present that brings joy to a friend is awesome, and the fact that it can also help someone in need is just amazing!
Where are some places you shop that make a difference?