Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giving With Purpose

Today's post is not design related.  :)  
I have held back on posting this for a few weeks because I kept thinking I'd come across as preachy - hopefully not!!!  Here goes:

I am drawn to charities that help womens' progress (and therefore their families) and I thought these might appeal to you, my fantastic readers, as an alternative to traditional gifts this year.  I chose these organizations because their efforts can change women's lives - and their whole families' lives - in a sustainable way.  
(All of the descriptions below in italics came directly from the organizations' websites.)

Give a necklace, created by women in Uganda from Bead for Life
I love this idea as a teacher's gifts or for others in your life where you want a smaller gift, but something lovely, to give.
Bead for Life eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads. Women in Northern Uganda gather shea nuts and press them into shea butter for cosmetics and soaps. And people who care open their hearts,homes and communities to buy and sell both products.  The beads and shea butter become income, food, medicine, school fees and hope. It is a small miracle that enriches us all. 

Give a loan to a small business owner in a developing nation from Microplace.
I love this idea for a teenager/young adult - it's money they will eventually receive, but in the meantime it's invested for a good cause.  On the other side they still get the money for something bigger later on. 
(Although you might need to pair it with something else like an iTunes gift card for instant gratification :))

Microplace:  Use your portfolio to finance a project that enables the working poor to move from subsistence-level living to managing their money– all it takes is access to basic financial resources. You get to invest in something you believe in while making your money back with interest!  

Give an animal to a farmer in a developing nation from Heifer International
Do like I did, and give this to those relatives and friends who already have everything!

Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.  With gifts of livestock and training, we help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. It's called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace. 

I just picked my top three favorites but of course there are many, many more.

Let's spread the word:  What's your favorite way to give with a purpose? 


The enchanted home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The enchanted home said...

Nice post Barbara.....agree there is no better time to give than the holidays especially when so many around our world are in need of hope, a hug, comfort and support. Every little bit helps. I love the idea of proceeds coming from a retail sale going directly to a charity you wish to support. I love giving directly to a few charities, ones I have checked out and know my funds will go 100% to those in need. Most importantly, even five dollars can make a difference as much as many of us think thats impossible, everyone truly can have an impact and to me, there is nothing like giving and helping to change a life:)

Acquired Objects said...

We don't exchange gifts with our families since everyone has everything under the sun so we request donations be made to charities. These sound wonderful and will pass them along.

Anonymous said...

what a wonderful post!!! and these organizations are just the sort that I would promote as well...yes, sometimes it's a better meaning of Christmas when we give gifts to those who really need them verses another tie or toy to a husband or child that has so many as it is...
what would Christmas be if we truly gave?...thank-you for your awesome post.. :)
blessings to you!

I Dream Of said...

I can't think of something more inline that giving with a purpose. These are great examples. I'm a fan of an organization called See Your Impact. ( They have a gift card program where the recipient can choose from over 200 life-changing projects in 18 countries. They pick what they want to support and in a few weeks receive an update on the impact their gift had. Such a great idea! Thanks for the inspiring post!

kara rane said...

thank You Barbara,
Giving is the essence of Living.
My choice is to support artists and persons with disabilities. I offer 'donation only' yoga to all people, and buy hand~made (ie. Etsy). Wonderful that you have highlighted ways to make a difference this Holy~day season.

Inge @ SimplyFabulousChic said...

What a great post Barbara! You don't sound preachy at all, because it's good to stop and think about this once in a while, especially now. And especially for those who have everything and others who have nothing... Here in Belgium I always give a pile of warm clothes to an Antwerp organization which helps homeless people.
Another thing I always do is buy & sell chocolates to support our local M.S.-foundation (because my mom is an M.S. patient for so long already). I did sell them myself too, but this year I just couldn't find the time...

Oh and every month I'm donating a small amount of money to Greenpeace. The "give a necklace" is my favourite as well, it's so lovely to give! Thank you for sharing this... I learned some new things today!!
Love, Inge x

Aspiring Kennedy said...

oh, we are doing a fund raiser for bloggers called WELL DONE. it's through charity water...

it is hard to blog about "off topi" / "do-good" topics... but bravo! i love it. i spent a weekend out at heifer in college. what an awesome organization!!

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Barbara, That wasn't preachy. It was wonderful! We all should help people in need. There are so many organizations out there that need help. My son went to Haiti twice to help build an orphanage and school. Boy does Haiti need help! So many children with out families..

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

These are such fantastic causes and the African causes are especially close to my heart. We see so much poverty here first hand and it is so wonderful to have people embrace these charities. An excellent post, Barbara. In this material world we live in, we always need reminding that Christmas is really about giving and caring. x Sharon

Thoughts on Design said...

Heifers Internatinoal is one of our favs. Truly a gift that keeps on giving for a long time. Local food pantries and veterans assistance orgaizations are other that we support strongly.

A thoughtful reminder that even when times are tough, we need to remember that there's always another who is greater need.



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