There's no greater way to express Thanks than by giving.
During the Christmas season of 2011 we were displaced, still struggling to recover from the 2008 recession. (A really long story for another time.) However, we were blessed to be able to stay with family until we found solid work. With very little money, I decided to do something different that year for my 3 kids, whom at the time were; 21, 19 and 13. I chose to give a gift in their name via World Vision. For (from) my son, I gave a soccer ball, my oldest daughter bed nets to prevent malaria, and on behalf of my youngest daughter, seeds for a family to plant a food garden. It was one of their most memorable Christmas' and giving/getting a give back gift of some sort became a new family tradition.
One year I did the $5 white envelope, [ www.giving101.org/white-envelope-project/ ]. As the kids got older we did more projects together, like gift bags for the homeless that we put together on Christmas Eve and passed them out Christmas morning, and last year we gave to Angel Tree www.prisonfellowship.org/about/angel-tree/ . I now try to make sure that the majority of our gifts are from give back companies or fair trade.
Since starting Wanderful Things I have discovered so many amazing people and businesses doing great things with products they make themselves or by collaborating with local and global artisans. I have met them online and at pop-up shops which I have hosted, sold at or attended. I am still learning and growing in becoming a conscious consumer but I wanted to pass on some of my favorites to you. Most of us know of the pioneers in the give back world, a concept I choose to refer to as justice enterprise, like The Giving Keys, 31 Bits, Krochet Kids, Toms, and Warby Parker but here I want to share with you some of my favorite up and coming organizations/brands you may have never heard of. Please explore their websites, all of their stories are so inspiring.
not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2 Corinthians 9:7
This blog is not meant to in any way to entice or manipulate you but rather to encourage and equip you to joyfully plan your giving. May we all excel in the grace of giving during Christmas and everyday.