November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
Today, we bring you Gifts That Give Back!
I like to have my kids think about giving back as we near the holidays. I read that teaching kids gratitude is the best way to assure that they will be happy.
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. From Harvard Health Publications
Last year, I tried my hand at crafts (which I am bad at) and created a DIY Advent Gratitude Calendar in which my family tried to do an act of kindness as we counted down towards Christmas.
If you need Random Acts of Kindness ideas, I researched them in order to do 48 for my birthday.
Thankfulness, in our house, also includes Thank You notes and I have a free Thank You Card printable for kids that I hope makes note writing less onerous.
This year, I’m searching for gifts that give back with the idea that I can make a difference while buying presents. What are your favorite gifts that give back? Please share!
- Kauzbots: plush robot toys that give back to those in need, $25.
Kauzbots, the cuddly stuffed “robots with a heart,” offer an opportunity to be charitable through the act of gifting. This group of 10 heroic robots fights a variety of hardships that affect millions throughout the world. 10 percent of the retail price is donated to their individual ‘kauz’, which raise awareness for different charities that support: refugees, homeless children, pediatric cancer and autism research, just to name a few. 10% of retail price is donated to a different cause depending on which Kauzbot you choose.
2. Dsenyo Plush Toys support women affected by AIDS in Malawi. $25
Fair trade social enterprise Dsenyo creates sustainable jobs for female artisans in Malawi, Zambia and Brazil. The shop includes a wide spectrum of items, from apparel to woven home decor. The 17 members of the Mwayiwathu HIV Support Group in Malawi — mostly women affected by AIDS, either personally or within their family — created the toys.
3. Sally Jane “bee” jewelry: conates back to cancer research, $43-$68.
Sally Waite of Boston was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer while 7-months pregnant. Using her love for jewelry and nature, she went on a mission to inspire others. She teamed up with her Aunt Sally to create Sally Jane (www.sallyjane.net). Their signature message — “Bee Courageous, Bee Bold, Bee a Survivor, Just Bee” — to coincide with the bee designs. As a cancer survivor Sally knew the line would make a thoughtful gift for others going through a difficult time. The company is even donating back to the cancer research community for each item sold.
Hammered rustic “just bee” Sally Jane charm worn as a necklace sits at the heart with a message of “just bee.”
4. UNICEF Market: beautiful board games give back to the artisans who made them while also helping to save and protect children around the world.
UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. UNICEF purchased therapeutic food to treat 2.6 million severely-malnourished children in 2013. UNICEF Market has beautifully crafted items, with part of the proceeds going to talented artisans and to help UNICEF save and protect children.
Marble Tic Tac Toe Board Game from Mexico, ‘Rose on Black’, $24
Fair Trade Wood Maze Game Carved by Hand, ‘Labyrinth Intrigue’, $24
Unique Wood Chess Set from India, ‘Strategic Alliance’, $31
5. Boston-based Rosie’s Place sells gifts made by homeless women that it also feeds and shelters.
Founded in 1974, Rosie’s Place provides shelter, meals and support to poor and homeless women in Boston. Its Women’s Craft Collective program hires those same women to create gifts and jewelry. Proceeds support Rosie’s Place programs and services, while also teaching the artisans valuable job skills and providing permanent employment.
This vintage-look pocket mirror is topped with a gold or silver finding. Detailed with pearl button, ruby or opal topper. Comes with a black velvet case. $7.50
This brass/silverplate bookmark is embellished with a faux ruby/opal accent. $5 for 2!
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.