Giving with Meaning


It's the most wonderful time of the year!
I know technically Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet, but you can feel the spirit of generosity buzzing and smell the scent of pecan pies on the breeze!
I was planning on doing the typical "List of What I'm Thankful For" post this week, but I got distracted while I tried to do some Christmas shopping online and decided to switch things up last minute.
I still want to talk about Thanks and Giving though.

If you are anything like me, you love to give gifts.
I take great care in the choosing of meaningful gifts for loved ones, but the task of picking something seems to become more challenging with each passing year!
I decided one way to make sure that I was getting a the most value out of my dollar was to purchase most Christmas presents from worthwhile organizations.
As Americans, we have SO much to be grateful for.
Our freedoms, our safety, our families, our jobs, our health...the list could go on forever.
However, for so many others around the world, those things are not guaranteed.
It was this time last year that the idea came upon me to try to make my gifts GIVE twice!
I sought out non-profits and other companies that sold goods made by women from third world countries or who had survived trafficking, prostitution, and abuse.
I could purchase a pretty necklace or a nice smelling candle as a gift for a friend or family member while at the same time, supporting those who truly needed monetary help to just get by.

I've gathered up some of the best organizations I can find in hopes that the gifts we buy can benefit multiple lives.
There are no affiliate links in this post.
The only folks benefiting from your purchases are the creators themselves, not me!
Thanks for giving!

Thistle Farms

This TN based organization is dedicated to rebuilding lives of women who have survived sex trafficking, addiction, prostitution, and abuse. As one of their employees says, "They love us until we are able to love ourselves". Last year I bought a case of their Three Trees scented candles to hand out to friends for whatever occasion arose! PS: They hand-make their candles! What a nice touch! You can also purchase jewelry, essential oils, scarves, and plenty of other items from their website. If you live in the Nashville area, you could even stop in their Cafe for lunch one day! 

41 & Change Coffee Co.

The video says it best: "To many people, a cup of coffee in the morning is like a familiar friend, but to us a cup of coffee means change, the sustainability of Young Life in Nicaragua, and an investment in the lives of young people and the local community. Change why you drink coffee". Out of all my friends, family, and acquaintances, I probably know less than 5 people who don't enjoy coffee regularly. I know y'all are drinking it! Why not do so with a purpose? I made a friends with Veronica at Windy Gap 5 years ago. Veronica is originally from Nicaragua and can personally attest to the great work YL is doing there. I can also personally account for the quality of this coffee. They aren't lying when they say it's fantastic! Do something good for your taste buds and your fellow man!

Headbands of Hope

It's like Toms, but for hair accessories! For every headband, pin, clip, or other product purchased from their online store, one is donated to a child battling cancer. Their products are colorful, trendy, and fun! Not to mention popular in celebrity circles. Seriously, check out their media page to see which of your favorite leading ladies are sporting these fashionable headbands! You can find anything from athletic headbands to dainty flower crowns on their website. They also donate $1 of every purchase to fund the organizations dedicated to fighting and curing childhood cancers. This gift is absolutely a win-win! The more you wear your cute headband around, the more chances you will have to spread the word to others when they say, "Girl! That headband! Where did you find it? I gotta have one!"

Noonday Collection

The inspiration for this company's name can be found in Isaiah 58:10 which reads, "When you satisfy the needs of the oppressed, your night will become like the noonday sun." Now that's an idea I can get behind. I have purchased a few pieces for friends in the past and I can tell you that they are typically more excited to know where their new pretty jewelry came from than the piece itself! Their colorful boho style is right up my alley and I'd love to own every last piece. Noonday collaborates with 29 Artisan businesses in 12 countries to create their gorgeous accessories. These products are not only fair trade, but help create stable families and in turn stable communities in all 12 of those countries. They work one-on-one with the craftswomen to create trendy pieces that incorporate some of their traditional designs. The end results are spectacular. Each piece is truly a work of art. Another exciting aspect of Noonday is the chance to become an ambassador and help spread the good work they are doing while earning a paycheck yourself! I am not an ambassador, just a consumer, but I do believe in the cause.

I hope I have been of some help to you as you try to keep up with all the wishes on your loved one's Christmas lists!
If nothing else, I hope I've given you an idea of how to spend that Christmas money that will soon be burning a hole in your pockets!

Wouldn't it be great to know that the gifts you've given this Christmas are doubly blessed?