The holidays remind me of how fortunate we are in our home. We have a warm and safe place to live, food to fill our bellies, and everyone’s health is good (knock on wood). Not all days are perfect and I do get flashes of “what if” fears but I am grateful every day for what I have in my life. The holidays also remind me that not everyone is as fortunate.
As we all plan our holiday parties and gift lists there are ways we can help others in need. Here are 7 ways you can give a gift and help another this holiday:
Ugly Sweater Rafiki Friend Chain, Me to We
Our Junior Style Blogger has talked about the benefit of Me to We gifts in the past and I happen to agree. This year you can pick-up the Ugly Sweater Rafiki Friend Chain. The colourful hand beaded chain mimics the crazy colours of those ugly Christmas sweaters you wore when your mom dressed you. You’ll look very festive but with each Rafiki Friend Chain purchased you are helping Me to We Artisans support their community through sustainable employment. Each chain comes with a code so you can track the impact your purchase is making on the lives of others.
What a wonderful way to spend a morning learning about holiday gifts from @metowe that give back and meeting Maasai Mama Leah. She taught us how to hand bead our own Rafiki chains and gave us a peek into how #metowe gifts benefit families and communities. She was delightful and will be taking the stage tomorrow in Toronto for WeDay.
Toms Pullovers and Scarves, Target Canada
We’ve always been a fan of TOMS not only for their fun shoe design but their One for One initiative, giving a pair of shoes to a child in developing countries for each pair of shoes sold. Things get even happier this holiday season with the collaboration between Target and TOMS.
“We’re excited to partner with Target for the holidays and take TOMS’ One for One® giving model further than ever before,” said Blake. “Every purchase allows Target’s guests to bring home a beautifully designed product and do good, providing nourishment, warmth and shoes to a person in need.”
TOMS for Target will feature 50 gift worthy items for under $50 in Target stores across Canada and the United States. Some of my favourite gift picks for the whole family include the women’s chambray pullover, the men’s scarves and beanies, and the cute hoodies for kids.
Gift recipients will keep warm with your gift picks. You’ll be warmed knowing that each purchase results in the donation of a blanket through the American Red Cross or Canadian Red Cross, or one week of meals through Feeding America or Food Banks Canada
TOMS Vegan Elephant Classic Shoes, TOMS
Beyond their One for One and the above mentioned TOMS for Target initiatives, TOMS has launched a limited edition collection of vegan shoes in support of the Clinton Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The classic style canvas TOMS feature an embroidered elephant as a reminder of these majestic Aftrican animals still being killed by poachers for their ivory. Both adult and child sizes are available and as always, each pair of TOMS purchased gives another pair of shoes to a child in developing countries. My youngest daughter lives in her TOMS because of their comfort and style plus she loves knowing another child has a pair of shoes too.
Colour Crush Nails and Cheek Doll, The Body Shop
Whether you’re looking to get party ready or find a few gift ideas for your fashionista friends, The Body Shop has a collection of holiday scents and festively packaged products. My picks? The Colour Crush Nail Polish available in 24 funs colours plus it is free of Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor, toxic chemicals often found in nail polish.
How can you not love the Geisha Doll Lip and Cheek Stain? The packaging is too cute but the fact that it is enriched with community fair trade Marula Oil is a big plus. The best part about shopping at The Body Shop this holiday season is that each gift purchased will give send a child to school. The Body Shop has patterned with War Child this year with a commitment to provide over 6 Millions lessons to children in war-torn countries through their global gifting initiatives. That applies to all gifts, even the $6 Colour Crush Nail Polish.
Rocky and Friends, Ontario SPCA
How many children on your wish list are asking for a puppy or kitten this Christmas? There’s something special about the bond between family pets and children. The Ontario SPCA staff and volunteers work hard to care for those animals in shelters and those abandoned or injured on the streets. For your little animal lover why not adopt Maddison,Rocky, or Tyson. Each gift goes to benefit the Ontario SPCA’s initiatives and your gift recipient receives a cute stuffed puppy and adoption certificate in their name.
Dinner Out, MealShare
If you were to ask anyone in our family, kids included, what their favourite part of the Christmas season is to them, food and drink would more than likely be their answer. It is a season of over indulgence and special treats but some families aren’t as fortunate. Donating desired food items to your local charity is one way you can help but now eating dinner out with your family or friends can benefit families too.
Mealshare works with participating restaurants across the country. When you order a MealShare item from off a participating restaurant’s menu (you’ll find at least 2 menu items available), you receive a meal to enjoy and another meal will go toward a local charity. Half of the meals donated go to a local charity while the other half go overseas providing meals to school children in Mali, Africa through Save the Children. It’s that simple, order and enjoy and another person will also receive a meal.
Reusable Gift Wrap, HomeSense
Whatever gifts you plan to buy this year you’ll more than likely want to wrap them up to keep your secret. HomeSense has a wonderful green solution with their burlap bottle bags and gift sacks as well as their reusable shopping totes in festive patterns. Popping your gift in one one of these will save you wrapping time as well as protect the environment from excess waste when they gift is revealed.
Although saving time and the environment are both great reasons to buy these green gift wrap options, the fact that all three of these items are part of HomeSense Shop For Hope selection is the best reason of all. Purchase these or any of the other Shop For Hope gifts found in a designated area of your local HomeSense store and 100% of the net proceeds go towards the Canadian Women’s Foundation funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs across Canada. So wrap up your holiday season with these gift bag options to save time, save the environment, and save women and girls from difficult environments.
This holiday can fill your heart, giving gifts to those you love and helping those you don’t (but could probably use a little support). Do you add a charity component to your holiday season? Don’t forget our tips on how to keep your holiday gifts a secret.