Did you know that today is Giving Tuesday?
It’s a really simple concept: give.
Any way you are able, to anyone. Give.
The concept of giving is especially important at this time of the year, and lucky for us, many organizations have made it super easy–and so meaningful!–to give at holiday time.
Looking at my kids’ bedrooms and our playroom, I see we need very little.
So I’m encouraging all of our family members to do something this year that packs a bit more of a punch: buying gifts that give a little more than the norm.
Though there are thousands of ways to do it–something for every family.
These are the organizations that we will be supporting this year.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Gifts That Give Back–Ideas for Kids and Family:
Though I’m sharing this during holiday time, these gifts can obviously be given at any time of the year, for any occasion.
I encourage you to bookmark this, save it, whatever, and pull it out again for birthdays or other special occasions.
Give via Heifer International
Seriously. Give something life-changing to a family in need. A goat. Some chicks. Some seeds. An education. Clean water.
And give it in the name of one of your kids: Choose a meaningful gift to give a loved one and help children and families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant.
The Heifer International Gift Catalog online is super easy to understand and navigate.
You can purchase a share or whole animal for a family: goat, heifer, water buffalo, honeybees.
Giving an animal is like giving someone a small business, providing wool, milk, eggs and more. Animal donations can provide families a hand up, increasing access to medicine, school, food and a sustainable livelihood.
Or you can support women’s empowerment:
If women farmers had access to the same resources as men, more than 150 million additional people would have enough food to eat. We aim to make that a reality. Your gift will provide support for women’s groups, training in gender equality and the means to send girls to school. Help empower women around the world to reach their full potential.
Talk to your kids about the fact that so many of these people lack clean water. Can you imagine? Clean water.
And explain how clean water could totally, completely change their lives:
Millions of people around the world still lack access to clean drinking water. In the impoverished communities where Heifer is working, many of the homes lack running water, and some families do not even have a well nearby. Instead, they must spend each day fetching water. This is often a chore left to the children — especially girls — leaving no time for school.
Each gift you choose comes with a little card that you can give to the recipient, an Honor Card. But more than the card is the impact of the gift on the recipient family.
These gifts are literally changing lives–turning life completely around for people. Equipping them with the tools they need to thrive.
Give a Survivor-Made Good, from To the Market
I met the creator of To the Market, Jane Mosbacher Morris, at the AYA Summit this year. She’s awesome.
The premise of To The Market is to combine the powers of commerce and storytelling to empower the world’s most courageous survivor populations, in the belief that resilience is more powerful than suffering. How can you not love it?
You can shop in a number of different ways: by goods, by country, by cause, or by local partners. So you can literally find something for everyone, something that really meets your needs.
The Starfish Project is a fair trade jewelry company that cares for and employs exploited women in Asia. Each woman that enters into Starfish has a story of abuse and pain. At Starfish they are employed in legitimate, meaningful work where they start to reclaim the truth that they are capable; through counseling, shelter, education and health care they know they are safe; and through the Starfish community they know they are loved.
I also love the Punjammies–all of them. These are ‘lounge pants’ which I honestly think you could wear for any occasion because they are that beautiful.
PUNJAMMIES™ mission is to create pathways to freedom for women escaping the ravages of sex slavery to achieve lives of hope and dignity; each woman learns a trade (sewing) and practices refining her craftsmanship by producing quality sleep & loungewear called PUNJAMMIES™. The finished product is then exported to the US and sold online to countries all over the world with proceeds coming back to benefit each of the sewing centers.
Give a gift that is fashionABLE:
to create sustainable business for Africans so they aren’t dependent upon charity, but instead earn the dignity of a job. We offer opportunity to everyone, with a primary focus on empowering women. When we invest in a woman, statistics demonstrate that she will have a life-changing impact on her family and community… and herself.
I love it.
- the Mamuye Tote because it is the perfect size for my laptop and the leather is simply beautiful
- the Tizita Bracelet which is so affordable and cool–a set of three bracelets (two pewter and one antique gold) crafted from beads repurposed from bullet casings and scrap metal found by farmers in the Entoto mountains. The Entoto community is a place of healing for those affected by HIV/AIDS, treating them with dignity + respect, and providing a fair opportunity to support their families. Under $30.
- the Selam Scarf and the Gebeyew Scarf both which I have and both which I have gifted to friends and family numerous times.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is driven by the mission to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.
Everyone is welcome. Everyone. My heart.
Every purchase made from the St. Jude Gift Shop helps St. Jude because 100% of proceeds after all related expenses benefit St. Jude.
You can donate event-based gifts for patients like ‘no mo chemo parties’, holiday parties, and more.
You can donate a things the patients would love, like red wagon (because that’s how little ones move through the hospital–no wheelchairs!), or you can donate art supplies or video games. Toys, books, or meals for families.
You can donate treatments for the patients. You know they need them. This will help.
It’s an incredible organization, and it’s a great way to give back.
It’s a lot, I know.
But hey–it’s a great place to start.
My suggestion? Either make a decision yourself over here, or bring the kids over, look at the options with you, and let them decide.
I’m betting they’d love to say, Grandma! We bought some kids a goat in your and Grandpa’s name this year!!
How will you give? What will your family choose this year?
Let me know! I love more ideas!
Want a few more holiday-inspired gift ideas or activities? Check out:
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2014
- Gift ideas for Sunday School teachers
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2013
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2012
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2011
- Holiday Fun Fact and JOKES Lunchbox Notes (with Hannukah!)
- Holiday Time Fun Fact Lunchbox Notes
- Little Holiday Notes and Jokes
- Holiday Notes for Families
- The Polar Express tradition
- Scratch-off Cards
- K-Cup Advent Tree
- New Year’s Family Interview
- Happy Holidays Backyard Birds
fyi: The fashionABLE links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. This small percentage of money helps offset the costs of hosting this blog, which helps me keep this content free for you. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.