Real talk today, friends: I am often completely overwhelmed by the amount of need in the world. From right in my backyard to countries on the other side of the earth, there are needs upon needs upon needs. It breaks my heart to see the number of people struggling, whether it’s with poverty or sickness or hunger or those caught in terrible slavery.
I often feel so helpless. I’m only one person, and these problems are enormous. I have absolutely no hope of fixing all of them all by myself. Often I find myself feeling so overwhelmed by the enormity of the need that I am paralyzed into inaction; because I can’t fix alllll the things, I do nothing.
So silly. It makes no sense.
So recently my mantra has become, “Just do something.” Yes, maybe it is something small, but it is better than doing nothing. One of the little “somethings” that I’ve done recently was trying to purchase some of my Christmas gifts from places that give back to a charity or cause in some way. I think that half the battle can sometimes be finding these types of companies or organizations, so I thought I’d include a quick list of some of the ones that I’ve purchased from this year in case you’re looking for a “little something” to do as well.
I make $0 from any of these links I’m about to share. They are not affiliate links in any way, shape, or form. Just companies that I thought had a cool mission behind them. 🙂
Where to Find Gifts that Give Back
I originally found Cuddle + Kind on Instagram and absolutely fell in love with their mission (and their cute hand-knit dolls)! For every ethically produced, hand-knit doll sold, they provide 10 meals to children in need. They also sell cute prints, each of which provides 5 meals to children in need. You can read more about Cuddle + Kind’s mission here.
A friend of mine told me about Love Your Melon a few months ago, and I couldn’t order a cute knit hat fast enough! (I have this one, which is currently sold out, but this one is very similar! I also love the ones with the pom!) They are an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer. 50% of profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products is given to their nonprofit partners. You can learn more about LYM’s mission here.
Sudara’s cozy pants, shorts, and robes are made by women in India who have escaped a life of sex trafficking and exploitation. They are giving renewed hope and a pathway to freedom for these women by providing safe, steady, and living-wage employment, helping hundreds of women in the 10 years since their company began. You can read more of their story here.
I have followed Ashley and The Shine Project on Instagram for years, and I just love her heart for people! The Shine Project employs inner city students to make gorgeous bracelets and necklaces and provides scholarships for the students to attend college. You can learn more about The Shine Project’s story here.
Preemptive Love Coalition works to bring relief to war-torn families and create jobs so that refugees can rebuild their lives. They are hard at work in Syria and Iraq and also have aided in disaster relief in the US. They sell handmade soaps and candles and also allow purchasers to give gifts of food, shelter, and other necessities to refugees in need. You can read more about their work here.
Mitscoots is an Austin, Texas based company that, for every item purchased, gives an item of equal quality to a person in need. They employ the transitioning homeless so that they can gain confidence and skills and build their network. They make cozy blankets as well as quality apparel like socks, hats, gloves, and scarves. You can read more of their story here.
7. World Vision
World Vision is a a global Christian humanitarian organization. They partner with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. You can sponsor a child through World Vision, and they also have a Charity Gift Catalog where you can give everything from medicine to soccer balls to animals to clean water to education and more. In 2016, 85% of World Vision’s total operating expenses were used for programs that benefit children, families, and communities in need. You can learn more about their work here.
Don Larson left his job as a high level executive with Hershey to move to Mozambique and start Sunshine Nut Co., where they employ primarily adult orphans and support orphanages and community programs throughout Mozambique with 90% of their profits. Their delicious cashews would make a perfect stocking stuffer or add-on to any gift. Read their story here.
For every cute headband sold at Headbands of Hope, they give a headband to a child with cancer. (You can see some of their adorable recipients in their giving gallery.) They also donate a percentage of their profits to cancer charities. You can read more about HoH here.
Just like I feel inadequate when it comes to meeting all of the needs that exist in the world, I know this post only scratches the surface when it comes to listing all of the amazing organizations out there that give back when you purchase gifts from them.
I would love for you to leave your favorite organizations in the comments so we can make this list even larger and provide even more resources for people who are looking to do “a little something.”
Because all those “little somethings”? They add up. I may feel like I am just a little drop in the bucket by myself, but together, we really can make an impact. <3
Have a wonderful holiday season, my friends!