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
1. World Vision
World Vision holds an extra special place in my heart. They are a a global Christian humanitarian organization that partners with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
I had the absolute honor of traveling to Ecuador with World Vision in September to witness their incredible work firsthand, including kicking off their new #chosen child sponsorship initiative that gives children the power to choose their own sponsors.
I've talked to many, many readers who love to give the gift of child sponsorship through World Vision. And World Vision also has a Charity Gift Catalog where you can give everything from medicine to soccer balls to animals to clean water to education and more.
In addition, any gift given to World Vision on Giving Tuesday, December 3, will be matched with a donation of product (up to $1 million) from Thirty-One Gifts, helping communities around the world with items to support new moms, deliver medical supplies, and keep girls in school.
Last year as a result of the Giving Tuesday campaign, Thirty-One provided towels for children in Lesotho (where one of the sweet little guys that we sponsor, Pakiso, lives!) to give them an extra layer of warmth as they made the trek to school in colder temperatures. The donations World Vision receives on Giving Tuesday really make an extra big difference!
In 2018, 86% 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.
Read more about Cuddle + Kind's mission here.
A friend of mine told me about Love Your Melon a few years ago, and I couldn't order a cute knit hat fast enough! (I now own 2 beanies and just ordered a headband!)
Love Your Melon is 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.
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.
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.
You can read more of their story 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.
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.
10. Thistle Farms
Thistle Farms, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, helps women who are recovering and healing from trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. They provide them with a safe place to live, a meaningful job, and continue to help support them even after the women have "graduated" from their program.
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!