Tuesday, December 3, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things!

When the dog barks, when the bee stings…. Oh. Oops. Not supposed to be lost in song over here.

What I should be doing is sharing with you some of my FAVORITE organizations and shops!

Over the last couple of years, there has been a stirring in my soul to shop and give more effectively. I don't really have too much beef against large chain stores, as they provide SO MANY jobs and can do lots of good through their large numbers.

But when it comes to gift giving, I try to make each purchase count on multiple levels! Here's a very quick run down on some of my favorite organizations that are doing really great things across the globe!

1. Trades of Hope

There are SO MANY reasons why I love Trades of Hope. It'll be hard to condense it. Ultimately, Trades of Hope is all about empowering women from around the world to work their way out of poverty. Through our purchases of their handmade Fair Trade products, we offer them a future filled with hope! Trades of Hope partners with tons of really great organizations in lots of amazing countries who are on the ground to ensure proper living wages and checks and balances. These groups enable the Artisans to make up to 6 times what is the norm in their country. This ensures that the Artisans are able to clothe, feed, house and educate themselves and their families! While charity is good, it does not solve the problem or break the cycle of poverty. These women want and need the opportunity for sustainable business and incomes to provide for the long haul. The groups that partner with Trades of Hope also offer medical care, education (for the artisans and their children), child care when needed, and clean drinking water!

2. Punjammies

Punjammies is a lot like Trades of Hope in the sense that they both exist to free women from the bondage of the sex slave trade and also to prevent women from being lured into trafficking. A woman is brought into the sewing center, taught the craft, and masters it to provide beautiful workmanship. Each pair of pajamas punjammies offers is named after one of their brave sewers. Punjammies also provides an education, medical care, education and if needed, child care, for their artisans.

3. Lifesong For Orphans

I don't even know where to start here. Lifesong is an orphan care ministry that is just huge in lots of things. They provide grants to adoptive families, support for foster care families, education and meals to orphans in 3rd world countries… I mean they just kind of do everything! They offer great products you can buy for your loved ones, or you can give a donation in someone's name.

4. MercyHouse

The Mercy House exists to RAISE FUNDS TO provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in education, nutrition, housing, prenatal care, Bible study, counseling and job skills for sustainable living. I'm kind of fond of the founder 'cuz she's a Texas gal that loves Jesus, Sweet Tea and people. 

If you're looking to give a gift that truly makes a difference, I'd highly recommend these awesome organizations!

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