A Fair Trade Christmas to All!

It’s Thanksgiving week and we soon will begin expressing our gratitude for our loved ones in the Christmas gifts we purchase for them. For some, we know exactly what they want and have maybe even already ordered it. Others are harder to buy for. Might I suggest that those people can be twice blessed? Here’s how- by purchasing a gift that helps out a struggling family, you aid the family and make the person who is receiving the gift feel like they made a difference in someone’s life. It’s a beautiful thing!

For the person who has it all and really doesn’t want anything more brought into their home:

www.worldvision.org - visit their Ways to Give page for a variety of aid items you can purchase for malnourished children and barely surviving families

World Vision project in Sierra Leone

www.compassion.com- Christ centered  and child focused, Compassion seeks to help both the physical and spiritual needs of impoverished children
www.globalgirlfriend.com- has lovely clothing and accessories, but I love their Gifts That Give More options

And for those of us who love unwrapping something:

www.linksofhope.org- The Links of Hope Network has beautiful jewelry, the sales of which go to providing deaf children with the tools, skills, and supplies to make their own jewelry. The income earned keeps them off the streets.

 www.tribesandnations.com.au- Tribes & Nations is one of my new finds this year. They sell textile items from the Priscilla Centre in India- an organization that my dad was able to visit and thought highly of. This online store has kid stuff, accessories, food and the most gorgeous recycled sari quilts you’ve ever seen. It’s all fair trade and works to battle poverty in SE Asia.

                                                   Artisan at the Priscilla Centre

shop.equalexchange.com- your fair trade source for organic deliciousness! Equal Exchange is no-brainer gift source for your coffee and/or chocolate loving friends. Equal Exchange uses ingredients from small farmer co-operatives from eight rural communities from the Andes to Madagascar.  Their fair trade systems and auditing also protect against the use of forced child labor.

www.thebodyshop-usa.com- This mainstream company supports over 25,000 farmers & community producers all over the globe. Check out their Values & Campaigns page to read more about that and their campaigns to end child sex trafficking, help victims of domestic violence and stop the spread of HIV. If you like Bath & Body Works type products- the Body Shop will blow you away. The beauty products are fantastic and their bath items don’t just smell good, they actually work. (My good skin? I’ve used their skin care line for over 5 years now!) Can you tell I use to sell it? =p
                                                   Body Shop community partner

www.globalgoodspartners.org- Global Goods partners with over 40 different groups to stock their online shop. They have lots of things for kids and pets and smaller gifts that make good stocking stuffers.  The items are all fair trade and their sale helps improve the economic status of women globally, as an integral part of a plan to eradicating poverty and building civil society.

 www.tenthousandvillages.com- Ten Thousand Villages has very high quality gifts from communities all over the world, all fair trade! Their partners live in places where skilled artisan lack opportunities for stable income. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

Where we spend our money says a lot about our priorities. Let’s show our love for not just the people in our lives, but also for fellow human beings who were not born with the socioeconomic advantages we have been given.

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