If you are anything like me, chances are you have struggled with gift-giving at some point in your life. The MOR Wealth Management family brainstormed the following list of websites that allow for easy browsing and a variety of gift ideas that also give back to society in some way. These truly are gifts you can feel great giving. Purchases from the following websites all give back to the community and are appropriate for many occasions, including the holidays.
Dear Clients & Friends,
For our first weekend reading of each month, most often we publish our Market Risk Update, which we will certainly send out next week. However, the topic at hand for this week is too timely to delay. The level of philanthropy supported by our clients and friends needs no introduction, and we all struggle with gift ideas for some people during the holiday season.
Please read below because I can guarantee that some of our readers will use one or more of the resources below. If I may say so, Kirsten hit a home run with this weekend’s article. Enjoy…
If you are anything like me, chances are you have struggled with gift-giving at some point in your life. Maybe you’re stuck trying to think of a gift for a nephew who already has (seemingly) every video game imaginable. Maybe it’s a gift for your father, who already has every piece of New York Jets memorabilia and is tired of memorializing Super Bowl III anyway. Maybe you were assigned a coworker at your workplace’s Secret Santa whom you don’t know very well. Whatever the case, there are some people who are hard to purchase gifts for.
The MOR Wealth Management family brainstormed the following list of websites that allow for easy browsing and a variety of gift ideas that also give back to society in some way. These truly are gifts you can feel great giving. Purchases from the following websites all give back to the community and are appropriate for many occasions, including the holidays.
Bead for Life – Look no further if you’ve been searching for cool jewelry to give as gifts. These distinctive beads are made out of recycled paper. Bead for Life runs a “Beading Program” which “…provides smart and savvy women living in poverty with an entrepreneurial training that gives them the skills and confidence to transform their lives through the creation of a self-sustaining business. Unlike a typical fair trade model, these women graduate from the program as independent business owners.” Bead for Life also runs a mobile business school which provides six months of training. Find it at https://www.beadforlife.org/frontpage/us.
Punjammies – These pajama pants for men, women and children are made by survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and come in beautiful patterns. According to its website, “All proceeds from purchases are reinvested back into the business [which is what employs each woman]. Costs include staff and operations in US and India, materials such as fabric, thread, sewing equipment, development of new products etc, housing and medical care, and when applicable, school/education fees for children of women in the sewing centers.” Find it at https://www.sudara.org/collections/punjammies.
GreaterGood.com – This website is best known for its “click to donate” feature. The website is subdivided into different “causes,” each that comes with its own “click to donate” feature, as well as its own store. Causes include: animals, veterans, autism, literacy, hunger, and more. When a purchase is made, a percentage of the price is set aside to be donated to charities that deal with the specified cause. Each store has a wide variety of products, from clothes and jewelry to home decor. For example, the doormat pictured below funds 14 bowls of food for rescued animals. Find it at http://greatergood.com/.
Rescue Gifts – The International Rescue Committee runs this website, where you can purchase a gift in honor of someone. The person being honored receives a card explaining the gift and how it works. Gifts come in a wide price range and include: providing materials to families in refugee camps that can be used to build shelters, a medical kit that can be used during childbirth, and emergency classrooms for refugees. Earlier this year, MORWM Operations Director, Amy Killeen gave her sister a nice Cross pen for her MBA graduation, but what really made her sister get teary-eyed? Sending a girl in an under-developed country to school for a year in her honor. Find it at http://gifts.rescue.org/.
Novica: This program, run in association with National Geographic, allows artisans from around the world to sell their wares in the global marketplace. Without Novica, these artisans would not otherwise have access to this market. Novica gives “….0% interest loans to artisans who want to expand their business and bring more income to their wider communities.” A wide range of products are available, from clothing to jewelry to furniture. The website also provides a biography of the artisan. Find it at https://www.novica.com/.
United By Blue: According to its website, “for every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized and hosted cleanups.” They are based in Philadelphia and have hosted 172 cleanups in 26 states. You can volunteer to help clean up, or you can just go shopping. Products include clothes, camping gear, and bags. Find it at http://unitedbyblue.com/.
Heifer International: Heifer International began by donating animals to people in impoverished areas around the world. The website allows you to make donations and gifts to families in need and send a card to the person in whose honor you have made the donation. Entire animals can be donated to people who live in poverty, or you can “share” an animal to donate. Animals make a huge impact to these families’ lives because they can use the animal as a continuous source of food. Non-animal gifts such as trees, stoves and clean water are also available. Find it at https://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/index.html.
World Wildlife Fund: The WWF is a conservation organization that works to protect nature and animals. Their store contains a wide variety of animal themed gifts, from mugs, mittens and ornaments to puzzles, apparel and coloring books. You can also build a bucket of plush toys to give as a gift in exchange for a donation. Donations can also be made in someone’s honor, with the recipient receiving a card from the WWF. Find it at https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/.
Bombas: I never thought I would hear the word “innovative” in connection with socks, but here it is on Bombas’ About Us page: “We spent two years on research & development to create our dream sock. We fixed the things we didn't like about conventional socks and invented innovative new features, all in the pursuit of extreme comfort.” But Bombas does more than create revolutionary footwear. For every pair of socks purchased, the company donates a pair to a homeless person. A stocking stuffer for some is a lifesaver for others. Find it at https://bombas.com/.
Good Paper: Looking for a quirky and unique holiday card (or card for any other imaginable occasion)? These handmade cards are made by survivors – “women who have escaped sex trafficking in the Philippines and young adults orphaned by disease in Rwanda.” Some cards are also made with recycled paper. Find it at http://www.goodpaper.com/.
Hopefully this list inspired you to give a little more (or a little more deliberately) this holiday season. If you saw something that you liked on this list, we would absolutely love to hear your gifting story! Happy and healthy holidays from everyone here at MOR Wealth Management!
Matthew Ramer, AIF® Principal, Financial Advisor MOR Wealth Management, LLC
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