Trendy Tuesday: Philanthropic Gift Giving….giving with a grander purpose

It is officially Trendy Tuesday….and I have had my eye on the growing trend of side-stepping the season’s propensity towards commercialism.  It is a time of year that is filled with warmth, joy and love….and yet, many of us have to make a concerted effort to not get caught up in the hurry, scurry of shopping and purchasing.  For some, this can be a time of stress and …uchem….debt.  Especially for those of us who take it upon ourselves to make the magic of the season come to life.  The result can be utter fatigue and perhaps a sense of disappointment.  Sometimes we are left scratching our heads and wondering how to get back to the famous words of Charles Dickens:

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So, what about charity and the good of mankind?

Enter the trend of taking back the meaningfulness of the season.

Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure you are familiar with Tom’s…a unique, main-stream company who has established themselves and their trendy shoes by building their business on a different type of business platform.  Their motto is One for One….for every pair of shoes you buy, they supply a child in need with a pair of shoes.  Speed ahead….they have provided 10 million shoes world wide!!!  For more of their story, click here.

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Other options for charitable gift purchasing and giving have been highlighted by such high-end publications as  Harper’s BAZAAR.

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For other options that take on a very direct route to helping the global economy and empowering those in less-affluent communities, you can always shop the plethora of Fair Trade options.  For a taste:Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 8.33.08 PM

Give a Gift That Gives Back: 1. & 2. Passion Lilie Fair Trade Cotton Hand block Printed Scarf, $20:passionlilie.com/…, 2. Divine Chocolate, $4, Fair Trade 3. Handmade Expressions Journal, $30, Made from cruelty free leather. 4. Ten Thousand Villages Tiffin, $20, Fair Trade

Even San Luis Obispo based designer, Lisa Leonard, has gotten in on the trend of backing product with more meaning!  Introducing her new hope{ful} line:

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If you are feeling a bit more courageous in your gift-giving….you can venture into other unique gifts such as adopting a heifer or goat for communities in need.  Check out heifer.org and all they are doing for global communities!  How cool would it be to give or receive the gift of a sustainable food supply for those who fight the demon of hunger on a daily basis.  Too cool!!

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Or, what about supporting such amazing organizations as Children’s Hunger Fund.

CHF is a personal favorite of our family’s, as my hubby has been to both Brazil and Indonesia to film the amazing work they are doing there for our world’s children.  As you can imagine, the impact of those experiences was huge for my husband.  And, we loved listening to all the stories when he got back….of neighborhood kids following my husband through the streets, laughing and playing even in the midst of mind-blowing poverty.  Of the people’s generosity, hospitality, and selflessness towards my handsome husband…so much so, that several of those in the communities tried to talk him into staying (phew….it’s a good thing he loves me 🙂 ).

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“Children’s Hunger Fund has practiced Gospel-centered compassion ministry for more than twenty years. We have distributed more than 1 billion dollars in food and other resources to more than 20 million children in the U.S. and worldwide. Since 1991, 99% of CHF’s total contributions have been used for programs helping kids.”

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“Last year, 18,248 volunteers worked 45,620 hours and packed 19,500 Food Paks.

We can’t do what we do without our volunteers. Be part of our Volunteer Force!”

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If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of transforming your gift-giving strategies this season…these guidelines I found on Pinterest offer some guidance and clarity.

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Hmmmmmmm….kinda makes you think.  I know that Sean and I have decided to refocus our family and transform our kid’s thinking by sponsoring three kids of equivalent age to our three kiddos.  We hope it transforms the sponsored kid’s lives, as well as those of our munchichees.  This is a trend that I am more than happy to get behind!!

Merry Christmas!!

xoxo

Chanda

 

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