Shop for a Cause

Holidays are here, and I’m already starting to think about all the Christmas shopping I want to do.  In an effort to be a more responsible shopper, I did a little research this year on companies where my purchasing power can give back and actually do a little social good (and they sell really great/stylish products too)!  And, just because I love y’all so much, here’s 15 companies I’d recommend you take a look at as you do your holiday shopping this year!  (whether you’re shopping for others or, let’s be honest, maybe a new accessory for that holiday party you’ll be going to).

Shopping.  Doing good.  And you can do it all in your pajamas.  Seriously, let’s get to it!

iGive

Set up an account in less than a minute, install the iGive button on your web browser, and then shop at 1,725 partnered stores from Amazon to Zumba and a percentage of your purchase will go to your designated charity (I’d recommend International Justice Mission).

www.igive.com

Amazon Smile

Just like Amazon, but if you take 30 seconds to designate a charity and remember to start shopping smile.amazon.com, you can shop using your regular Amazon account and have a small percentage of your purchase to to your designated charity (I’d recommend Destiny Rescue).

www.smile.amazon.com

Destiny Rescue

This organization is near and dear to my heart after visiting their centers last summer in Thailand and Cambodia!  Purchase jewelry, aprons, or bags made by girls rescued out of sex trafficking.  You can also host a jewelry party in your home!  Countries benefited include Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, and India.

www.destinyrescueshop.com

Old Town Roasting

Purchase really great coffee, and have 20% of profits go to local charities, or to fund microloans for coffee farmers around the world

www.oldtownroasting.com

The Giving Keys

An incredibly inspiring company making a great product that provides jobs for homeless women in Los Angeles.  Shop their stylish selection of “key” jewelry hand stamped with inspiring messages.

www.thegivingkeys.com

Mitscoots Socks

Purchase a pair of socks and provide a pair of socks for someone in need.  Mitscoots also provides jobs for homeless in Texas.

www.mitscoots.com

Soap Box Soaps

Purchase a bottle of body wash or shampoo and provide a month of clean drinking water.  Purchase a bar of soap and provide a bar of soap for someone in need.  Countries benefited include Haiti, Ecuador, Honduras, Canada, USA, Kenya, Uganda, Thailand, India, South Africa, and Zambia

www.soapboxsoaps.com (Also sold at Target!)

Noonday Collection

Shop super fashionable jewelry and accessories, support fair trade practices, and help benefit vulnerable women working in Mexico, Haiti, Guatamala, Ecuador, Peru, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

www.noondaycollection.com

Sseko Designs

Purchase sandals, footwear, or leather totes and handbags and help send a girl in Uganda to college.

www.ssekodesigns.com

Krochet Kids

Purchase beanies, apparel, and bags handmade in Peru and Uganda, and empower women in vulnerable communities to rise above poverty.

www.krochetkids.org/shop

31 Bits

Purchase stylish jewelry and accessories and empower people in Uganda to rise above poverty.

www.31bits.com

Jonas Umbrellas

Purchase fashionable umbrellas and fund a clean water well at a school in Africa.

www.jonasumbrellas.com

Sevenly

$7 of each purchase, from apparel to accessories to art, is given to a different charity each week

www.sevenly.org

Toms

For every pair of shoes purchased, a pair of shoes is donated to someone in need.

www.toms.com

Povertees 

Choose your shirt/tank and your chest pocket that will be hand sewn on.  Proceeds support women who are transitioning out of homelessness in Skid Row and other urban areas in Los Angeles, providing a place for them to belong and long term employment.

www.povertees.com

Even More Options! 

For an even more extensive list, check out this list of 150 companies where you can accomplish some social good with your purchasing power!

See the list here

Happy shopping y’all!

Shop for a cause

Finding What I’m Made For

For a few months while I was in college, my friends and I were engaged in a full scale (yet friendly) prank war.  It was guys versus girls in a game of who could out-do who, and it escalated to a point where, to preserve our friendships, we actually drafted and signed a “Prank War Manifesto” to make sure we didn’t go too far.

One of the girls had this 3 foot tall wooden fork and spoon set that hung on the wall in her kitchen, and the guys managed to smuggle them out of the house one night.  To get even, the girls rallied a few days later and went over to the guys’ house when we knew they would all be in class.  We shimmied in through the bathroom window and ransacked their kitchen, making out with all of their silverware—even grabbing the dirty ones from the sink and dishwasher—to hold as ransom until the other items were returned.  For a day or two the guys got by eating their cereal with large serving spoons before they finally agreed to make the trade.

These prank war episodes were punctuated by midterms, football games, camping trips, and coffee addictions.  But in the midst of all of the fun and frivolity of life at Oregon State, we also were trying to sort out what exactly it was we wanted our lives to be about.  We had made our Prank War Manifesto, but the guidelines of how we would live the rest of our life seemed a bit murky at times.

Even now as I launch into my thirties, I sometimes feel like I could use a clear manifesto on just what exactly I’m supposed to be pursuing with my life.

As I make decisions about how I use my time, what habits and patterns I establish, the people I surround myself with, and the education and careers I pursue, do I ever pause long enough to ask what it is I’m hoping to accomplish when all is said and done?

Life can be about a lot of things.  At the end of the day, when I look back, I want to know that my life, my days, and my decisions were being used for the right things.

One of the verses I keep coming back to is Micah 6:8:

“He has shown you what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Act Justly.

Love Mercy.

Walk Humbly.

3 things.  I can try and do those three things.  I think the world would be a little bit better if all of us learned how to do these three things a little bit better together.

What are you hoping to accomplish with your life?  What do you need to say no to, in order to be able to say yes to the right things?

Micah 6 8