So if you’re like me, you’re probably still trying to finish up your Christmas shopping… and might be more than a little stumped for a few people on your list.
Looking for a way to give more this Christmas? I don’t mean quantity, or monetarily, but giving in a way that makes a difference. Gifts that do more than fill a single stocking, but affect multiple people. Gifts that give hope and freedom.
Check out some of these links for ideas, and change someone’s life this Christmas!
World Vision and Compassion International both have gift catalogs that allow you to shop for things people around the world really need–clean water, education, medical care, shelter. You can even contribute to a small business start up, or livestock for a family so that not only will they receive something they need, but something that will continue to sustain them. Any of these gifts can be given in a person’s name, on their behalf. Take a look at the infographic on the right for more ideas from Compassion.
International Justice Mission also has a gift catalog, with purchases that will help provide therapy and aftercare for victims of human trafficking, or even fund a sex-trafficking rescue operation.
Consider also buying fair trade from companies like Ten Thousand Villages, whose goal is to improve the lives of artisans from developing countries. Their site has everything from clothing, jewelry, home accents, art, and more.
Shopping ethically helps combat human trafficking–so many products we love, that we use or eat or drink every day, are made or harvested by slave labor. Buying a product that is certified fair trade does not mean that the product is 100% slave-free, as trafficking is so pervasive, but there’s a far better chance. Fair trade ensures farmers are paid for their work, and it gives back to communities. Read more about fair trade, or discover your “slavery footprint” and see how you can change it.
For more fair trade gift ideas, visit Fair Trade USA’s holiday gift guide for items like coffee, chocolate, tea, body care, and more.
Did you know how much of our chocolate comes from forced child labor? For stuffing Christmas stockings this year, you could buy fair trade chocolates from companies like Divine, which is owned by cocoa-farmers in Ghana.
These are just a few links of sites and companies I’ve come across, but there are many, many others. And Relevant magazine did an article a couple weeks ago on ethical Christmas shopping, if you’d like to learn more.
When there’s so much hurt, confusion, and suffering in this world, it seems almost impossible to make any sort of difference, but there is no better time to try. And while some of these things may seem small to us, they can make a huge impact for someone else.
Have a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!