In case you missed it—the holidays are officially in full swing! Amid the countless errands to run and get-togethers to attend, you might find yourself wanting to give some time or money on giving back…
Here are some solid organizations to support this holiday season:
If you know me, you probably predicted this as my first choice! In 2009, college student, Blythe Hill, gave herself a simple challenge: to wear a dress every day for the entire month of December. Thus, Dressember was born. In the following years, Hill’s friends approached her to participate, and each year the numbers kept climbing. By 2013 the movement blossomed into a partnership with International Justice Mission, a global organization that combats sex trafficking. In the less than four years, advocates have been able to raise over $3 million dollars committed to eradicating sex trafficking.
Whether you want to become an advocate or to support one, I would encourage you to visit their site here. I personally have participated the past four years and look forward to it every year!
2. The Giving Keys
Founded by actress and entrepreneur, Caitlin Crosby, The Giving Keys has spent the last three years providing full time jobs at the living wage in Los Angeles to people transitioning out of homelessness. You can purchase necklaces, earrings, and bracelets with an inspirational word stamped on them, and the funds from that will help create more jobs for the homeless. Crosby encourages everyone to “pay it forward” and to share your key with someone who may need it in the future.
If you want to read more about it, check out their website here!
GlobeIn is focused on empowering artisans in remote areas with the tools to build sustainable business. This is one of the best subscription boxes, as you can shop for specific themed packages and receive authentic products while helping artisans. For example, their “Hydrate” box has cleaned up and re-purposed 365,000 water sachets, provided supplies for 980 beekeepers, donated 4,551 meals to hungry children in the U.S., and helped pay for school fees and meals to artisan families. All of these items within each package could of course be used for yourself or, in the holiday spirit, given as unique gifts to your family and friends. It’s well-worth the investigation, as shopping consciously is something we need to strive for as we learn more about ethical and fair trade brands.
You can find “Hydrate” along with a dozen other packages on their website here.
4. Days for Girls
This organization is focused on restoring dignity to women and girls by providing lasting access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education. Days for Girls has helped more than 800,000 women and girls in over 110 countries since founder Celeste Mergens first founded it as a women who grew up in extreme poverty. She says of their cause, “There are plenty of very difficult and complicated problems in this world. This doesn’t need to be one of them. We can solve this, together.” The Days for Girls kits provide sustainable hygiene products for up to 3 years, including panties, soap, waterproof shields, and absorbent liners. Their ultimate goal is that every girl and woman would have ready access to feminine hygiene by 2024.
For more information about how to donate towards this important cause, you can visit daysforgirls.org.
5. World Vision
Anytime a nonprofit has 85% of their income documented towards programming, I know it’s the type of organization I can feel confident giving to! World Vision has been around for 65 years and tackles poverty and injustice on a global scale. While they are well-known for child sponsorship, they also have a gift catalog where your one-time gifts can purchase different items for children and families. They have items that you’d imagine giving, like medicine, soccer balls, and mosquito nets, but what’s really cool to me, and one of the most tangible ways to bless a family during the holiday season, is the gift of a goat and two chickens. This can provide a steady stream of eggs, milk, and protein to families on an ongoing basis. It’s humbling to realize that for the same amount of money many of us spend in one trip to Target that we could provide basic needs for a family for years.
To view World Vision’s gift catalog, click here.
Everyone needs socks, whether you’re man, woman, or child—or if you’re currently struggling in a position of homelessness. Bombas started with the simple goal of making an impact here in the U.S. where the most requested item in homeless shelters are pairs of socks. Bombas donates one pair for every pair you purchase. So far they’ve donated over 4 million pairs of socks and the number continues to grow. I love organizations like this because they provide a chance to help others in a tangible way while allowing us to attend to basic needs that we have as well. It also gives us a chance to share about their organization if people see us wearing our Bombas socks!
There is merchandise available for men, women, and children at bombas.com.
7. Project Glimmer
After attending the annual toy drive held by San Francisco Firefighters in 2009, Sonja Hoel Perkins noted that there was always a shortage on gifts for teenage girls. That same year, she launched the first ever “Glimmer Drive” and encouraged friends and family to donate costume jewelry, gift cards, and new make-up and beauty products for meaningful times like birthdays, graduation, and the holidays for at-risk teenage girls and women. Since its founding, Project Glimmer has given more than 200,000 gifts to women and girls through over 200 community partners in 30 U.S. states.
Whether you’re interested in donating directly or hosting a Glimmer Drive of your own, you can find more information here.
I hope this list shows you that there are fun and creative ways to get involved. Many of the organizations above gave me inspiration for holiday gifts this year. It’s humbling to realize that what we have can be used to benefit others. I hope you’ll consider checking out one of these organizations this year!
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